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Match Reports

Match Report : 23/11/2013

23 November 2013

Royals forced to settle

Blackburn 0  

The Royals were left to rue a controversial second half penalty decision as they settled for a point at Ewood Park on Saturday afternoon.

Chris Gunter was shown a yellow card for simulation as he was felled by Grant Hanley in the box during the second period, with replays showing that the Welsh international was very unlucky not to see official Geoff Eltringham point to the spot. 

Chances were few and far between throughout the afternoon; Rovers perhaps shaded the first half as Tom Cairney saw his deflected shot hit the bar, before forcing a smart save from Alex McCarthy - whilst Kaspars Gorkss missed a great chance to bag all three points with a second half header. 

A double substitution by Nigel Adkins at half time did seem to give the visitors a foothold on the game, but not quite enough to seal the victory - as they await another away trip on Friday afternoon to Nottingham.

Blackburn: Kean, Kane, Dann, Hanley, Spurr, Cairney, Lowe, Williamson, King (Rochina 81), Dunn (Taylor 65), Rhodes.
Subs not used: Eastwood, Kilgallon, Eastwood, Judge, Henley

Yellow Cards: Spurr (foul 29)

Reading: McCarthy; Gunter, Kelly, Gorkss, Pearce; Baird (Williams 45), Guthrie (c); McCleary (Blackman 87), Obita; Pogrebnyak, Le Fondre (Akpan 45)
Subs not used: Federici, McAnuff, J Taylor, Sharp

Yellow Cards: Obita (Foul 24), Gunter (Simulation 54), Gorkss (Foul 86)

In a tepid opening to the game, the first real effort on goal did not arrive until the 15th minute - when Blackburn's David Dunn saw his shot deflect off Kaspars Gorkss, before flying away off the crossbar.

Indeed the only other event of note in the opening 24 minutes was a booking for Jordan Obita, as some youthful exuberance saw the 19-year-old bring down Todd Kane and pick up a yellow card. 

Rovers were perhaps shading the first period though, as Tom Cairney weaved into the area on the half hour mark - before firing his shot straight at Alex McCarthy. 

The young goalkeeper perhaps wasn't called into notable action on that occasion - but he would pull off a wonderful save a few minutes later, as Cairney's deflected effort was brilliantly tipped over the bar.

Reading's brightest spark then came as McCleary broke away down the right, before interplay between Le Fondre and Guthrie resulted in the latter chipping to the far post - where Pogrebnyak bundled a header wide.

Indeed Adkins' men cranked up the pressure slightly in the closing stages of the first 45, and perhaps will have been frustrated to see the half time whistle bring an end to the momentum. 


In an effort to get more of a grip on the game Reading made two changes at the break - as Baird and Le Fondre made way for Hope Akpan and Danny Williams.

It seemed to give the Royals an initial foothold at least, and they had a huge penalty shout seven minutes in - as a flowing move ended in McCleary sliding in Gunter - who was sent flying by Grant Hanley in the area. The Welsh international was stunned to be shown a yellow card for a dive, as replays proved there was a fair amount of contact on the Reading full back. 

The addition of an extra midfielder still seemed to give the visitors the share of the possession they needed though, as another quick move ended in a centre finding Pogrebnyak - though the Russian could only slice high over the bar. 

Cairney then had a chance to test McCarthy once more with a free-kick 25 yards from goal, but dipped his set piece narrowly off target. 

However it was a set piece at the other end that would arguably provide the game's most golden chance. Guthrie's corner found Pearce at the far post, and the Academy product headed back across goal to find Gorkss - who from close range some how headed over the bar. 

With 77 minutes on the clock Obita sent a wonderful teasing cross towards goal, which somehow zipped across the six yard box past the on-rushing Pogrebnyak - before McCleary scuffed wide at the far post. 

Rovers still looked bright in spells, but it seemed to be the Royals creating the chances in the closing stages; Pearce again involved as he headed towards goal in the 88th minute, where substitute Nick Blackman was inches away from getting a touch to score against his former club. 

The pressure just wouldn't pay off - and goalless it finished. On the surface a fair result - but that penalty claim for Chris Gunter will linger in the memories for Nigel Adkins and his side. 

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