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Match Reports

Millwall Preview

26 October 2013

Reading 1 (Morrison 9)
Millwall 1 (Trotter pen 90)

A below par Reading were denied a scrappy win by an injury time penalty as ten-man Millwall delivered a sucker punch at Madejski Stadium.

The Royals took the lead in the opening ten minutes when skipper Sean Morrison powered home a header from Jordan Obita's inswinging free kick.

Adam Le Fondre hit the post from close range and McAnuff and Obita rippled the side netting, and despite not finding their fluent best, Nigel Adkins' side looked solid and seemed to be edging to three more points, especially when the Lions were reduced to ten men in the final five minutes after Jimmy Abdou's late challenge on Garath McCleary.

But Scott McDonald scurried onto an aerial flick into the Royals box in injury time and got a toe to the ball before Adam Federici and went to ground under the Aussie's challenge to win a last gasp penalty. Liam Trotter made no mistake from the spot and Millwall had stolen a point.

Reading: Federici, Gunter, Bridge (Kelly 82), Morrison (c), Pearce, Baird, Guthrie, Obita (McAnuff 68), McCleary, Pogrebnyak, Le Fondre (Robson-Kanu 63).
Subs: S Taylor, Gorkss, Akpan, Blackman.
Yellow: Le Fondre, McCleary

Millwall: Forde, Connolly (Smith 19), Malone, Robinson (c), Shittu, Trotter, Bailey (Morison 76), Abdou, Woolford (Feeney 70), Waghorn, McDonald.
Subs: Bywater, Lowry, Derry, Easter.
Yellow: Bailey, Malone, Shittu.
Red: Abdou

Referee: Mr D Phillips
Att: 18,245 (1,022 away)

First Half
The first half chance fell to Martyn Waghorn, who shot into the box and raced onto a ball over the top, brought it down well but saw his shot brilliantly blocked by Bridge, who had tracked his man all the way.

But minutes later, Reading took the lead with their first sight of goal. Bailey scythed down Chris Gunter on the Royals' right and Jordan Obita swung a superb free kick into the box. Sean Morrison rose high and bulleted a header past David Forde from six yards out - his first of the season putting the hosts ahead.

Alex Pearce slid out to charge down a Martyn Woolford drive midway through the half and Scott Malone drive well wide from distance soon after, but Reading looked in control, passing the ball well at times and remaining solid at the back.

The rain came down and the game became a little scrappy, but just before half-time, Reading twice went close to increasing their lead. The ball skied into the Millwall area after a meaty Gunter challenge and Shittu clambered over McCleary to clear it, but penalty appeals were dismissed.

Obita raced onto the loose ball and won a corner on the right, and his far post delivery dropped to the feet of Pearce, who sidestepped one challenge and shot right-footed, but it deflected off a Lions head and wide for another corner.

In injury time before the interval, Gunter won another free kick near the right corner of the penalty area and Obita stepped over it to allow Guthrie to shoot. It clipped the edge of the Millwall wall and skidded wide.

Second half

Two minutes into the second half and there was almost a goal at both ends. The impressive Obita danced his way through two or three challenges to reach the byline and his low cross into the six yard box was toed against the base of the right post by Le Fondre, and the ball agonisingly cannoned off the woodwork and into the grateful arms of Forde.

And the hosts were almost made to pay second later when Millwall caught Adkins' side on the break - Adam Federici having to save well with his legs when Scott McDonald's low drive looked destined for the bottom corner.

Pogrebnyak whistled a left-footed effort just wide from 25 yards out as the home side pressed for a second goal.

But it was Millwall who had the ball in the back of the net, ten minutes into the second half. Danny Shittu, sidefooted home an inswinging corner from a couple of yards out, but the linesman flagged the centre-half offside to Shittu's dismay.

Reading were not at their best, but McCleary dragged a cross into the box and the ball fell to the feet of Obita on the left side, but he struck an effort into the side netting.

Robson-Kanu then forced Forde into a good save, diving to his right to push a well-hit left-footed effort from the Royals substitute.

The game was far from won and Federici had to punch clear a testing cross from substitute Liam Feeney, and Steve Lomas threw on Steve Morison as the final ten minutes approached.

Jobi McAnuff was introduced for the hosts and he collected a pull back from Robson-Kanu but arrowed a right-footed effort inches wide of the near post.

And with five minutes left on the clock, Jimmy Abdou was shown a second yellow card by referee David Phillips, flying into a late challenge on McCleary in midfield to depart the scene early.

Reading wound down the clock well in the dying stages, but Millwall broke through Feeney down the right in the last minute of normal time. And his cross found Morison in the middle who thankfully placed his free header wide of the right post to the Royals' relief.

That relief was short-lived though. Federici raced off his line as McDonald scurried onto a flick into the Royals box and the Millwall frontman got to the ball first before tumbling to the ground under the Aussie's challenge. The referee pointed to the spot and Liam Trotter smashed it high into the roof of the net to level matters in five minutes of injury time.

And Reading had no time to respond to a sucker punch.

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