Stevenage 0-0 Reading
- -Tight game as eight Royals get 90 minutes
- Robson-Kanu forced off injured after late tackle
- Taylor denied first half penalty
- Stevenage hold off late charge
It was a tight game played at a lively tempo, with some meaty challenges and no quarter given.
The Royals worked hard to break the deadlock, but came up against strong resistance, particularly as we put on a late charge for a winner.
And we were denied a clear first half penalty for a foul on Jake Taylor.
To be fair the home side also had a couple of decent chances and Alex McCarthy made one super second half stop.
But with a fair number of stoppages and infringements, the game never quite hit top gear, remaining a very worthwhile exercise as we now look to our home friendly with Swansea this coming Saturday.
Reading: McCarthy; Gunter (c), Cummings, Morrison, Pearce; Hector, Obita, Edwards (Akpan 64), Blackman (Pogrebnyak 84); Taylor, Robson-Kanu (Stacey 33)
Subs: Federici, Andersen, Hyam
Starting XI team news
Reading made three changes from Saturday's game at Wycombe, bringing Alex McCarthy, Shaun Cummings and Nick Blackman into the starting XI.
Danny Guthrie and Stephen Kelly are carrying injuries so weren't involved, while Danny Williams, Garath McCleary and Jem Karacan are all sidelined.
Reading had the first foray forward as Hal Robson-Kanu broke well, but Jake taylor was crowded out as he looked to release a shot inside the box.
Stevenage then had the ball in the net - but it was rightly ruled out for a foul on Alex McCarthy as a cross looped high into the air.
Reading then sprung forward through Jordan Obita, but Shaun Cummings' cross was a little overhit for his teammates in the middle.
The game was being played at a good pace, and McCarthy saved well from Andrew Bond after Reading were robbed of possession in a dangerous area. Robson-Kanu then turned very well and put a shot just wide down the other end.
The game then entered a phase where the referee had to be on his toes, and unfortunately we were denied what looked a very strong penalty claim on Jake Taylor.
Robson-Kanu was then booked for blocking a quick free kick, and our Welsh forward took a heavy challenge from behind that was unpunished but forced our number 9 to be substituted.
The home side's Tom Pett then had a half decent chance at the back post, before Sean Morrison headed goalwards but without enough power.
With so many infringements, it was hard to get any flow and the game was something of a battle and the half ended goalless.
Blackman had an early shot soon after the restart, then Pett really should have scored at the back post but sidefooted well over unchallenged.
The second period saw defences on top, and Obita was a victim of that pattern when he was crowded our inside the area after a good run.
Reading had the vast majority of possession, but McCarthy was forced into an excellent fingertip save as Bond curled one goalwards from 15 yards.
As the game went on Reading were enjoying the lion's share of possession, and Stacey did well to fashion a shooting chance for himself but struck over the bar.
Taylor then forced Bond into an important low save late on, and we pushed for a winner but Stevenage held firm.