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Match Reports

Brentford (h) 250415

25 April 2015

Royals stung by Bees

  • Judge breaks deadlock after 8 mins
  • Tarkowski heads home a second
  • Button saves well from HRK and Cox
  • Toral hits post late on
Reading's Madejski Stadium season came to a close this afternoon and play-off chasing Brentford earned an important win in the context of their season with goals from Alan Judge and James Tarkowski.

The Royals had their chances and David Button was called upon to save from Hal Robson-Kanu and substitute Simon Cox, but Adam Federici needed to be at his best to deny Gray, Toral and Judge in injury time as Brentford ran out relatively comfortable victors.

The Royals will now go to Rotherham and Derby in the final week of the campaign, but Madejski Stadium can now draw a curtain on this season and look to a better league campaign in 2015-16.

Reading: Federici, Gunter, Obita, Pearce (c), Hector, Norwood, Williams, Chalobah (Cox 66), McCleary (Stacey 66), Robson-Kanu (Blackman 85), Mackie.
Subs: Andersen, Cooper, Akpan, Karacan.
Yellow: Norwood, McCleary, Obita.

Brentford: Button, Bidwell, Dean, Douglas (c), Odubajo, Judge, Gray (Dallas 68), Diagouraga, Pritchard (Smith 83), Jota (Toral 68), Tarkowski.
Subs: Craig, McCormack, Bonham, O'Connell.

Att: 20,048 (3,457 away)

First Half

The first chance of the game fell to Garath McCleary. Robson-Kanu controlled a pass into his feet on the edge of the box, turned to feed McCleary who took a touch and then volleyed it at goal but Button was right behind it.

But Brentford soon found their stride and opened the scoring after only eight minutes. An Andre Gray cross from the right was turned home from close range by Alan Judge and the Bees had the lead they were looking for.

Jamie Mackie's low cross was intercepted, then Gunter floated one to the far post just too high for the head of Hal Robson-Kanu. And Norwood's short free kick to MAckie was glanced inches wide by the head of Chalobah as it sailed dangerously into the Brentford after a quarter of an hour.

It could so easily have been 1-1 moments later when a low Gunter cross from the right was missed by the right boot of Robson-Kanu but met by McCleary, who could only arrow it high over the bar from 12 yards out.

Williams delivered a lovely reverse pass into the path of Mackie, in space down the right. He scurried into the Brentford box but powered a shot wide of the near post.

Then a nice move for the Royals broke down allowing Andre Gray to break and he found the space to shoot from 20 yards. Norwood did enough to deflect it wide, then Douglas' aimless header bounced harmlessly into Federici's hands from the corner.

Obita burst down the left but his cross could only be stabbed wide by Mackie as the Royals continued to create chances without capitalising on one of them.

With half an hour gone, Chalobah rose in the area to nod the ball down for McCleary, who hooked a volley at goal only to see it charged down by two Brentford bodies. Appeals for handball were dismissed until Robson-Kanu used his arm to control the ball seconds later, when the referee blew his whistle to award the visitors a free kick.

Norwood's deep corner was deflected high into the air and towards goal, but Button collected it under pressure from Robson-Kanu on his goalline, and Brentford so nearly had a second when Alex Pritchard's shot took a slight deflection wide of the bottom left corner.

Endeavour from both sides but no further clear cut chances, and Mark Warburton's men went in 1-0 up at the interval.

Second half

The first chance of the second half fell Brentford's way when Gray turned Hector down the right and sped away from him to bear down on a one-on-one with Federici. Federici, just as he did late in the game in midweek, saved brilliantly with his right leg to keep the ball out and Reading survived an early second half scare.

A low Williams drive deflected across the Brentford box but no blue and white hooped body was there to turn it goalwards.

Then Reading did have the ball in the back of the net, only to see it ruled out for offside. Norwood's drive spun into the chest of Robson-Kanu who's drilled effort was parried by Button only as far as Chalobah, who passed it home from an offside position.

With an hour gone, McCleary slid a lovely ball into the overlapping Gunter who, in behind the back line, cut a cross into the middle but a Brentford boot got to it seconds before Robson-Kanu could.

Then Obita's cross to the near post was almost met by Robson-Kanu but his flick cannoned off his marker and skidded behind for a corner.

Steve Clarke was preparing a double change, but Jack Stacey and Simon Cox's introduction came after James Tarkowski thundered a header home from an Alan Judge free kick to double the Bees' lead.

Reading pressed for a way back into it. Stacey slid a ball into Mackie then got it back on the edge of the area, but just as he was about to shoot the ball took a bobble and escaped him.

Then Cox won a tackle and raced through on goal, but again the ball held up as he was about to shoot from a similar position and Button parried a powerful drive against Cox and behind for a goal kick.

With nine minutes left, Stacey broke the offside trap and scampered down the right side of the Brentford box. His shot was easily saved by Button this time though and again Reading were thwarted.

Jon Toral almost added another for the visitors, his low drive tipped onto the base of the right post by Federici in the last few minutes and then Federici saved an injury time effort from Judge to save the home side from conceding another.

But Brentford had done enough to keep their play-off charge very much alive.

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