Williams wonder goal earns Royals winThe Royals picked up three valuable points at home this afternoon and ring in the new reign of Brian McDermott with a win against Blackburn - a first win over Rovers for nearly 30 years!
With McDermott's second spell as boss only 11 minutes old, Danny Williams scampered onto a flick on from Hal Robson-Kanu and he thundered a quite incredible first time effort into the top left corner from a narrowing angle. And the Royals could have had more, Jason Steele saving from Williams, Blackman, McCleary and twice denying Ola John only minutes after McDermott had introduced the lively winger. But Williams' wonder goal proved enough.
New Royals boss Brian McDermott made two changes to his first side, starting Hal Robson-Kanu and the fit again Stephen Quinn in place of the injured Anton Ferdinand and Andrew Taylor. Quinn was making his first appearance in the side since a win at Bristol City secured in mid-September.
Blackburn's first chance came from a Craig Conway cross that whistled dangerously across the face of Jonathan Bond's goal but beyond Rhodes at the far post. Then at the other end, Vydra bustled his way forward and the ball almost ricocheted into the path of Robson-Kanu before Henley came across to snuff out the danger.
With 8 minutes on the clock, Fode Koita came close to scoring the opening goal, connecting powerfully with a free kick from the right but directing his header inches over the bar to Reading's relief.
Three minutes later, the deadlock was broken. And for the second game running, the words 'WHAT A GOAL!' could be exclaimed. Hal Robson-Kanu won a flick on to allow Danny Williams to scamper in behind the Blackburn line down the right and with little other option he let rip with a quite stunning right-footed effort which soared past the sprawling Steele and into the top left corner. An individual effort from nothing that gave McDermott's men the lead.
Hector muscled Rhodes out of contention as another dangerous cross came in from the left, before Norwood was adjudged to have fouled Akpan on the edge of the area, conceding a free kick in a very dangerous area. But Ben Marshall curled the set piece high and wide of the top corner.
Norwood delivered a good free kick at the other end on the half hour mark which Duffy did well to glance behind for a corner, then Williams took aim from range once more only for it to deflect wide and win another corner on the right.
With ten minutes of the half remaining, Olsson was found on the overlap down the left but his cross was scuffed into the side netting. Then Akpan forced Bond into a neat save with a well-struck effort from 22 yards out, Gunter hacking the ball clear after his keeper had pushed it to the right of the target.
Marshall's deep delivery was glanced behind for a goal kick as Conway charged in at the far post to no avail, before two minutes of injury time elapsed the the Royals headed in one goal to the good.
Half-time: Reading 1 Blackburn 0
Lucas Piazon replaced Vydra at the break, and the Royals had the first sight of goal at the start of the second period. Williams took aim again from distance and this time Steele got down well to his left to palm the ball away and concede a corner.
A lovely attacking move involving Robson-Kanu, McCleary and Williams allowed HRK to fizz a low cross into the Blackburn box but no-one was there to get a decisive touch to it and turn it home.
Another slick move soon after saw Piazon flick the ball into the path of Robson-Kanu who looked to place an effort from distance. Steele smothered it well low to his right though.
A surging run from Williams down the middle of the pitch ended with him stabbing the ball to the feet of McCleary who drilled a low effort towards the bottom left corner that Steele did well to parry.
Reading were showing a real determination to hold onto their lead and add to it if possible, although Rovers reminded the home side of the attacking threat they posed when Rhodes arrowed over from just inside the area.
And with 25 minutes remaining, it took a good clearance from Stephen Quinn to deny Blackburn an equaliser when a neat exchange of passes between Rhodes, Koita and Conway himself had threatened to open up the Reading defence.
Soon after, Ola John was introduced and with his first touch he squeezed his way in between two defenders and forced a very good save from Steele with a low drilled effort towards the near post. Then again, John was fed by Blackman out on the left and he weaved his way past one man and repeated the feat, driving low at the near post only for Steele to match it once more.
Again Steele had to guard his near post as Blackman arrowed an effort towards goal from the tightest of angles. Blackman then produced a deft flick to send Piazon on his way into the box and the Brazilian was only stopped by two defenders bundling him over.
Norwood saw a deflected shot fizz wide but despite dominating the Royals only led by the one goal and Hanley hooked a late effort goalwards which Bond did well to gather into his chest as Rovers resorted to route one.
Four minutes of added time were signalled and Quinn did well to clear the ball as Rhodes looked to pounce on a loose ball inside the Royals box, then in the dying embers Bond saved well with his legs from Koita at the far post. Bur nothing was going to deny Brian a win in his homecoming.
Full-time: Reading 1 Blackburn 0
Reading: Bond, Gunter, Quinn, McShane (c), Hector, Norwood, Williams, McCleary (John 69), Blackman, Robson-Kanu, Vydra (Piazon HT).
Subs: Al Habsi, Keown, Cooper, Fernandez, Sa.
Blackburn: Steele, Henley, Olsson, Hanley (c), Duffy, Akpan, Guthrie (Williamson 70), Conway (Brown 84), Marshall (Lawrence 69), Koita, Rhodes.
Subs: Eastwood, Spurr, Kilgallon, Taylor.
Yellow: Akpan, Duffy, Henley, Hanley.
Referee: Mr P Bankes
Att: 16,529 (795 away)