A look back to three home wins over the BluesThis Saturday, Brian McDermott’s men host Birmingham City in the Sky Bet Championship, and the Royals will be looking for their third league win in successive games.
The Blues just edge it when it comes to past meetings with the Royals, having won the last three games between the two sides. Although looking back to past encounters at Madejski Stadium, it’s Reading who have the advantage with three wins and a draw out of the last six.
Below, we give you highlights from three of our most recent home victories…
Reading 2-0 Birmingham, Sky Bet Championship, 28th September 2013
In an early season encounter against the Blues, two goals either side of half-time from Danny Guthrie secured victory for a Royals side who were hoping to bounce straight back to the Premier League come the end of the season.
Birmingham had a smattering of chances early on through Chris Burke, but Royals’ stopper Alex McCarthy was on hand to palm away any efforts that threatened the home goal. With just over half an hour played in the game, Guthrie put his side ahead when his free-kick wide left drifted through a crowd of bodies, evading everyone and finding its way into the bottom right corner of Darren Randolph’s goal.
After the restart, chances came and went for Blues’ Tom Adeyemi and Nikola Zigic, but with 15 minutes left to play, another set-piece by Guthrie was to be Birmingham’s undoing. Randolph did get a glove to the ball but from 20 yards out, his precision free-kick looped over the wall and off the left upright and over the line, securing the three points for Reading and their fifth league win of the season.
Reading 1-0 Birmingham, npower Championship, 6th November 2011
Having seen an eight game unbeaten run come to an end against Forest earlier in the week, Brian McDermott’s Reading were looking to bounce straight back from defeat. A second-half goal from Noel Hunt gave the Royals a much needed three points to take them up to 14th in the table, level on points with the Blues.
Opposition stopper Boaz Myhill had to be on form in the first-half to deny Kaspars Gorkss and Joseph Mills who both had good efforts saved by the Welshman’s gloves. Chris Woods bared the brunt of Birmingham’s attacks but throughout the first 45 he was unable to beat Adam Federici in the Reading goal.
In the second-half instalment of a fiery encounter, Jobi McAnuff and Alex Pearce both had chances to break the deadlock, but with 15 minutes remaining, good work from McAnuff wide right allowed the winger to deliver his cross, and with what was probably his first touch of the game, substitute Noel Hunt converted for the Royals inside the area to ensure the three points were staying at Madejski Stadium. It wasn’t known to many then, but those points would tally towards 89 at the end of the season, which would ultimately send Reading to the Premier League as champions.
Reading 2-1 Birmingham, Barclays Premier League, 22nd March 2008
The Royals’ third win in four games lifted them five points above the relegation zone with seven left to play, and two goals from unlikely hero Andrey Bikey bookended the game against fellow strugglers Birmingham.
Reading were unlucky to take the lead early on when Stephen Hunt’s long range effort stung the crossbar, but defender Bikey made amends for that missed opportunity when following a left-sided free-kick from John Oster, he towered above all the rest to plant his header into the far right side of Maik Taylor’s goal. Birmingham did hit back through Mauro Zarate, the striker turned in from five yards out off of Mikael Forssell’s centre. But with just over ten minutes to go in the tie, Bikey again delivered the goods.
Shane Long had won a foul 25 yards out on the right, and from Nicky Shorey’s in-swinging delivery, the Cameroon international glanced home to secure victory for Steve Coppell’s side in this relegation six-pointer. Ultimately it wasn’t enough to keep the Royals’ Premier League boat afloat, and both Birmingham and Reading were relegated from the top flight come the end of the season.