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Picking up points at Preston’s expense

27 April 2016

Four home wins over North End...

Our final home fixture of 2015/16 falls this Saturday, as Preston North End make their way to Berkshire.

We have a good points-return from these Madejski Stadium meetings with the Lilywhites - here are four of them to jog the memory...

Reading 2-1 Preston
5th April 2011, npower Championship

Brian McDermott’s side were pushing for a play-off place and promotion back to the Premier League when the Lilywhites last suffered a defeat on ou patch.

Even though Reading were comfortably on top in the early stages, there was a hint of fortune about Jimmy Kebe's opener, as Shane Long's cross from the right struck makeshift Preston right-back Barry Nicholson.  The ball looped over a helpless Iain Turner and into the path of Kebe, who bundled it home.

But a relegation-threatened Preston were not going to lie down, and came out in the second half fired up as they searched for an equaliser.  And just seven minutes into the second period the Lilywhites had their goal, and if Reading’s goal seemed fortunate, it was nothing to Preston’s reply. Fulham loanee Eddie Johnson flicked a Keith Treacy header against the post with the ball eventually rolling in off Alex McCarthy's back to level the scores.

But McDermott's substitution was pivotal when Hal-Robson Kanu was introduced to the fray on the 81st minute; the forward found the winner just two minutes after taking to the field. The Welsh international’s shot flew past Turner to win the game for the Royals and consolidate the position amongst the play-off positions.

Reading 4-1 Preston
2nd May 2010, Coca-Cola Championship

In their last game of the season, the Royals swept visitors Preston aside at Madejski Stadium in impressive style as they put four goals past opposing goalkeeper Stephen Henderson.

The Royals took an early lead, through Jimmy Kebe, as the forward picked up the ball and made a fine solo run before slotting past Henderson to put the Royals 1-0 up, before Jamaican international Jobi McAnuff doubled the advantage with the game barely quarter on an hour old.

But the visitors were showing signs of life: Ross Wallace’s effort struck the post for the visitors as they looked to respond, and then after the hour he went a step better as he fired a stunning 35-yard free kick which Adam Federici couldn’t keep out.

Eights minutes later however, Gylfi Sigurdsson restored the two-goal lead when he slotted home after the ball fell kindly for him when Kebe's fierce effort rebounded the way of the Icelander, before sub Simon Church put the nail in the coffin in stoppage-time.

Reading 2-1 Preston
25th February 2006, Coca-Cola Championship

In a season when Reading set all sorts of records, it was actually visiting Preston that could claim to be the form team: the Lilywhites themselves were on a 22-match unbeaten run, while Steve Coppell’s Royals had lost their last outing against Luton for just a second defeat in their 35 league matches to date.

Play-off finalists the season before, Preston had an experienced side and in a real battle at Madejski Stadium, Reading took the lead through a rare error from Preston goalie Carlo Nash.  The glovesman spilled a whipped cross by Bobby Convey, which ultimately allowed Steve Sidwell to apply the final touch to the scramble.

The visitors were determined to test the Royals' resolve and merely two minutes later they had levelled through Callum Davidson, who fired in a free-kick for the Lilywhites.  Few games over this historic season tested the Royals like this clash, but yet again Coppell’s side came up with an answer as Leroy Lita came off the bench to net a decisive goal in the 45th minute.  The striker latched onto a Kevin Doyle pass to drill in what would prove to be the winner.

In a tight second half, the Royals held onto their lead to continue their impressive run of form, consolidate their place at the top of the league and reestablish some winning momentum in a season that would go on to break new ground.

Reading 3-1 Preston
14th September 2004, Coca-Cola Championship

Steve Coppell, enjoying his first full season in charge of Reading, welcomed Championship rivals Preston to Berkshire in the early weeks of 2004/05 - and with the game just 11 minutes old, Dave Kitson opened the scoring. Preston goalkeeper Andy Lonergan failed to clear effectively, and when the ball dropped invitingly to the forward in the box, he needed no second invitation to bury a finish.

In the latter stages of and evenly contested opening half, Nicky Forster doubled the homes side’s lead when he latched onto a superb through ball from Paul Brooker.  Forster, one-on-one with the keeper, took his shot early and fired home from the edge of the box to put Reading in control.

Just as it seemed Reading would be heading into half-time with a two goal lead, Northern Ireland striker David Healy put Preston back in the game.  Healy whipped in a good free-kick past Marcus Hahnemann to set up an interesting second half.

In the second period, and after enduring a few spells of Preston pressure, the Royals sealed victory with five minutes to play when Forster completed his brace.  The striker produced a fine individual run which tore into the Preston defence, before finding a finish to hand Reading a deserved three points. 

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