A look back at our recent wins against Fulham
On Saturday, Fulham pay a visit to Madejski Stadium in the Sky Bet Championship, with Slavisa Jokanovic’s men currently lying 20th in the table, seven points behind the Royals.
In the past, the two teams have been largely separated by their respective divisions; only nine meetings have taken place between the two sides in the last ten years. Reading have come out on top in four of those matches, drawing once, and three of those wins came courtesy of an outing in the Premier League. Below, we take a closer look at those four most recent victories…
Reading 3-0 Fulham, Sky Bet Championship, 13th September 2014
This was a game that rather disproved the theory that ‘there are no easy games at this level’, although things were made easier for the hosts when Matt Smith was given his marching orders for what referee Mike Jones deemed a reckless challenge on Hope Akpan.
Reading did find the net before this however. Glenn Murray struck his header goalbound of Obita’s left sided cross 15 minutes into the game, and then the on loan Crystal Palace forward bagged himself a brace shortly after half-time by converting home a corner from the same provider – the perfect way to mark your debut in front of the Reading faithful. Nick Blackman then wrapped things up by rounding stopper Gabor Kiraly to make the score 3-0 to Nigel Adkins’ side in front of an 18,790-strong crowd.
Fulham 2-4 Reading, Barclays Premier League, 4th May 2013
Although the Royals had just had their relegation to the Championship confirmed, this game was a stark reminder just what a Reading team is capable of when playing in the Premier League. Having scored four goals that afternoon, Academy graduate Hal Robson-Kanu was the recipient of the first after he calmly slotted home from 12 yards past Mark Schwarzer.
With just under quarter of an hour gone in the second-half, the Welsh international marked his second of the game with a well taken finish, curling into the bottom left corner when McCleary’s blocked effort fell kindly to him. The hosts did pull a goal back with Bryan Ruiz, but five minutes later super-sub Adam Le Fondre was on hand to increase Reading’s lead back to the two goals, however the Costa Rican was again a pest in the Royals’ side as the Cottagers were not yet ready to give in, making the score 3-2. With seven minutes left on the clock, Jem Karacan took matters into his own hands and smashed his shot low and hard down to Schwarzer’s left, securing four goals for the Royals that afternoon and giving the travelling fans something to take away from their visit to London.
Reading 1-0 Fulham, FA Barclays Premiership, 14th April 2007
Stephen Hunt again proved his value to Reading with his tenacious energy and spirit. With 15 minutes past in this encounter, Kevin Doyle stood the ball up from the right and his Republic of Ireland teammate was free in the area to pounce at the near post to slot the ball past Fulham stopper Antti Niemi to give Steve Coppell’s side a valuable lead early on.
Brynjar Gunnarsson came close to doubling the lead after a cut back from the right, but the busy Niemi somehow managed to palm his effort over the bar. Some smart saves from Marcus Hahnemann and the offside flag stopped Fulham pressing for an equaliser, but when the game was done, Reading were sitting in eighth in the Premier League, a position they would go on to finish at the end of the season.
Fulham 0-1 Reading, FA Barclays Premiership, 25th November 2006
After having just talked about the reverse fixture this season, the opening match at Craven Cottage followed a similar route. With just over quarter of an hour gone in the game, Glen Little threaded the ball central into Doyle, and he weaved his way past the Fulham defenders before being brought down six yards out by Fulham’s Ian Pearce.
The referee rightly took the decision to send Pearce off, and from the resulting penalty kick, the Republic of Ireland international gave Niemi the eyes before sending the stopper the wrong way, giving the usually unemotional face of Steve Coppell something to smile about. Victory saw the Royals climb to a temporary sixth place that afternoon, although Bolton’s victory in the late kick-off saw them slide back into seventh, still ahead of Liverpool and Everton however, who occupied the places directly below them.