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Match Reports

Ipswich vs Reading

4 February 2017

Jordon and Jordan earn Royals Portman Rd point

The Royals twice came from behind to win a point at Portman Road this afternoon, thanks to second half goals from debutant Jordon Mutch and an absolute firecraker from Jordan Obita.

The lively Tom Lawrence had handed Mick McCarthy's men a half-time lead with a breakaway goal just before the break, but Grabban squared the ball for Mutch to slot home the equaliser before the hour mark.

Town were ahead again though when a pass from midfield was threaded into Lawrence who slid the ball under Al Habsi - but Obita wound up a stunning 25-yard drive to secure Reading a valuable and hard-earned point in Suffolk.

Jaap Stam handed a first team debut to loan acquisition Jordon Mutch who started in midfield in place of George Evans. Yann Kermorgant returned to the eleven, while new signings Adi Popa, Reece Oxford and Lewis Grabban were named as substitutes.

The first half chance fell the hosts' way when Josh Emmanuel beat Jordan Obita on the right side to dart into the box along the byline. He tried a low sidefooted pass into the six yard box but it was far too close to Ali Al Habsi who gathered it in well low at his near post.

Reading were struggling to find their normal fluency and a good sliding challenge from Blackett charged down a Tom Lawrence strike after the Ipswich forward had twisted and turned into a shooting position with a quarter of an hour played.

Emmanuel provided a good inswinging cross from the right that Knudsen glanced wide in the middle, before Ipswich were forced into an early change - Cole Skuse being replaced by Grant Ward.

At the other end, Mutch found McCleary down the line on the left and his low cross was met by Swift in the middle who under pressure from a defender could only direct his first time effort over the bar.

Then on the half hour mark, Blackett's ball forward, looking for Swift on the edge of the Town box, was nodded down to Kermorgant who tried a first time placed half-volley that Bialkowski was down well to save.

Huws intercepted a Kermorgant clearance and struck a sweet effort from 25 yards that Al Habsi did well to gather cleanly. Then Obita hooked a left-footed effort at goal only to see it charged down by Emmanuel in the Town box.

With seven minutes of the first half remaining, it took some sharp work from Al Habsi to deny Mick McCarthy's men the opening goal. Huws played a ball in behind Williams for Knudsen to burst onto, but the Royals keeper was off his line to get a vital touch to clear off the Ipswich man's toes.

But two minutes before half-time, the home side took the lead. Breaking from a Reading corner, Tom Lawrence jinked inside and out before taking aim and rifling high past a helpless Al Habsi and in off the underside of the crossbar.

There was time for Reading to come close to an equaliser, Kelly hooking a right-footed effort just over the bar from the right side of the penalty box. And there was also time for debutant Taylor to come within a whisker of making it 2-0, heading inches wide of the right post when he connected with a corner from the right.

Half-time: Ipswich 1-0 Reading

Stam introduced Lewis Grabban at half-time, replacing John Swift - with Danny Williams reverting to a central midfield position and McCleary adopting the wing back role.

But the lively Lawrence was the first to take a shot at goal, arcing an effort past the dive of Al Habsi and brushing the left upright on its way wide.

Reading, were level though, thanks to a goal from the debutant. Reading broke when Blackett's ball out from the back was helped on by Kermorgant and Mutch took the ball into his stride to power forward.

He fed Grabban on the left and Grabban returned the favour with a low cross to pick Mutch out in the middle who had time to pick his spot from 12 yards out, sending Bialkowski the wrong way to slot home low into the left corner.

Lawrence's direct running had Reading scrambling at the back and his shot pinballed off a couple of Reading bodies and was eventually deflected behind for a corner. Three inswinging set pieces were survived as Ipswich piled men into the six yard box and parity remained.

An overhead kick from Kermorgant in midfield smacked into Berra's face and bizarrely set McGoldrick away on the hour. But a good save from Al Habsi kept it at 1-1.

Not for long though. A threaded throughball from inside Ipswich's own half found Lawrence scuttling in behind the Reading back line. And he finished well, sliding the ball under Al Habsi's body for 2-1.

Taylor had to glance a McCleary cross wide of his own goal with 20 minutes left on the clock as Kelly looked to volley home in the middle. And Reading were bossing possession in the final stages without finding the cutting edge needed to open Ipswich up.

Until a fantastic strike from Jordan Obita. A short corner out on the right saw McCleary's outswinging cross cleared out to Obita who lined up a ferocious 25-yard drive that fizzed past Bialkowski's dive and nestled into the bottom left corner.

The Royals came close to a winner when Grabban set up McCleary for a cross from the right and he picked out Kermorgant who teed up Mutch, but the midfielder's shot was charged down by a sliding Ipswich body and Kermorgant's toed follow-up bobbled wide.

A well worked set piece between Lawrence and McGoldrick was headed clear by Moore in the middle as four minutes of injury time was signalled. And two brilliant pieces of defending from Kermorgant held a late Ipswich charge off. And the points were to be shared.

Full-time: Ipswich 2-2 Reading

Ipswich: Subs: Gerken, Moore, Sears, Pitman.
Bialkowksi, Emmanuel, Chambers, Taylor, Berra, Knudsen, Skuse (Ward 20), Diagouraga (Spence 81), Huws (Bishop 81), Lawrence, McGoldrick.
Goals: Lawrence (43, 61)
Yellow: Knudsen

Reading: Al-Habsi, Gunter (c), Obita, Moore, Blackett, Williams, Mutch, Swift (Grabban HT), Kelly (Evans 82), McCleary, Kermorgant.
Subs: Jaakkola, Oxford, Beerens, Meite, Popa.
Goals: Mutch (52), Obita (78)
Yellow: Grabban, Evans
Att: 15,091 (558 away)

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