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Match Reports

Bodvarsson rescues point for Royals

Fine late strike from Icelander denies Tigers victory

23 September 2017

A late strike from substitute Jon Dadi Bodvarsson stole a point for the Royals, just as it seemed Hull City would take all three points from the fixture following Fraizer Campbell's first half finish

  • Campbell stabs home to hand Hull first half lead
  • Aluko misses good opportunity to level before the break
  • Crossbar then Mannone deny Larsson from two well-struch set pieces 
  • Bodvarsson drills home a late equaliser to earn Royals a point

Royals boss Jaap Stam made one change from the eleven who earned a draw at Griffin Park last weekend, starting Roy Beerens for the first time in the league this season as Jon Dadi Bodvarsson dropped to the bench. Garath McCleary started up front in his 200th appearance for the club.

The first shot at goal came from the boot of a former Hull City man, Sone Aluko's drive charged down by a City man after Liam Kelly's strike from distance has dropped to the Royals' new signing 15 yards out.

The hosts were bossing things and with 20 minutes played Roy Beerens won a corner on the left which Kelly delivered delightfully into the middle for an unmarked Moore. He directed a header at goal but Allan McGregor was equal to it, stretching high to his right to pluck it out of the air.

At the other end, a dangerous recycled cross saw Bowen nearly pick out a man in a crowded Reading box with a whipped left-footed delivery that fizzed through the six yard box and behind for a goal kick.

But moments later, Hull were ahead. Seb Larsson threaded a perfect pass between the Reading defenders and Campbell read it, running in behind and getting enough on his toe poke to beat the onrushing Mannone and find the corner of the net for 1-0.

It should have been 1-1 soon after though. A lovely move down the left saw McCleary find Blackett who passed the ball into the run of Beerens bursting into the box down the left side. He crossed into the middle where Aluko won the race to get there, but stretching he could only arrow agonisingly wide from close range.

And although the Royals were enjoying most of the ball, they went into the dressing room behind at the break and without having really tested McGregor in the City goalmouth.

Half time | Reading 0-1 Hull City

Four minutes into the second period and a mistimed challenge from Moore conceded a free kick in a very dangerous position. Seb Larsson stepped up and swept the ball over the wall, past the routed Mannone and against the crossbar to Reading's relief.

Moments later, substitute Obita conceded a free kick in a similar spot on the edge of the Royals box with a late challenge on David Meyler. Larsson took it again and it took a sprawling save from Mannone to keep his deflected effort out this time.

Gunter and McCleary combined well down the right for the latter to cross onto the head of Aluko. He couldn't get enough of a glance on the header to trouble McGregor though.

The home side began to up the temp and Obtia's cross almost picked out the volleying left boot of Dave Edwards on the hour mark. And Jaap Stam threw Tiago Ilori on for Kelly in an attempt to change things.

Beerens was bundled over in the box but appeals for a penalty were cut short, before Van den Berg who had advanced into a midfield position sliced a speculative effort high over the bar from range.

Van den Berg won a corner when his drilled half-volley took a deflection just wide of the bottom left corner, then McCleary smashed a first time effort wide of the same post from 25 yards out.

Mannone had to be alert at his near post to save a thunderous effort from Dicko, but Tomori almost put the game to bed with a powerful run into the box and a shot that squirmed inches wide of the far post.

And Leonid Slutsky's side would rue those missed opportunities when Reading levelled with four minutes left. A header dropped for Aluko in midfield and the former Tiger played a first time ball over the top for Bodvarsson, who raced onto it and rifled low, wide of the dive of McGregor and inside the bottom right corner. A fine finish to draw the teams level.

Reading pressed for a winner as three minutes of injury time were announced, but Van den Berg arrowed over the bar after battling through two challenges to work a shooting opportunity.

And with the final kick of the game, the home side so nearly nicked it. A corner in from the left was scuffed goalwards by Bodvarsson and McCleary swivelled trying tmo stab it home from close range - but McGregor smothered it on the goalline in front of the Eamonn Dolan Stand.

Full time | Reading 1-1 Hull City

Reading: Mannone, Gunter (Bodvarsson 76), Blackett (Obita 51), McShane (c), Moore, Van den Berg, Edwards, Kelly (Ilori 66), Beerens, McCleary, Aluko.
Subs: Jaakkola, Evans, Swift, Clement.
Goals: Bodvarsson 86

Hull City: McGregor, Tomori, Dawson, Hector, Aina, Meyler, Larsson (Toral 78), Irvine, Kingsley, Bowen, Campbell (Dicko 65).   
Subs: Marshall, Mazuch, Henriksen, Clark, Diomande.
Goals: Campbell 27

Att: 15,749 (713 away)

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