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Match Reports

Battle goes to the final day after dismal defeat

Four goals in the final 20 minutes earned Ipswich a comprehensive scoreline and left Reading in real danger of relegation going into the final day of the season...

28 April 2018

A dismal end to the final home game of the campaign means the Royals will go into the last game of the season fighting for their lives at the bottom of the Championship tabl

  • Reading dominate large parts of the game as Ipswich put bodies behind the ball
  • Waghorn stabs home with 20 minutes remaining
  • Spence drills home to double the visitors' lead
  • Two injury time goals add gloss to the scoreline and ruin Reading's goal difference.

 Reading began brightly, a Liam Kelly ball over the top nearly finding Mo Barrow but the offside flag and an onrishing Bartosz Bialkowski thwarted the early attack.

A nice exchange down the right saw Chris Gunter win a corner which Aluko swung in, but Bialkowski was there to punch clear of Moore's head before winning a free kick for a foul by the defender in challenging for the header.

Reading came clsoe again with 20 minutes gone, Aluko delivering a corner from the right once more, Bodvarsson flicking it on and it ricocheted to the feet of Kermorgant whose left footed stab deflected off an Ipswich body and behind for another corner.

Kermorgant combined with Bodvarsson to good effect next, the Icelander chesting his strike partner's ball down and then hooking an effort goalwards from 20 yards out. It took a deflection once more and sailed just wide.

Against the run of play, Town nearly took the lead. Mustapha Carayol unleashed a stunning 25 yard effort that forced Mannone into a smart save at full stretch to his left.

But the Royals should have been 1-0 up when Barrow escaped his man down the right and played an early low cross into the box where Bodvarsson looked to tap home but failed to cleanly connect.

Waghorn jinked his way into a shooting position from the right side of the box, but his rising effort was calmly held by Mannone. But on the counter attack from an Ipswich attack, Barrow darted into the area but lifted his shot too high to trouble Bialkowski.

Aluko tested the Town keeper's handling with a left-footed effort from range, but after Kermorgant stooped to direct a header into the arms of Bialkowski in injury time, the two teams headed in level at the break. 

Half time | Reading 0-0 Ipswich Town

An injury to Omar Richards saw Tommy Elphick thrust back into the action in a reshuffle at the back. At the other end, Bodvarsson came close to breaking the deadlock when he flicked on a near post header from Aluko's corner and Bialkowski had to hack it off his goalline to keep the game goalless.

Reading came close to unlocking a stubborn Town defence soon after, but Swift's throughball towards Kermorgant was just cut out by a sliding tackle from Knudsen.

Aluko came close himself just before the hour, controlling a fizzed pass into him from Swift and cutting inside from thwe right of the area - but his shot didn't have the power to trouble Bialkowski.

A slick move on the edge of the box saw Bodvarsson and Kermorgant combine, the latter dinking a ball into the box for Barrow but he could only direct a very difficult chance over the crossbar.

Kelly found some space in the middle of the park five minutes later and his threaded throughball found Gunter bursting towards the touchline. But Bialkowski intercepted his cross with ease.

Ipswich were putting bodies behind the ball in the hope of catching Reading on the counter attack, but Barrow's floated cross to the far post found Aluko unmarked - but his scuffed volley bounced across the face of goal and wide.

And the Royals nearly broke the deadlock on the break themselves, Aluko and Kelly leading the counter attack before Bodvarsson took it up on the right and centred for Swift whose half-volley was tipped over the bar by Bialkowski.

But Ipswich stole the lead with 20 minutes left. Jordan Spence picked up a loose ball and passed it into Waghorn, who pivoted and turned the ball home from eight yards out.

A Barrow cross from the left deflected up off an Ipswich leg and dropped agonisingly wide of the back post as the Royals looked for a way back into the game.

But Bryan Klug's side made it 2-0 when Spence drilled low through the legs of Mannone to leave the Royals in real trouble.

The two substitutes, Chris Martin and Sam Smith combined, for the latter to direct a left footed effort that deflected wide.

And Ipswich rubbed salt into the wound when they scored a third in injury time, Freddie Sears capitalising on a mistake at the back to nod home into an open net for 3-0.

And it was 4-0 moments later as Callum Connolly dinked the ball over Mannone to send the travelling fans into raptures.

The Royals go into the final game of the season far from secure of their second tier status and needing a result at promotion-chasing Cardiff City on the last day.

Full time | Reading 0-4 Ipswich Town

Reading: Mannone, Gunter (c), Richards (Elphick 48), Moore, Ilori, Kelly, Swift, Aluko, Barrow, Kermorgant (Smith 82), Böðvarsson (Martin 79).
Subs: Jaakkola, Van den Berg, Edwards, Rinomhota.

Ipswich Town:
Bialkowski, Knudsen (c), Webster, Waghorn, Spence, Connolly, Nydam (Gleeson 77), Kenlock, Carayol (Sears 44), Folami (Cotter 89), Woolfenden.
Subs: Celina, Crowe, Morris, McLoughlin.
Goals: Waghorn 72, Spence 79, Sears 90, Connolly 90.

Att: 17,683 (1,233 away)

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