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Match Reports

Report | Addicks emerge victorious in RG2

Royals beaten 2-0 by Charlton Athletic in feisty encounter

31 August 2019

Reading were defeated 2-0 by high-flying Charlton Athletic on Saturday afternoon at Madejski Stadium.

A deflected long-range effort from Conor Gallagher put the visitors ahead early in the second half, before a late penalty from Lyle Taylor ensured the points went back to The Valley on Saturday evening.

Reading had a flurry of chances themselves, but a combination of goalkeeper, Dillon Phillips and the woodwork kept the Royals at bay on a frustrating afternoon at home.

The team news saw Tom McIntyre start for the first time in a competitive match at Madejski Stadium, with George Puşcaş returning to the starting in XI in the only other change from the Royals' last league encounter, up at Huddersfield Town last weekend.

Reading started on the front foot, backed by a vocal following at Madejski Stadium on Saturday. A succession of corners from John Swift eventually found the head of Lucas João in the box, whose glanced effort bounced wide of the post.

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But Charlton carried a potent threat going forward, as Jonathan Leko made headway into the box shortly after, cutting back and forcing a low save from Rafael. The ball was lashed across goal, Reading half-cleared into the path of Sam Field, who rounded off the attack by sending the ball into the Eamonn Dolan Stand.

The skies darkened as clouds gathered over Madejski Stadium, but João almost lit up the ground as a John Swift free-kick was headed in the air by McIntyre, wih the striker's attempted acrobatic overhead kick narrowly beating the upright.

The heavens soon opened in Berkshire, with the floodlights having to go on in mid-afternoon to ensure the players had good visibility.

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But Reading continued to look threatening, and the woodwork denied the Royals the lead when a Swift pass out wide to Omar Richards was arrowed into the six-yard box, which Puşcaş strained to reach, bouncing into the turf and off the crossbar midway through the first period.

It was a tight tussle between the midfields throughout, as the physicality of Charlton's players diced with the trickery and guile of Ejaria and Swift, with a real battle for supremacy in ever-worsening conditions.

As a result, chances began to become fewer and farther between as the half progressed, with neither side able to dominate as the interval approached.

The Royals kept the pressure up when they could, however, and Liam Moore sparked a late attack with a clever ball inside to Ejaria from the right touchline. Ejaria threaded through to João, who laid off to Puşcaş, turning his way into space and firing just wide.

The Romanian would be played through once more in stoppage time, going one-on-one with Dillon Phillips, although the goalkeeper would rush off his line to narrow the angle and save well on that occasion.

An even half in all at Madejski Stadium, with the Royals finishing with a flourish as they went in goalless at the break.

Half time | Reading 0-0 Charlton Athletic

Only five minutes into the second half against against the run of play. The ball was threaded through midfield into the path of Leko, who turned away from his man 25 yards out, with a deflection on his shot taking it beyond Rafael and giving the visitors a surprise lead at Madejski Stadium.

Reading sprung into life after going behind, immediately taking control of possession and trying to find a quick leveller at Madejski Stadium.

The Addicks were content to play on the counter-attack, breaking at pace when they got possession. Leko looked to add to his and Charlton's tally when he found space in the box, shooting for the near post but only finding the side netting.

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Connor Gallagher would also test Rafael, lashing a powerful strike from range that the goalkeeper went to full stretch to parry away.

Yakou Méïté and Lucas Boyé were both sent on for the Royals to add fresh attacking impetus going forward, with Reading in need of an equaliser. Full-backs, Andy Yiadom and Omar Richards made way - leaving four strikers on the pitch for the final 25 minutes.

The counter-attacking display from the Addicks showed why Lee Bowyer's side had started the season unbeaten, with Gallagher going close again for the visitors when he broke at pace and bent wide of Rafael's post.

Despite a swathe of Reading pressure, the Addicks were awarded a penalty as they broke quickly from a Reading free-kick. Chuks Aneke, off the bench for the visitors, made his way into the box and was bundled over, with the referee pointing straight to the spot.

Lyle Taylor stood over the spot kick for Charlton, taking a leisurely stroll up to the ball and sending Rafael the wrong way to double the lead for the visitors.

Josh Barrett was sent on for the final stages, as Reading tried to respond and pull a goal back at Madejski Stadium.

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Ejaria was brought down on the edge of the box, with Swift bending a trademark free-kick over the wall - although Phillips was there to make a flying save. A Méïté ball into the box followed shortly after, with Michael Morrison's attempted tap-in going behind for a goal kick.

It wasn't Reading's afternoon in RG2, but there is now time to recover during the international break, before going again in a fortnight's time at Middlesbrough.

Full time | Reading 0-2 Charlton Athletic

Reading: Rafael, Yiadom (Boyé 65), Morrison, Moore (c), McIntyre, Richards (Méïté 65), Pelé (Barrett 81), Ejaria, Swift, João, Puşcaş.
Subs: Virgínia, Rinomhota, Adam, Osho.
Yellow: Pelé

Charlton Athletic: Phillips, Purrington, Lockyer, Pearce (c), Solly, Cullen, Field (Pratley 74), Gallagher, Williams (Aneke 63), Taylor, Leko (Hemed 81).
Subs: Amos, Sarr, Oztumer, Lapslie.
Goals: Leko (51), Taylor (80, PEN)
Yellow: Field, Pratley, Gallagher

Attendance: 16,906 (2,144 away)
Referee: Mr J Gillett


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