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As it happened | Reading 2-1 Preston North End

How the action unfolded at Madejski Stadium

30 March 2019


  • Royals face Preston at Madejski Stadium
  • Méïté fires Reading ahead, Barrow doubles the lead
  • Stockley pulls one back for Preston in stoppage time
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key moments

Updated at 16:52 (UK)


FULL TIME | Reading 2-1 Preston North End

Preston's 12-game unbeaten run comes to an end - with three vital points for the Royals. URZ!



Preston pull one back late on, as Jayden Stockley bundles in from close range. 2-1.


Into added time now, and there will be four minutes of it.


Final change from the Royals, as Ovie Ejaria makes way for Callum Harriott.


Ben Pearson's afternoon is over for Preston, his injury has got the better of him and the visitors will be finishing with ten men, having used all three substitutes.


Good chance for the visitors.

They play it long and it drops for Paul Gallagher in the box, who rather lashes at his effort and it goes well wide.


The Royals string a good 30 passes together in the Preston half, before McCleary lets fly - comfortably clearing the crossbar but the home support appreciating the football on display here.


Yakou Méïté picks up the loose ball - runs at full pelt almost the length of the entire pitch before being tackled right at the last. 

Fantastic work-rate from the Reading frontman.


Preston starting to put the pressure on.

The ball is worked around the box and Moult eventually gets a shot away - clearing Martínez's bar by a long way but the visitors are pushing to get a goal back.


Great atmosphere inside Madejski Stadium today, everyone in Club 1871, the East Stand and Eamonn Dolan Stand making themselves heard!


The Royals seemingly setting themselves up to play on the counter, with a three-man central defence now in operation as they defend their 2-0 lead.


John Swift has been forced off with injury, and club captain, Paul McShane comes on in his place for his first minutes since August - having been ruled out for the majority of the season.


In another development, Ben Pearson looks in real pain for Preston. He's had to come back on to avoid Preston going down to ten men - having used all of their subs.

He's not moving freely, but he's soldiering on nonetheless.



McCleary is threaded through on the right, beating the offside trap and able to work his way into the area.

He arrows a low ball across goal but Ejaria narrowly misses it. Great chance for a third.


First substitution for Reading, as goalscorer Mo Barrow is replaced by Garath McCleary - he appears to be limping as he comes off.

Injury has forced Preston into their third and final change, as Barker - who only came on at half time - is replaced by Louis Moult.


Still a lot to be decided on the pitch here, but the Royals are still holding on to their two-goal cushion.


Rinomhota finds space in midfield, picks his head up and dinks a ball forward to the chasing Méïté - just out of his reach and Rudd gathers.


Bright start to the second half from the visitors.

Substitute Barker turns on the afterburners on the left, sprinting his way into the area and cutting back, but Maguire cannot apply the finish.


Preston start the second half with a double substitution, as Callum Robinson and Lucas Nmecha are replaced by Brandon Barker and Jayden Stockley.


Here we go again, 45 minutes to go.

Reading holding a 2-0 lead against Preston. URZ!


HALF TIME | Reading 2-0 Preston North End

An absolutely fantastic half from a Reading perspective - but nothing is decided yet. 45 to go!


Into two added minutes at the end of the first half.



So nearly a third for Reading! Ejaria gets space 18 yards out, rifling a shot towards the bottom corner but Rudd makes a superb save to tip it onto the post and out.

That could have been the result there and then.


Preston try to pull one back from a corner, it's swung into the area but well over everyone's heads, the move breaks down and Reading can clear.



The scenes! A short backpass is capitalised on by Barrow, stealing the ball from under the nose of Declan Rudd and slotting into the open net!



Barrow is set off on a pacey run on the left by a stunning pass from John Swift - Barrow does brilliantly to cut it back across goal and Méïté bundles in from close range!

1-0 to the Royals!



Reading starting to turn the screw. Rinomhota plays an incisive pass to Ejaria, whose shot is blocked into the path of Méïté in space, who blazes over the bar.


Good effort!

Ovie Ejaria gets a shot away in the box, blocked into the path of Andy Rinomhota outside the area - who gets under it and his left-footed strike clears the bar.


First real shot of the game goes to the Royals.

It's a loose clearance from the back from the visitors, Yakou Méïté picks it up in midfield and eyes up a strike from 25 yards - dragging it wide on this occasion.


Muted shouts for a penalty for the Royals as Yiadom is bundled over in the box. Nothing doing, according to the referee.


Preston clear a long ball over the top, Martínez comes to meet it out of his area and improvises by heading away.


It has been an evenly-matched start here in RG2, neither side able to find the opener thus far.


Callum Robinson goes down on the edge of the Reading box - the referee blows for a free-kick.

Paul Gallagher stands over it, but it goes straight into the wall.


A deep free-kick from Preston finds Earl at the far post, but Emi Martínez catches comfortably.


The Royals have lined up with a front three of Ejaria, Barrow and Méïté, with Barrow leading the line to start with.


Early injury worry for Preston, with Ben Pearson receiving lengthy treatment.

He gets back on his feet, though, and appears fit to carry on.


The visitors hold the early possession, but Yakou Méïté breaks on the right, gets past two Preston markers but is tackled on the edge of the box. An open start here.



We're underway in RG2. Come on URZ!


This young man is back in the heart of the Reading midfield this afternoon. The teams are in the tunnel and we're almost set for kick-off...


Seats are being filled, the sprinklers are on, the sun is beating down - a perfect spring afternoon for some football!


Just 15 minutes to go until we're underway in RG2...


The Madejski is absolutely bathed in sunshine this afternoon, the countdown to kick-off is on!

Find out more in our match preview by reading here.


Today's issue of The Royal features Nicky Shorey on the front cover...

Find out more about what's inside by clicking here.


Yakou Méïté starts for the Royals today, making his 50th Reading appearance!


Remarkably, despite suffering a hamstring injury at Ipswich that threatened to rule him out for the season, Nélson Oliveira is back and among the substitutes today!



Andy Rinomhota and Ovie Ejaria are both fit to start for the Royals against Preston this afternoon - with Nélson Oliveira back from receiving treatment in China and on the bench.

Reading: Martínez, Yiadom, Miazga, Moore (c), Blackett, Baker, Rinomhota, Ejaria, Barrow, Swift, Méïté.
Subs: Walker, Gunter, McShane, McCleary, Harriott, Oliveira, Olise.

Preston North End: Rudd, Fisher, Earl, Pearson, Robinson, Johnson, Gallagher (c), Storey, Davies, Maguire, Nmecha.
Subs: Crowe, Rafferty, Huntington, Ledson, Barker, Moult, Stockley.

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