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😞 "We should have finished the game off!"

Josh Swift rues not finding a second goal which would have handed us a deserved victory over Stoke on Saturday...

22 June 2020

In the pre-restart friendly against Portsmouth only six days earlier, John Swift had been denied a goal by the underside of the crossbar. On that occasion, the rebound was turned in so it didn't matter. But against Stoke, it rebounded to safety and the Royals were left to curse their back luck after the Potters found a last gasp leveller.

"I’ve been close a couple of times now, hopefully one of my free kicks will hit the underside of the bar and go in the back of the net!" the midfielder said after the 1-1 draw.

"It would have been a big goal for us to make it 2-0. But I'm not getting the luck of the bounce at the moment. I’ll keep going, keep trying my best to score as many as I can for Reading."

A two-goal cushion could also have come courtesy of two or three very strong claims for a penalty - but the referee refused to point to the spot and Nick Powell's 92nd minute header robbed the Royals of two points.

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"We had control of it in the first half, especially after the goal, we had good ball possession – but we let them have more of the ball than they should have in the second half.

"We should have got a second, we were a bit unlucky not to get a couple of penalties and we hit the woodwork as I said.

"If we’d got the second goal, I think we could have gone on to score three or four with the confidence of a two-goal cushion. So it was so frustrating to come away with just a point. We should have finished the game in the second half.

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"Overall, it was a good performance, especially in the first half. As I say, we had good possession, control of the game, but the last half hour we sat back, we let the right sided centre-back kick it long into Sam Vokes and it was hard for us to handle at times.

"It’s horrible to come off the pitch and to have conceded in the last minute from a  corner. They’re a threat from set pieces, we know that. They wanted corners, high free kicks, they want to put the ball in the box.

"We’d done so well to cope with that aerial threat all game, but to concede so late – it is gutting."

Attentions have to turn to Derby and a trip to Pride Park next weekend now.

"It'll be another tough game on Saturday – we’ve got a good week to tidy up a few things on the training pitch. Hopefully we’ll go into the next game and start the same way we did against Stoke but then keep that level throughtout the whole game at Derby."

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