A fine unbeaten start to the season was brought to an end at St Andrew's this evening as Coventry City earned a 3-2 home win in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
In the third minute there was a chance for both number 24s to really set the game alight. Firstly, a hurried apss from Fankaty Dabo skidded across the Coventry box and Sone Aluko was a whisker away from latching onto it for what would have been a clear sight of goal.
Then, moments later at the other end, Matty Godden found some space down the right side of the Royals' area but his drive was blocked by a red Royals body before Rafael could be tested.
A deflected speculative shot from Richards was easy for Marko Marosi to gather, but an even better chance came Reading's way in the tenth minute. A lovely ball from Richards split the City defence to find Olise and his cut back came to Semedo just inside the box. He swung a leg at it but the ball spooned high over the bar from a promising position.
The lively Richards found Aluko down the left and the winger brilliantly brought the ball down with his chest and burst past his man and into the area - only for his low cross to be cut out and gratefully picked up by Marosi.
The home side had their best chance soon after - Ryan Giles darting down the left and delivering a cross that Godden connected with but couldn't keep down.
And Aluko was back on the attack in a frantic start to the game, jinking his way into the box but flashing a low cross across the face of goal. And a defensive mix-up almost allowed Joao to open the scoring, the striker pouncing on a loose ricocheting ball on the edge of the box and bearing down on the keeper only to see his toed effort saved by the Sky Blues stopper.
But against the run of play, the home side took the lead. A cross from the left was passed back to Hamer 20 yards out and his low drilled effort skidded beyond Rafael's dive and into the bottom right corner.
Godden and Biamou combined on the edge of the box and Rafael needed to slide out to claim the ball ahead of the latter before he could shape to shoot.
Having started so well, Reading were having to do something new for the first time this season - come from behind. And Coventry were making it very difficult for them, with men behind the ball defending their lead.
Richards did well to collect a one two and get a cross in from the left that was blocked by a Sky Blue body. Appeals for handball were dismissed. Moments later, an Olise cross was also cut out by a Coventry man, but again appeals for a handball were ignored.
Half-time: Coventry City 1-0 Reading
Josh Laurent tried his luck from distance early in the second half but Marosi easily gathered his arcing right-footed effort. And the City keeper was there to gather in a Semedo cross frmo the byline as Joao looked to connect at the near post.
Godden intercepted a crossfield pass from Olise six minutes into the second half but thankfully lashed his effort high over the bar.
Hamer escaped a second yellow when he blocked a Semedo charge from midfield and Esteves' cross from the set piece glanced off a Reading head and behind for a goal kick.
With 25 minutes remaining, Aluko swung a lovely cross into the box and it took a superb defensive header from Rose to deny Joao a clear head at the target.
But a minute later, Joao was not to be denied. After a period of pressure and good exchanges of passes, the ball came to Lucas from a clever ball from Laurent. He rolled away from his marker and found a yard to arrow a wonderful left-footed effort into the bottom right corner of the goal to make it 1-1.
Coventry tried to respond immediately but Ben Sheaf drilled a long range effort harmlessly over the crossbar.
But they came very close to retaking the lead with a set piece that was cleared twice but headed back in to Biamou who angled a bouncing ball against the crossbar. O'Hare looked to capitalise on the follow up but a good block prevented him from forcing Rafael into a save and the ball spiralled behind.
They would not be denied though. And from the resultant corner, the ball was cleared out to Dabo whose sweetly struck effort was parried by Rafael low to his left. The loose ball came out to Godden who reacted fasted and sidefooted the ball home from close range for 2-1.
The Royals made a double change, bringing on Tom McIntyre for the injured Moore and Pușcaș for Olsie - and Aluko tested Marosi with a 25 yard free kick that the City keeper pushed wide.
Time was ticking for Reading though and an unbeaten start was all but over when City added a third through Sam McCallum who sent a swerving effort from distance through the palms of Rafael in the Royals goal to make it 3-1.
Joao nearly pulled one back with the last kick of the ninety, chesting the ball under control before trying to loft the ball over Marosi who leapt high to cling onto it on his goalline.
Reading did pull one back in injury time though when substitute George Puscas ran onto a lay off from Joao to thunder a right-footed effort through the body of Marose from a narrow angle.
And Reading threw everything at their opponents in the dying stages but could not find a way through a City side who desperately clung on to their lead.
Full-time: Coventry City 3-2 Reading
Coventry City: Marosi, Ostigard, Rose, Biamou, Sheaf, Hyam, Giles, Dabo (McCallum 82), Gooden (c), Shipley (Allen 88), Hamer (O'Hare 72).
Unused subs: Wilson, McFadzean, Kelly, Walker.
Yellow: Ostigard, Hamer, Rose, Hyam.
Goals: Hamer (22), Godden (76), MCCallum (85)
Reading: Rafael, Esteves, Richards, Moore (c) (McIntyre 80), Morrison, Rinomhota, Laurent, Semedo, Olise (Pușcaș 80), Aluko, João.
Unused subs: Walker, Watson, Bristow, Gibson, Tetek.
Goals: Joao (66)
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