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📔 Match report | Meite brace and Joao spotkick see off Millers at the Madejski

Another clean sheet. Three goals and three more points. But Rotherham didn't make it easy...

24 October 2020

Goals at the end of each half from the excellent Yakou Meite earned the Royals another three points against a spirited Millers outfit at the Madejski this afternoon - with Lucas Joao adding a third from the penalty spot in injury time!

Similar to Tuesday night's win over Wycombe, the game began in high tempo fashion. And the Millers made the first real foray into a penalty area when Wes Harding escaped down the right wing and scurried into the box only for his low cross to be cut out and deflected behind by a Reading body before it could trouble Rafael.

A couple of crosses from Joe Mattock on the left also tested the Reading defence, Morrison dealing with both with firm clearances.

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Rotherham were playing well and Omar Richards had to head clear from a deep cross towards the back post mid-way through a first half in which Reading had struggled to find their fluency.

Moore then had to dive towards a cross that came in from the right and did enough to earn a goal kick with a headed touch ahead of the towering Smith at the near post.

Rafael was called upon next, diving low to parry away Lindsay's low cross only to push it against Smith and watch it ricochet wide and behind.

Jozefzoon nearly latched onto a one-two from Barlaser towards the end of the half, but his outstretched leg couldn't prevent it from skidding behind for a goal kick.

And yet very much against the run of play, the Royals took the lead! Semedo and Ejaria combined well down the left and the latter delivered a lovely cross towards an onside Meite in space on the right side of the box. He chested it down and then sidefooted it under Jamal Blackman for 1-0.

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Half-time: Reading 1-0 Rotherham United

The hosts began tghe second half much brighter and Ejaria won and took a free kick that sailed just over the head of Morrison at the back post.

Paul Warne made a change on the hour and with virtually his first touch George Hirst nearly levelled things. A half cleared cross fell to Hirst who hooked a low effort goalwards only to see Moore recover to clear the ball off the line and to Richards who completed the job.

Harding drilled an effort over the crossbar from the edge of the Reading box, but Meite and Richards combined well to win a corner at the other end of the pitch.

Another Rotherham substitute came close to a leveller when Lapado turned and twisted past Moore and Laurent to unleash a fine left-footed shot that Rafael needed to stretch to tip over the bar.

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Rinomhota then nearly gave the Royals a vital second goal, connecting with Richards' cross from the left but glancing his downward header just wide.

Spaces were opening up and Olise's flick on found Meite with acres in front of him to run into. He got to the edge of the box and looked to square it for Olise who had joined him in the attck, but a Rotherham boot intercepted it and the move broke down.

Moments later, it could have been 2-0 when Esteves clattered a superb long range effort against the crossbar. An Olise corner had been cleared to the right-back who smashed a 25-yard effort towards goal. Blackman got a fingertip to it and it clattered off the crossbar and behind for a corner.

The resultant corner did earn Reading the cushion they craved. Olise's delivery found its way to Meite on the edge of the six yard box and he brilliantly chested the ball under control and hooked it overhead past Blackman and into the top right corner for his second of the game. 

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Meite was bursting with confidence and he made inroads down the left this time, cutting in along the byline to try to beat Blackman at his near post for his hat-trick. A touch from a defender took it into the side netting though.

Rotherham refused to relent though and a combination of Wood and Smith headed a floated corner over the crossbar with five minutes remaining.

But Reading were home and dry and nearly added to their lead when an outrageous effort from Olise from the left was turned against the crossbar in injury time.

Reading did have a third with the last kick of the game. A ball into Joao saw the substitute barge his way into the box and he was dragged down before he could pull the trigger. He got up, dusted himself down and slotted the spotkick low to Blackman's right for 3-0.

Another win. Another clean sheet. Reading far from at their best, but a comprehensive scoreline and three points were added to the tally.

Full-time: Reading 3-0 Rotherham United

Reading: Rafael, Esteves, Richards, Moore, Morrison, Rinomhota, Laurent, Semedo (McIntyre 80), Ejaria (Olise 66), Méïté, Pușcaș (Joao 66).
Unused subs: Southwood, Gibson, Tetek, Aluko.
Goals: Meite (41, 79), Joao (90)

Rotherham: Blackman, Mattock, MacDonald, Wood, Wiles, Lindsay (Hirst 62), Harding (Lapado 71), Ihiekwe, Smith, Barlaser, Jozefzoon (Olosunde 64).
Unused subs: Johansson, Jones, Sadlier, Crooks.
Yellow: Wood
 

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