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📰 Match report | Joao strikes to earn Royals win over Wycombe

A fiery encounter endwed with just one goal separating the sides - and Reading took all three points against their near neighbours

20 October 2020

Lucas Joao's superbly taken second half finish earned the Royals a home win over Wycombe Wanderers this evening in another fiercely contested Championship battle.

Having earned a point from a physical battle on Teesside at the weekend, it was clear that Reading were in for another tough tussle against the Chairboys who harried their hosts from the off.

And Alex Samuel had the first shot at goal, a tame right-footed hook from a cross that came into the box from the right - Rafael gathering it in comfortably on the bounce.

Olise and Richards combined at the other end, the latter pulling a low ball back into the Wanderers box but the visitors cleared the danger with ease.

A jinking run from Kashket earned Bloomfield a sight of goal but he dragged his shot wide of the bottom right corner. Wycombe had started brightly.


Reading began to get a foothold and Ejaria tumbled inside the box as he looked to find a cross - penalty appeals were swiftly waved away.

But it was the away side who looked the livelier, Bloomfield arrowing an effort over from the edge of the area with five minutes of the first half remaining.

Yet it was Reading who should have gone into the break a goal to the good. Richards recycled a cleared corner and found Ejaria on the left. He swung a cross into the middle where Meite had lost his man and was bearing down on the ball, but he miscued his header completely and the ball skimmed beyond the right post to Wycombe's relief.


Half-time: Reading 0-0 Wycombe Wanderers

Meite did test the keeper with a low drilled cross-shot from the right side that Allsop did well to parry to safety early in the second half.

Reading were playing much more fluently and Alfa Semedo and Tomas Esteves were brought on just before the hour - Semedo's first offering was to latch onto a Joao header and burst goalwards down the left, Esteves too embarking on a promising run down the other flank with his first contribution.

That move ended with Ejaria taking aim, but he dragged his right-footed effort wide of the bottom left corner. 

But fired up at half-time, Reading were playing faster more precise, intense football and it paid off.

A long aerial ball from Moore was chased by Joao who brilliantly brought the ball down with his chest, before turning inside two defenders and arrowing low past Allsop with a sweetly struck right-footed effort.


Gareth Ainsworth immediately made two attacking changes, but after some lovely work from Semedo, Ejaria forced the Wycombe keeper to palm clear a low driven effort from a narrowing angle.

A brave header from Richards helped see of the threat of a cross from left that looked to find Horgan.

Pauno's men were looking to take advantage of any gaps appearing as Wycombe pressed for an equaliser and Ejaria's low cross had to be turned behind for a corner with a quarter of an hour remaining.

Wycombe weren't done yet though and began to throw the kitchen sink at a Royals defence that has been virtually impenetrable all season so far.

A burst from Rinomhota took him into the Wycombe box but his cross ricocheted back off him following a defensive block and behind for a goal kick.

Then substitute Fred Onyedinma collected the ball from a Moore headed clearance but arrowed over the crossbar on the turn from 15 yards out.

And at the start of five minutes of injury time, Onyedinma came even closer to a leveller. His snapshot was heading into the bottom corner before the outstretched arm of Rafael palmed it wide.

But the Royals defended resolutely once more and another clean sheet remained in tact to take them top of the table.

Full-time: Reading 1-0 Wycombe Wanderers

Reading: Rafael, Holmes (Esteves 57), Richards, Moore (c), Morrison, Rinomhota, Laurent, Olise (McIntyre 89), Ejaria, Méïté (Semedo 57), João.
Unused subs: Southwood, Gibson, Aluko, Puscas.
Yellow: Joao, Rinomhota.
Goals: Joao (63)

Wycombe: Allsop, Grimmer, Jacobson, Stewart, Bloomfield (Mehmeti 80), Kashket (Onyedinma 64), Knight, Horgan, Thompson, Adeniran, Samuel (Akinfenwa 68).
Unused subs: Stockdale, Wheeler, Charles, Freeman.


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