Skip to main content

Reading 1-1 Nottingham Forest

Not exactly a great start to the new year in terms of weather, but Reading eventually brightened spirits with a last gasp goal to secure a point against promotion contenders Nottingham Forest.

Reading looked lacklustre for almost the entire game, allowing former player Greg Halford to score with 10 minutes of the first half remaining. Putting away an Andy Reid free-kick with a looping header into the top-left corner of the net. In the second half Matt Derbyshire had two opportunities to seal the win for the away side, but both times fired wide right of the goal.

Nick Blackman looked the liveliest player on the pitch in the first half and this continued far into the second until the addition of Royston Drenthe seemed to spark something in Reading. A fierce Guthrie shot from the edge of the area signalled the start of the Reading onslaught but it wasn't until the 95th minute when Matt Derbyshire fouled Gunter that Reading managed to get a decent ball into the box. For the phases of play before this Reading had been lifting the ball from just inside the Forest half trying to find Pogrebnyak, who was marked by about 3 men at all times, and it just wasn't working. Royston Drenthe stepped up for the free-kick and put a beautiful ball right onto Stephen Kelly's head, who scored his first goal for the club.

Even with the point it was a dire performance, and things need to get better quickly otherwise we'll continue falling down the table. In the last five minutes the team began to play quick passing football - but also football that went forwards! It's just getting them to play the same in the remaining 85 minutes and we'd make a great side.

Huge shout to Nick Blackman who was easily our best player, had a few nice runs and a couple of fierce shots. Still needs to work on his crossing - especially if Adkins is going to keep playing him as a winger - but hopefully that will improve.

Finally it sounds like ALF is off during the transfer window given his interview with Tim Dellor after the match and the response from Adkins following it. I can't understand why you'd let our leading goalscorer walk out of the club so easily, especially when Billy Sharp really has no form at all - and he's going back to Southampton tomorrow - so let's hope Adkins will play a bit more coy when it comes to talking to ALF. I can't see the transfer window being hugely successful for us but I'm willing to be proved wrong. It'll be an interesting month though, that's for sure.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reading FC Season Review | 2020/2021

When your season starts with your manager having to watch your opening match from the hotel because he's not been hired in time to beat the quarantine, anything above getting relegated should probably be classed as a success. And Reading exceeded surely even the most optimistic of pre-season predictions. Veljko Paunovic Veljko Paunovic almost exclusively utilised a core group of players in a 4-2-3-1, only changing things when enforced. One of the consequences of that is that Reading had more players play over 3,000 minutes than any other side (roughly three-quarters of the season). That consistency is often seen as a good thing, but in a condensed season, it surely contributed to the injury woes. It can't have helped that the manager also used the second-fewest number of players over the course of the season. His substitutions were often categorised as late (Reading's subs played just 16 minutes on average, only Norwich's played fewer) or non-existent (Reading were 19t

The Big Man Cometh

In the grand scheme of things, I consider myself a bit of an Andy Carroll sceptic. Reading have a penchant for signing players that spend the majority of their time in the physio room, and Carroll aligns with that transfer policy to a tee. It must be said that given the lack of other options, and a short term deal that has no real risk for the club, there isn't any big downside in gambling on the Geordie. With that being said, even I was calling out for the introduction for The Big Man at half-time on Saturday. Reading had a heap of possession just outside the box in the opening forty-five but couldn't translate that into chances. Drinkwater had a tame shot saved after good work from Yiadom, but the best chance of the half fell to Puscas after a fortuitous deflection off a Forest player. The flag went up for offside but it didn't matter as the striker couldn't convert anyway. Both managers had done a fairly good job at negating the other side's strengths. Forest'

"We’ve never been so flat"

There have been some abysmal Reading performances this season, I don't really need to list them out. But in that dirge, there are two performances that I haven't fully come to terms with my feelings on. The visits of Sheffield United and Luton to The SCL are a clash between feeling like the concept behind the tactics was  reasonable and the implementation clearly not working. But there's one issue with my reading of the game; Veljko himself wasn't happy with either performance. In fact, he used the exact same word to label both - 'flat'. Reading's three in midfield meant they could cover SU attacking midfielders and wing backs And yet, the set-ups for both seem to perfectly explain why the team may be flat. Against The Blades they switched to a 4-3-2-1, with Ejaria dropping deeper to form the three alongside Drinkwater and Laurent. That trio were effectively tasked with stopping McGoldrick and Gibbs-White from being able to come central. On Wednesday we may