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Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Reading

Reading will feel suitably robbed in a match where Sheffield Wednesday managed aboslutely nothing of note. Glenn Murray's missed penalty proved crucial, and a couple of good stops from Wednesday's man between the sticks, Keiren Westwood kept Wednesday in the game. The game started slowly, and quickly Mikkel Andersen - in for the injured Adam Federici - took his first touch in a Reading shirt, seven years after joining the club.

Pearce was fairly lucky to not give away a penalty himself, blatantly pulling shirts from a corner. Luckily the referee - who had a poor game - didn't take action. Down the other end however he was more active; Murray broke through and was felled in the box. The perpetrator received a yellow for his troubles, and may be lucky to have remained on the field considering the nature of the foul. Unfortunately Murray's penalty - while well struck - was straight off the legs of the keeper, and cannoned out.

Although a lot of the Akpan scapegoating may be uncalled for he did suffer from the jitters in the first half, and continually miscontrolled the ball - often putting other members of the team under pressure. Thankfully Wednesday weren't able to capitalise, and didn't actually manage to test the 'new' keeper at all as all five of their attempts missed the target.

Moments after the restart Andersen finally had a save to make, but thankfully it was dealt with fairly easily by the Danish keeper. Yet again Wednesday had multiple shouts for a penalty turned down, some looked stronger than others but the referee yet again took no action.

Reading had their own chances. Westwood somehow kept out a Cooper, after the corner had been nodded back across from Pearce. Then Pearce - found from almost every corner - again headed back across, but Murray could only hit the woodwork with a looping header. Sheffield came back, and Niuhi hit wide after losing his bearing in the penalty box. Stevie May fired narrowly wide from 25 yards, but yet again Andersen didn't have to make save.

Blackman, who looked lively, played a glorious ball over the top to Gunter but his ball in the box can't find Pogrebnyak and instead it's cleared for a corner. What follows is a period of sustained pressure with corner after corner. In the second half alone Reading had eleven corners but somehow never managed to find the back of the net despite going close numerous times.

A mistake by Cooper put May through, he fell over in the box but again nothing given. It looked soft, but the home fans were calling for it. Eventually though, the goal came. A handball on the edge of the box by Cooper saw Reading put in an eight man wall. May's free-kick took a wicked deflection and left Andersen with no chance. It's unfortunate, but even throwing everybody forward Reading couldn't manage to find an equaliser.

Overall it felt like Reading were the better side, and had the better chances. A penalty that couldn't be coverted, great chances from Murray and Cooper to nod home but just couldn't convert. Conversely Wednesday had an inordinate amount of attempts but none of them were hitting the target - and a good deal of them were from the edge of the box. Equally it was good to see a run out for Guthrie and both Andersen and Cooper looked comfortable, apart from a couple of mistakes from the latter.

If I had one complaint - other than the penalty miss - it's that you don't put Pog on when you're going long ball - which it felt like was the predominant tactic, I don't remember him winning anything in the air. Yes, he's tall, but it's not his game. He plays much better with the ball into his feet. It's obvious. If played into him on the floor he'll beat players and hold up the ball, but he won't win things in the air.

Definitely positives though, and on another day we would've won! Next week sees the return of both high flying Wolves, and the Sky cameras, which doesn't bode well at all. Hopefully away at Leeds midweek will get us back to winning ways.


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