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Barnsley 1-1 Reading

A dismal performance against bottom of the league Barnsley saw Reading somewhat fortuitously clinch a draw. The home side had more possession (55-45), more shots (19-8), more shots on target (6-3), and more corners (7-3) than The Royals and that really sums up the game.

In the first period Barnsley dominated, having 10 shots to Reading's 2 but there was a spark at the start of the second half that saw Hal-Robson Kanu strike from 25 yards out right into the corner of The Tykes net on the 51st minute. Le Fondre was also clean through just prior to the goal, but Butland managed to repel the forward before the follow up was shot wide. Later in the half ALF was through again, this time set-up by Akpan but again the goalkeeper was up to the poacher's effort.

In the battle of the young English goalkeeper it seemed as if though McCarthy had come off better. Butland, although being a good shot stopper, wasn't overly good at coming and claiming balls, a few times miscalculating. However late on Tomasz Cywka, who played briefly at the Madejski, came on and immediately made an impact; being involved in Barnsley's build-up before O'Grady finished for 1-1.

A point away from home is never awful, but against a team like Barnsley - especially after going a goal up - many fans will feel that we should have gone on to secure a victory. On the other hand, that point takes us up to fifth in a congested Championship table. A trip away to top of the league Burnley on Saturday could be a different story, but unbeaten in 6 and only two goals conceded is still a great run.

The only problem, and I hate to bring this up every time, is scoring from open play. Hal's goal came out of absolutely nothing, but there were several chances - many from ALF - that just weren't taken. Billy Sharp did get a couple of minutes at the end of the game, and Jobi McAnuff had a 15 minute run out, and hopefully these two will have a positive effect at that end of the field. By the sounds of it a couple of tweaks of formation saw us become a bigger threat, before allowing Barnsley to come back onto us. Adkins tinkers with the system a lot, but if you look at runs that Reading have been on in the past it's been a lot about consistency, and resolute performances. Hopefully Guthrie going off was nothing serious, as the current system seems to be built around him and we'll certainly need him against Burnley.

Onwards to Turf Moor!

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