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Reading 1-0 Ipswich

The first home game of the season with a largely happy one for The Royals, as the team started off with great intent - within seconds of the start Cox skips through the defence, but his shot was well blocked.

Blackman, quickly becoming known for his audacious long distance attempts, fired wide from thirty yards before Gunter brilliantly tracked back to stop Royals' legend Jay Tabb from putting the ball into the box, although his delivery from the corner raises questions why he wasn't in charge of set pieces in his days here. The corner was scrambled around in the area, eventually being cleared off the line. Corners aren't the only set piece that Ipswich have in their arsenal, Elliot Hewitt's long throw caused some problems in the defence.

Hector looks a lot more comfortable on the ball than Morrison, although his passing accuracy (60%) is actually down from Morro's last week away at Wigan (67%). Overall the team's passing is confident, and assured - if not penetrative.

The full backs had a brief flurry, Cummings breaking down the left found Pogrebnyak who worked his way into the box, but his pull back didn't find a Reading player. His final ball is always a little too late, and he allows players to crowd him. Gunter's new wing-back role continued as he bombed forward, and Pog found him well but again the pull back doesn't find anybody. Next Pog finds Cox, this time he managed to find a man in Taylor, but his shot could only hit the man. Sometimes the more direct route works better than overplaying it, and somehow Gunter's diagonal ball found Taylor, who nipped in and slipped the ball beneath the keeper for 1-0!

Cummings' tenure at left back has been up and down, but he was magnificent. Pearce misplaced a pass, but Cummings' pace, and strength allowed him to see the ball over the byline for a goal kick. On the odd occasion that McGoldrick managed to get in behind the covering was exceptional - particularly in the first half.

Blackman was getting nothing from the referee in the first half. Admittedly he went down easy, but even when he was staying on his feet the man in black still wasn't interested. Looked like fouls to me. For the most part he played well, although he missed a chance to let Gunter shoot by running with the ball himself - and the move fizzled out. He did get a decision on the edge of the box after he was well found by Pavel, but the big Russian smashed the free kick half way up the wall.

Ipswich were always going to come back into the game, and they did. A tantalising free kick made its way just past the post. McGoldrick then found his way in behind, but Hector stuck with him and Federici made a fantastic save - staying as big as possible for as long as possible.

Edwards gave a bit of impetus when he came on. He pressed high, and the team tried to follow suit, but after being on the back foot for the majority of the second half it wasn't easy. The problem with that is that we went from playing calm composed football, to kicking long to Pogrebnyak without runners.

Ipswich won a late corner, which was headed toward the top left corner but Cummings managed to get up to head it off the bar before it was cleared. Attack is the best form of defence, and Pogrebnyak showed that when he ran through the Ipswich defence, but was stopped at the last. There was a possibility he could've played in the debutant Stacey, but it was almost worth it.

It's a good start to life without Morrison, a clean sheet and Hector seems very comfortable at the back - far more so than when he was in central midfield. Cummings also looked solid at left back, however today we definitely got the luck, it could have easily been 2 or 3-1. Gunter's forward runs were crucial, and Pog once again held up the ball well.

What with all the new blood coming through and looking fairly comfortable, both Stacey and Cooper made their professional debuts, we're still on track for the 'interesting' season.


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