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Match Report


Posted Sat 21 Dec 13 at 16:50 PM

Cherries end Reading's unbeaten record

The Cherries ended Reading’s unbeaten home record with an impressive 2-1 win at the Madejski Stadium.

Two goals from Lewis Grabban and Matt Ritchie in the space of four minutes at the end of the first half ensured that more than 2,000 travelling supporters returned to the south coast with three points.

After withstanding early pressure, Eddie Howe’s team settled and took the lead when Grabban finished from close range before Ritchie added a second from the edge of the area.

There were further chances after the interval with Marc Pugh going close, but the Royals couldn’t stop the Cherries recording their second away win of the season.

The visitors came close to becoming only the second team to leave the Madejski Stadium with a clean sheet, but substitute Adam Le Fondre pulled one back in injury time for Reading.

Howe opted to go with a lone striker once again with Grabban replacing Brett Pitman, while Eunan O’Kane was selected ahead of Shaun MacDonald following the midweek defeat at QPR.

The Cherries had to weather plenty of early pressure from the hosts as the Royals forced seven corners inside the opening 20 minutes.

But aside from Andrew Surman’s early clearance off the line, they looked comfortable and both Pugh and Surman created some promising openings at the other end of the pitch.

The Cherries then took the lead when top scorer Grabban smashed in the rebound after goalkeer Alex McCarthy had saved Steve Cook’s close range header.

Just four minutes later Ritchie rounded off a well-executed counter attack, placing the ball into the side netting from the edge of the area, to double the visitors’ advantage.

Former Southampton manager Nigel Adkins sent on Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak as the Royals aimed to preserve their unbeaten home record, but the first chance of the second half fell to Ritchie.

The in-form winger collected the ball after a long period of possession in the final third and curled his strike just wide of the post.

The Cherries were clearly full of confidence and Harry Arter played in Pugh, who dragged his shot wide from the edge as Howe’s men began to take control.

Substitute Ryan Fraser then had a great chance to seal the win with a header from McCarthy’s miscued punch, but the winger headed wide of the mark.

The travelling fans were forced to endure a nervous few minutes when Le Fondre scored from close range, however, they were able to celebrate an important win at the final whistle.

Reading: McCarthy, Gunter, Cummings, Gorkss (Le Fondre 80), Pearce, Guthrie, Obita, Williams, McCleary (Drenthe 61), Robson-Kanu (Pogrebnyak h-t), Sharp.

Unused substitutes:  Federici, Kelly, McAnuff, Blackman.

Goal: Le Fondre (90)

Booked: Guntie, Gunter, Drenthe

Cherries: Camp, Francis, Cook, Elphick, Daniels, Arter, O'Kane, Surman, Ritchie (Fraser 76), Grabban (Pitman 80), Pugh.

Unused substitutes: Flahavan, Yennaris, Harte, MacDonald, Rantie.

Booked: Cook, Surman, Camp, O'Kane.

Goals: Grabban (37), Ritchie (41)

Attendance: 20,944 (including 2,338 Cherries supporters)

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