Reading 0 Charlton Athletic 2
This team just continue to shock you don’t they. Reading were on the back off three good results but the Addicks put in a dominant display to deservedly take the points.
Chris Solly returned as we went four at the back with Sam Field replacing Darren Pratley. In the first 45, although we had the first chance when Leko saw a shot saved, Reading had the better chances and we had to rely on both the woodwork and then Dillon Phillips who saved one-on-one just before the break.
2nd half there was only one winner though as we cut out some sloppiness in our passing and moved the ball quicker and more steadfastly. Our forward movement helped by good solidity at the back.
On 51 minutes Leko picked the ball up outside of the box, danced this way and that, then curled the ball towards goal that saw a deflection arrow it into the left hand corner. Leko and his team mates celebrated wildly in front of the travelling Addicks, where the noise was already at full volume.
Leko hit the side netting and then the tireless Conor Gallagher had a shot saved as Reading really weren’t in it. Sam Field went off with a twisted ankle and was replaced by Pratley, but it was the introduction of Chucks Aneke that upped the charge to the 3 points.
It was a key move by Bowyer as Jonny Williams to that point had been influential but Aneke’s strength cause Reading further problems, and it was he that won the penalty in the 80th minute. Lyle Taylor stepping up in his familiar style to put the game away.
Phillips made a good save late on from a free-kick, but we saw the game out comfortably, before the players celebrated in front of the sold out away end.
Addicks at The Madejski:
Bow: “They’re fearless. They’re in that place at the moment and they’re in that zone where they believe that they’re going to win every game, and I make them believe that they can win every game.”
Elsewhere: Swansea won in the last minute at Elland Road to go top. WBA beat Blackburn 3-2, all the goals coming in the 1st half. QPR won 2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday, Brentford beat Derby comfortably at Griffin Park, whilst Bristol City and Middlesbrough drew 2-2. Millwall and Hull and Forest and Preston also shared the spoils.
The match was won by our working hard on and off the ball, Reading shaded the first half but a few changes after the break – notably we stepped up the pace a bit and competed against their centre backs rather than attack down the flanks as we were doing in the first 45 were the key differences. Once we did that the game looked over, Leko took his goal well, being prepared to run at defenders and turn them – there was an element of fortune with the deflection but he made his luck and his post goal celebration suggested that he’d won one of the larger prizes in the lottery. Chuks has no real pace but he has a decent first touch and when played through he teed the shot up, or he at least was attempting to tee it up before his standing leg was taken from under him. The Keeper’s penalty technique needed some work – he stood a yard closer to his right hand post, leaving a large gap on the left, he then moved to that side before diving to his right and sending himself the wrong way! The team spirit and hard work are evident all over the pitch, it was impossible to pick a MoTM as the entire team grafted hard. We did get lucky with Puscas blowing two chances but that’s football.
SP – I noticed how far to the left their keeper was. He then toodled across his line and then made a half dive back to his left. It was odd.
Equally on Sky the correspondent at the game said. “Oh we have a delay. Oh hang on, nope Lyle Taylor has walked up to the ball and stroked it in.” 😀