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Report: Blues 1 Reading 3

Scott Hogan gives Blues the lead.
Scott Hogan gives Blues the lead.

Three secon- half goals from Mark Bowen’s side; including a brace in the space of just five minutes saw The Royals claim all three points.

BCFC

Blues’ 10-game unbeaten league run was brought to an untimely end on Saturday afternoon as they suffered a disappointing home defeat to Reading.

Things started excellently for the hosts when Scott Hogan gave his side the lead with his seventh goal in eight league games in the opening minutes.

But three second half goals from Mark Bowen’s side; including a brace in the space of just five minutes saw The Royals claim all three points

Prior to conceding against The Royals, Blues had several good chances to add to their single goal advantage; including a golden opportunity for Hogan which would have undoubtedly changed the complexion of the game.

They were also denied a clear-cut penalty late in the second-half with the game still at 2-1.

Pep Clotet made just a solitary change to the side that drew at QPR last time out in the league, with Jude Bellingham returning in place of the injured Jeremie Bela.

Captaining Reading was former Blues defender Michael Morrison, who received a warm welcome from the home support.

Blues started the game brightly and were rewarded with a goal after just six minutes.

The ball was lifted forward from his own half by Marc Roberts and it found the head of Reading’s Matt Miazga.

The Royals defender attempted to guide it back to his own goalkeeper but Hogan nipped in and lifted the ball over Rafael Cabral and into an empty net.

The visitors were not too far away minutes later when George Puscas tried his luck from a difficult angle to the left of the Blues goal, but his powerful drive flew over the bar

Blues came within a whisker of doubling their advantage just after the quarter hour mark when Lukas Jutkiewicz’s scuffed shot found Hogan running in at the far post. But under pressure from a defender and stretching, he scooped the ball over the bar from inside the six-yard box.

The hosts were really ramping up the pressure and Bellingham went on a surging run into the heart of The Royals defence before laying the ball off to Crowley, but his attempted cross was deflected behind for a corner.

Ivan Sunjic then looked to get in on the action with a shot from the right of the area, but his attempt hit the side netting of the goal.

But it was not all Blues, and the hosts had to be thankful for a fine diving save from Lee Camp to deny Yakou Meite, with the Reading man looking odds-on to score.

Then for Blues, Gary Gardner glanced a header wide from Kristian Pedersen’s deep cross.

With the game well into stoppage time at the end of the half Bellingham found himself in space in the left of the area, before trying his luck with a low shot which Cabral clung to low down.

Half-time: Blues 1 Reading 0

There were no changes from either side at the break, as Blues began the second-half kicking towards the Gil Merrick end of the ground.

Less than four minutes in Blues won a free-kick in a dangerous position on the left and Bellingham floated a sweet ball into the box which found Jutkiewicz’s head, but he just got too much on it and flicked it over the bar.

But it was the visitors who found themselves level after 51 minutes thanks to a superbly taken finish from Miazga.

Andy Rinomhota sent in a pinpoint cross from a tight angle on the right. It found Miazga in the centre of the box, who made no mistake as volleyed it past Camp into the back of the net.

With Blues still reeling they found themselves behind just five minutes later when Yakou Meite headed the ball home from John Swift’s cross.

That gave Reading a new found confidence and they were looking to extend their advantage with Blues appearing distinctly shaky.

But the next chance fell to Gary Gardner who let fly with a low shot from the edge of the box which was tipped behind by Cabral.

The Blues fans and players were left raging after Bellingham was dragged down in the box as he went to meet Hogan’s cross.

But for some reason known only to referee Andy Davies he waved away the protests of the vast majority of people inside the ground.

Stung by a sense of injustice, Blues sought to pile on the pressure as they went in search of an equaliser and Kerim Mrabti came off the substitutes’ bench to replace Bellingham.

Jutkiewicz saw his header pushed away by Cabral and then Mrabti tried a curling shot which landed on top of the net.

With Blues desperately throwing everybody forward in the remaining minutes, the game was put beyond them as Reading scored a decisive third goal on 87 minutes.

The visitors struck on the break and substitute Judilson Gomes showed great composure as he sidefooted the ball past Camp and into the bottom corner of the net.

Blues: Camp, Pedersen, Roberts, Colin, Crowley, Jutkiewicz, Dean, G Gardner, Bellingham (Mrabti, 72), Sunjic (Kieftenbeld, 84), Hogan.

Subs (not used): Trueman (GK), Harding, Clarke-Salter, Montero, Boyd- Munce.

Bookings: G Gardner (55).

Goals: Hogan (6).

Reading: Cabral, Morrison, Miazga, Rinomhota, Swift (Moore, 81), Ejaria (Gomes, 72), Yiadom, Meite, Olise (McCleary, 73), Richards, Puscas.

Subs (not used): Walker, Blackett, Masika, Adam.

Bookings: Swift (69)

Goals: Miazga (51), Meite (56), Gomes (87).

Referee: Andy Davies.

Attendance: 19, 525 (1,277 Reading fans).

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