Sunday 21 December 2014

Adkins picks up first win

Published 04/05/2013 | 17:26

Hal Robson-Kanu, left, scored a goal in each half as Reading defeated Fulham
Hal Robson-Kanu, left, scored a goal in each half as Reading defeated Fulham

Nigel Adkins has celebrated his first win as Reading manager as the relegated club halted their abysmal run with a 4-2 victory at Fulham.

Hal Robson-Kanu's performance in west London was a particular highlight, starting off by slotting home a 12th-minute penalty after being fouled by John Arne Riise. The Wales international deservedly doubled the Berkshire club's advantage in the second half, driving past Mark Schwarzer after a spell of sustained pressure.

Bryan Ruiz pulled one back for out-of-sorts Fulham with 20 minutes remaining, only for Reading to regain their two-goal cushion moments through substitute Adam Le Fondre. Ruiz headed home his second of the afternoon and Jem Karacan's struck seven minutes from time to hand Reading their first win since February 2.

It took just 74 seconds for the first chance of note, with Ruiz destined to slot home until he met the fine reactions of Alex McCarthy. A hint of sloppiness was detected, though, when in the 12th minute Riise went to clear the ball but only managed to kick Robson-Kanu.

Referee Neil Swarbrick pointed to the spot after adjudging the challenge to be in the box, with the Wales international dusting himself off to send Schwarzer the wrong way.

Reading went further ahead just after the hour mark. Garath McCleary had acres of space on the left and his blocked shot fell kindly for Robson-Kanu, who cut in curled past Schwarzer.

The visiting support chanted '2-0 to the Championship' but were soon hushed, with Ruiz played a one-two with Hugo Rodallega before directing through McCarthy's legs.

The 70th-minute goal kicked off a dramatic end to the game, with Reading regaining their two-goal advantage five minutes later. Le Fondre, only just on as a substitute, latched onto a lofted Karacan ball and continued to round Schwarzer to slot home.

Fulham were not finished, though. Ruiz netted his second of the afternoon by heading home just two minutes later, before Rodallega clattered the crossbar after connecting with a Dimitar Berbatov cross.

Reading were on the backfoot but their nerves were settled when Karacan met a loose ball on the edge of the box to fire home the visitors' fourth of the afternoon.

Press Association

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