Saturday 20 January 2018

Royals remain upbeat


phil medicott

Reading boss Brian McDermott was adamant his team had gained a point rather than losing two after they sacrificed a two-goal lead at Swansea yesterday.

The Royals went ahead in the 31st minute when Swans goalkeeper Michel Vorm allowed a Pavel Pogrebnyak shot to squirm beneath him, and they doubled their advantage a minute before the break thanks to Ireland international Noel Hunt's volley.

The hosts had been the better side in the opening half, though, and continued to press after the interval, with Michu's header reducing the deficit in the 71st minute before Wayne Routledge slammed home an equaliser seven minutes later. Swansea were also thwarted by a string of excellent saves from Reading 'keeper Alex McCarthy and had claims that Nicky Shorey handled in the box waved away by referee Mike Dean.

The drama then continued as Royals midfielder Jem Karacan had a 90th-minute header cleared off the line by Swans skipper Ashley Williams. The final outcome meant McDermott's men are still without a top-flight win this term after six games but the manager was not complaining too much about a potential victory squandered.

"I know what happened in that second half," McDermott said. "Our goalkeeper has pulled off some fantastic saves, Swansea played really well and that is a point gained for us.

"I couldn't tell you how many, but I do know he [McCarthy] has made some fantastic saves. So at 2-0, we have got to 70 minutes, but we are just sort of waiting for something to happen on their behalf.

"We need to affect the game better than we did in the second half. But having said that, that is a good point gained here."

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