READING 1 TOWN 2
Harry Bunn had a full debut to remember for the Terriers, scoring the winning goal as Town secured their first three points of the 2014/15 Championship season.
The Terriers battled, toiled and did everything you need to do on the road to get the win, which came courtesy of first Town goals from Jacob Butterfield and Bunn.
Town put in the perfect away performance during the opening 45 minutes. Although the Royals saw plenty of the ball, they struggled to break down the midfield trio of Butterfield, Coady and Hogg and had to revert to long balls forward to Russian striker Pogrebnyak, who found an able opponent in Murray Wallace.
At the other end, Town were pressing the Reading defenders high – and from that pressure came the first goal. Reading centre back Michael Hector, who was ‘Man of the Match’ as Reading defeated Ipswich at the weekend, played a poor pass out of defence, allowing Butterfield to pounce. He took the ball in his stride and drove towards the area, where he showed good balance to hold off a defender and curl a perfect shot inside the far post for his first goal for the Club.
Reading’s best chance came through a Town error. Joel Lynch, captaining the side on his 50th League start as a Terrier, inexplicably played a short free-kick in front of Conor Coady and gifted possession to the home side. With Town’s midfield out of position Reading counter-attacked with pace, but it all ended when right winger Nick Blackman ballooned his edge of the box curler into the Town fans behind the goal.
Town’s second followed late in the half, with Bunn taking the plaudits with an exceptional individual effort. The 21 year-old received a pass on the left edge of the box and nonchalantly knocked Welsh international right back Chris Gunter to the floor with a shoulder barge before racing into the area and firing a perfectly placed low drive past Federici and into the bottom corner, stunning the Majedski Stadium in the process.
Reading’s fans were quiet in the opening stages of the second-half as Bunn continued to terrorise Gunther, but their spirits were lifted 10 minutes in when they created a decent opening. Butterfield was uncharacteristically loose in possession and Reading nicked the ball, with the resulting ball into the area finding the head of Simon Cox. Thankfully for Butterfield and Town, Cox diverted the ball over the bar.
Dixon was in the right place at the right time to deflect Pogrebnyak’s shot wide just before the hour mark and it took a further 15 minutes for the Royals to craft another chance, when substitute Edwards escaped the attentions of Tommy Smith to run onto Pogrebnyak’s header down. On that occasion, Smithies came to the rescue with two strong hands to push away the volley.
However, things got interesting with just over 10 minutes to go. Just after Bunn was denied a penalty – and left stricken in the area – Reading attacked and striker Cox stepped infield from the left to fire a powerful low drive to Smithies’ right side to reduce the arrears.
Reading piled on the pressure in the latter stages, but the Terriers held firm – defending last ditch at times – to secure their first three points of the Championship season.
Town’s team (4-3-3):
Alex Smithies; Paul Dixon, Joel Lynch (c), Murray Wallace, Tommy Smith; Jacob Butterfield (Radoslaw Majewski, 90), Conor Coady Jonathan Hogg; Harry Bunn (Jordan Sinnott, 90), Nahki Wells (Jonathan Stead, 82), Sean Scannell
Joe Murphy, Adam Hammill, Duane Holmes, Matt Crooks
Conor Coady (35)