The Valley

Next Game

Charlton v Rotherham

Saturday, 31 January 2015, 15:00

Sky Bet Ch'ship

Molineux Stadium

Last Game

Wolves 0 - 0 Charlton

Saturday, 24 January 2015, 15:00

Sky Bet Ch'ship

Adkins praises scorer Sharp

Reading manager Nigel Adkins is hoping that Billy Sharp can stay fit to spearhead the Berkshire club's promotion challenge over Christmas and into the new year.

Last Updated: 03/12/13 at 23:27 Post Comment

Nigel Adkins: Full of praise for Billy Sharp

Nigel Adkins: Full of praise for Billy Sharp

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Sharp scored the only goal of the game, on his first start for the club since joining on a three-month loan from Southampton, to secure a 1-0 win over Charlton on Tuesday night.

"It was a great goal from Billy," Adkins said. "He was injured with a groin problem when he first got here but he's worked very hard on the training ground.

"He's been on the bench a few times and although he has not played much football, he looked very lively. That's credit to him. Now we've just got to keep him playing football."

Reading stretched their unbeaten home record to nine matches and moved up to fourth place in the Sky Bet Championship, just seven off the leaders.

They have lost only twice in 14 matches, and Adkins added: "We started brightly but then had to show a lot of defensive resolve near the end.

"It takes different ways to win a game and, ultimately, we did have to grind it out a bit."

Charlton began brightly and should have been awarded a penalty early on. Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy dithered and team-mate Stephen Kelly appeared to clip the heels of Simon Church, the former Reading striker, as he ran through, but referee Darren Sheldrake waved away Church's protests.

Reading took advantage of their good fortune when going ahead in the 13th minute. Danny Williams won possession in midfield and released Sharp, who looked up, took aim and beat Ben Alnwick with a well-struck, low drive.

Although Reading controlled most of the first half, they almost paid for a lapse of concentration shortly before half-time. Church raced through alone, with the home defence nowhere, and had only McCarthy to beat, but he delayed his angled shot too long and the goalkeeper saved smartly at his near post.

Reading could have doubled their lead at the start of the second period when Garath McCleary struck the foot of an upright from 20 yards. However, Charlton gradually hauled themselves back into contention on the back of a triple substitution - Johnnie Jackson, Danny Green and Marvin Sordell - by manager Chris Powell.

However, their luck was out.

Sordell had a "goal" disallowed for offside while Rhoys Wiggins, Jackson and Cameron Stewart all wasted chances.

"We were well in it in the last half-hour," Powell said. "We had a real impetus about our play and I just don't know how we didn't take anything away from the game.

"We should definitely have had a penalty in the first half but these big decisions always seem to go against you when you're lower down the league.

"I felt we were a bit flat in the second half and I wanted to change the flow of the game. That's why I made the triple substitution. I think it worked and we can still take a lot out of the display. We just need to keep fighting."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

A

pparently Chiles has blamed Twitter trolls for his exit. Proof that even the worst things can get great results at times.

cheshire-gooner
Adrian Chiles to leave ITV

Footer 365

Cambridge United chairman Dave Doggett to invest money from Manchester United tie in improving stadium

Cambridge United chairman Dave Doggett will invest revenue from the FA Cup replay at Manchester United in the stadium.

Transfer news: Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa says it would be 'dream' to join Chelsea

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa says it would be "a dream" to play for Chelsea and Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea: Mourinho gives flops silent treatment

Jose Mourinho was so disappointed by Chelsea's defeat to League One Bradford that he dished out the silent treatment.

Mail Box

A Massive Mailbox On A Weekend Of Wonder

We unsurprisingly have plenty of mails on a wonderful FA Cup weekend, including thoughts on Palace, Van Gaal, Phil Jones, Chelsea, Mourinho and Yaya Toure...

Appalling, Slow, Pathetic, Embarrassing

It's a bonus Saturday Mailbox, with plenty of reaction to the most alarming 0-0 draw in Manchester United's recent history. At what point do we worry about Louis van Gaal?

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company