Swans second after sinking Royals

Darren Pratley scored the only goal of the game as Swansea won 1-0 at home to Reading to climb up into second place in the Championship.

Last Updated: 01/01/11 at 17:09

Pratley: Scored only goal

Pratley: Scored only goal

More of the games that matter

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

The Liberty Stadium triumph on New Year's Day also handed Swans manager Brendan Rodgers a league double over his former employers.

Pratley netted in the 65th minute to inflict a first defeat in nine games on a visiting Royals side who enjoyed the majority of the chances and deserved a point but were repeatedly denied by keeper Dorus de Vries.

Simon Church also headed over from six yards late on when presented with a great opportunity to level matters, before Scott Sinclair came within inches of an injury-time second for the hosts, leaving Swansea celebrating their first double against the Berkshire side for 33 years.

City's lofty position in the league table will make pleasant new year viewing for Rodgers, who left the Madjeski Stadium in December 2009 after just over six months in charge in which he managed a mere five league wins.

The Northern Irishman made six changes for Tuesday's 1-0 triumph over Barnsley and he made a further four on Saturday as he continued to rotate his ranks over the hectic festive period.

Skipper Garry Monk came back in along with influential trio Sinclair, Pratley and Joe Allen.

Reading counterpart Brian McDermott also made four changes - striker Church and midfield trio Hal Robson-Kanu, Brian Howard and Jay Tabb all starting the New Year's Day fixture.

There was a pretty ordinary start to proceedings in south Wales but there was nothing routine about Dutchman De Vries 20 minutes in as he made two great stops, coming on the back of his heroics against the Tykes earlier this week.

First he threw a leg out to deflect Alex Pearce's stabbed shot wide before scrambling Howard's low drive behind from the resulting corner.

De Vries was then at it again just before the break, producing a stunning reaction save to turn wide Jimmy Kebe's flashing low cross-shot from out wide which had taken a strong touch off Shane Long.

The second half continued to be a tight affair and it was left for De Vries to once again come to his side's rescue in the 52nd minute with a well-timed block to deny Church on the six-yard line after he had been fed by Long.

Swansea were desperately in need of a change of personnel or tactics in a bid to inject some attacking spark with Reading's rearguard holding out.

But their breakthrough came in the 65th minute via a set-piece.

Mark Gower floated a well-rehearsed deep free-kick to Angel Rangel who chested the ball down before sending a half-volley goalwards which deflected into the path of Pratley and he fired the ball home.

Monk soon produced a superb double block to deny Kebe and Robson-Kanu as the visitors went in search of an equaliser.

The goal opened the game up but it was still Reading who were creating the better openings and Church should have levelled in the 83rd minute but headed over from Kebe's cross.

Nathan Dyer and Sinclair then both missed great chances to add a late second for Swansea, but in the end their wastefulness proved inconsequential.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Saturday, 24 January 2015
15:00
Norwich 1-2 Brentford Report
Watford 7-2 Blackpool Report
Wigan 0-1 Huddsf'ld Report
Wolves 0-0 Charlton Report
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
19:45
Brighton 3-2 Ipswich Report
Fulham 3-2 N Forest Report
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Leeds 1-0 B'mouth Report
M'boro 2-1 Cardiff Report
Saturday, 17 January 2015
15:00
Brighton 0-1 Brentford Report
Fulham 2-1 Reading Report

Footer 365

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.

Sepp Blatter shrugs-off UEFA's challenge to his leadership as 'lacking courage'

Sepp Blatter tells UEFA “they do not have the courage” to sufficiently challenge his leadership at this year's election.

Transfer news: Sam Allardyce unsure whether Darren Fletcher will join West Ham

Manager Sam Allardyce admits he is unsure whether Darren Fletcher will choose to join West Ham or another club.

Mail Box

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?

Why Do Man United Look So Impotent?

It's all very well talking about formations and United's defensive problems, but shouldn't their expensive attacking options be doing better? And we talk psychology...

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