F/T: Aston Villa 1 Reading 0

FULL TIME. Aston Villa 1 Reading 0.

Outstanding play from Lowton on McCleary, the right-back clearing away before Le Fondre is penalised for handball when lining himself up to shoot. 30 seconds left now.

Westwood calmly heads back to Guzan, as Villa look to hold on to what would be a priceless victory in the battle to avoid relegation this season.

Three minutes of added time to be played.

Guzan makes the ball his after Morrison's knock on, and that could be a crucial save for his team as Hunt and McCleary lurked for the second ball.

Bannan gets his foot to McCleary's fizzed ball into the box and concedes a throw-in. Eventually, a foul is then given against Ireland for a tackle on Tabb.

Benteke goes through Shorey to control the ball, and Reading spray the ball out wide to McAnuff. Hunt is dispossessed by Banna though and Villa knock the ball around calmly and with composure.

Lowton leads Villa away, finding Ireland, but Lowton's ball into Benteke is shocking and ends up setting Reading away. McAnuff's ball is cleared by Clark and Lambert will breathe a sigh of relief on the touchline.

Cummings curls a good ball into the centre of the box and Hunt gets his head to it. It's a good chance, but the striker can only find the gloves of Guzan.

Hunt can't cushion a header down for McCleary, as Reading start to impose themselves more with defeat staring them in the face now.

Robson-Kanu is replaced by McCleary in a Reading change.

Tabb's sizzling run is cut out by a wonderful, timely tackle from Clark and it's end to end now as Agbonlahor draws a solid save from Federici.

The deadlock is finally broken as Bannan's corner is met by the head of Benteke who powerfully drives the ball into the floor which bounces past the diving Federici. 1-0 to Villa with ten minutes left!


Roberts' night comes to an end and Hunt comes on in his place.

Baker is brave to hack away a Reading free-kick, with Albrighton breaking and delivery a truly horrible ball from the right which quite justifiably draws angry moans from the home fans.

Ireland's lovely long ball is intercepted terrifically by Federici, denying Agbonlahor what would have been a terrific chance from the edge of the box.

Good move from the hosts as Bannan chips into Ireland whose header on goal lacks the power to trouble the confident Federici.

Federici is called into action with a diving punch, and as Villa look to knock the ball back forward, Ireland's poor pass draws further ire from the Villa fans.

Ireland wins Villa a corner, and this has looked the home side's best avenue of attack so far. Cue Bannan...

Penalty claims as the ball comes off Shorey. The Villa fans are furious but the referee didn't seem to have a great view of the incident from his position.

Westwood, Albrighton and Ireland are all denied by good Reading defending, but as Reading look to pounce on the counter, Ireland is then drawn into fouling Roberts.

Clark's miskick draws groans from the Villa fans. The centre-back hasn't had his best evening so far but imagine how that could change if he pops up with a winner for his side.

Lowton can't force his way past Leigertwood and Reading again clear with Villa again finding it hard to break the visitors down from open play.

Weimann follows Holman off and Albrighton takes his place.

Holman is replaced, with Ireland coming on for Villa.

Bannan looks for Lichaj, but Morrison stabs away his delivery as the home fans start to really roar on their side when in possession now.

Roberts takes on Clark and creates space for himself to shoot, with Guzan making a firm save to deny the striker at the near post. Reading have really come into their own in the last five minutes.

Tabb is floored by Agbonlahor, with Reading starting to benefit from the home fans frustration as they do well with possession before McAnuff's shot is blocked by Bannan.

Guzan makes a hash of the free-kick and Holman is forced to clear away the danger, sparing his goalkeeper's blushes in the process.

Clark cuts off the run of Roberts and that's the first yellow card of the game.

Robson-Kanu drifts a really poor ball into the box, leaving none of his team-mates with a chance to reach it after a nice build-up initially from the visitors.

Clark gets to the corner and flashes a header inches wide of goal! Brilliant chance for the hosts and surely we can't be too far away from breaking the deadlock here.

Bannan looks to set Benteke away, and Mariappa, despite a nudge from Benteke, does well to clear away for a corner.

Le Fondre is presented with a terrific chance but he can't aim his header on target - and he really should do. Arguably the best chance of the game so far.

Roberts' strike wins Reading a corner, a much needed boost for the Royals who have been forced largely into defending for most of the second half so far.

Lowton looks for Holman but Morrison sweeps up. Villa take the throw quickly, with Lowton aiming for Benteke, who is neutralised by Mariappa.

Holman rattles the side of the net with a rasping shot from the edge of the area, with Villa looking more and more potent in front of goal now.

Shorey looks to Roberts at the byline, but it's a poor pass from the left-back, and the striker does not look happy as a result as Villa get a goal-kick.

McAnuff gets a cross in, but Le Fondre has it all to do on the edge of the area and does well in the end to get a volley even near the target.

Weimann's drive takes a deflection after a slick move from the hosts involving Benteke. Bannan's corner then takes a touch but amazingly flashes across goal without a flick from a Villa player at the back post.

Leigertwood skips away from Bannan, spraying the ball out to Tabb whose speculatively delivery into the box is claimed well by Guzan.

Lovely run from McAnuff who takes the ball down the line before spotting the run of Le Fondre. The striker sets off too early to meet the pass though and the offside flag is raised.

Roberts is unhappy, but he is quite rightly penalised for a shove on Clark and Villa win a free-kick deep in their own half.

Westwood wins back possession off Roberts, but Benteke concedes it straight back with a poor lay-off to Lowton.

A Bannan corner incredibly fails to fall to a Villa player as the hosts come out storming. Reading clear through Morrison but Roberts can't retain possession.

Reading get the game restarted.

Joseph Lio writes: "Both teams struggling to put the ball in the net. Too many games in as many days usually means boring, scoreless football or fatigue mistake laden goal fests! This one looks like another goaless draw."

No goals in the first 45 minutes, but chances have been created and surely we'll have something to talk about in the second half. Send your predictions to jack.woodfield@bskyb.com

HALF TIME. Aston Villa 0 Reading 0.

One minute of injury time to be played.

Baker slides into Roberts, winning the ball but staying down after the challenge, and while he looks to walk it off he is doing so with a distinct hobble.

Weimann collides with Mariappa, with no penalty given in a decision that quite easily could have been given if the striker hadn't have gone down so softly.

Holman just can't control Agbonlahor's clearance and Reading resume possession. From McAnuff's delivery though, Guzan is well positioned to snatch the ball from the air.

Lichaj's miskick sees the ball fly across the bar, with his team-mates looking a tad perplexed as to just what the left-back was going for there.

McAnuff risks the ire of the referee by screaming at the linesman after play was waved on when the winger thought he should have had a free-kick under Lichaj's tackle.

Mariappa intercepts a ball into Benteke, and Reading surge forward as Bannan hacks away McAnuff's terrific ball in from the right.

Weimann plays in Bannan, and his wonderful cross into the near post is met by the head of Clark, who flicks it on with no-one lurking at the far post for what would have been a tap-in.

Lovely attack from Villa as Agbonlahor finds Holman, who aims a strike at goal which is defended by Mariappa but eventually Weimann forces a corner.

Benteke looks to place one from 20 yards, but the shot lacks power and it's a simple claim for Federici. Credit to Villa though they're certainly creating chances in the final third.

Another Villa corner as Benteke's shot is clipped wide. Bannan's delivery isn't great though and Roberts heads away quite easily.

Weimann's touch gets away from him after breaking into a brilliant position, allowing Morrison to step in as the nerves start to encompass the home supporters.

Westwood looks to cross in, with Shorey's deflection taking the ball for a Villa corner. Bannan delivers, with Baker getting his head to it, but he can only poke the ball into the ground and it ends up bouncing wide.

Le Fondre beats Clark in the air but McAnuff's delivery is headed wide of goal as Baker sweeps up when Roberts was poised to strike at the far post.

Benteke knocks the ball on for Agbonlahor, with Cummings poking to safety. Holman then whips a pacey ball into the far post with Agbonlahor unable to make contact.

Shorey looks for Le Fondre, but the striker is judged offside. He has otherwise had a very solid opening half an hour for the visitors.

Robson-Kanu gets away from Lowton, but Roberts can't control his delivery and Clark gets in the way. Villa move forward, but as Benteke finds Weimann, the Austrian inexplicably blazes over from 10 yards. Another excellent chance for the hosts.

Roberts battles past Lowton, and Clark is forced into covering as he concedes a throw-in against Robson-Kanu.

Shorey claims a corner after his delivery in the box lands behind goal, and replays show he was right. Villa break as a result though, with Bannan having a go from range which lands with the fans behind goal.

Stevens looks to have a real problem and Lichaj is introduced as Lambert is forced into an early substitution.

Benteke lazily plays into Morrison after a promising move from the hosts comes to nothing. Le Fondre then leaps with Guzan from McAnuff's ball but the Villa keeper claims it well.

Stevens remains down after that tangle with Le Fondre and he receives treatment as play comes to a momentary halt.

Benteke has a shot from the edge of the box but a well timed tackle from Mariappa takes the sting of it and the visitors look to break, before Le Fondre is penalised for a foul on Stevens.

Baker's poor clearance lands with Le Fondre, who is initially crowded out, before a Clark mistake is then rectified by Lowton. Villa's defence is starting to look quite shaky at the moment.

Great work from Holman, who finds Benteke in the penalty box. The striker lines himself up but can only find the arms of Federici. Villa's best chance of the game so far.

Westwood clears, and inadvertantly plays in Benteke before top defending from Mariappa forces the ball out of play.

A goalmouth scramble is eventually hacked away by Westwood, and as Villa again look to break, Agbonlahor is caught offside from Holman's ball.

Baker holds off Roberts, but the final touch is off the Villa defender and Reading earn another corner in what is turning out to be a good spell for the Royals.

Lowton is forced to concede a corner from Robson-Kanu's delivery. McAnuff swings the ball in and Morrison climbs highest but he can only poke his header wide.

Clark steps out to catch Roberts offside from Leigertwood's delivery. The Villa centre-back is going to have be on the top of his game against the Reading striker tonight.

Bannan sprays the ball out to the left, but Shorey controls it well, as both teams look quite lively early on, with seemingly few nerves apparant in either camp.

Huge let off for Villa. Leigertwood pressures Bannan and whips a good cross into the box which Le Fondre aims a overhead kick at, with the ball incredibly sailing wide.

Stevens' deep ball into the back post is headed brilliantly back across goal by Weimann. Federici does well against the mighty frame of Benteke to claim it though.

McAnuff cuts past Stevens, with no foul given as the winger goes down. Villa break swiftly as a result as Agbonlahor looks for Holman with the ball just a yard ahead of the winger and it's a Reading goal kick.

Benteke looks to feed in Holman but Mariappa reads the pass. Reading look to break and Robson-Kanu goes for goal but can only steer wide from 20 yards.

Holman and Agbonlahor show nice invention from a one-two but the former's ball back into the striker catches him a yard behind and Morrison steps in.

Cummings beats Agbonlahor to Stevens' ball down the line, with Villa winning the throw. They probe forward afterwards, but Benteke chooses not to run on to Bannan's ball to avoid being caught offside.

Westwood plays into Shorey, who looks to set Reading forward. McAnuff looks for Roberts but a good header from Clark sends the ball clear.

Villa start well, controlling most of the early possession, before Stevens is on hand to prevent Le Fondre breaking away.

Aston Villa kick off and get the game underway.

Dave Birch writes: "I have total faith in Paul Lambert but I really believe he's cutting off his nose to spite his face!!! Darren Bent is our only natural goal scorer and he's not even on the bench....if we don't get 7 points from our next 3 games then alarm bells will be ringing. I hope those bells won't start tonight."

Paddy writes: "Let's hope the young Villa team can turn in a good performance...a must win game for us and I predict 2-1 Villa"

Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

Reading: Federici, Cummings, Morrison, Mariappa, Shorey, Robson-Kanu, Leigertwood, Tabb, McAnuff, Roberts, Le Fondre. Subs: Taylor, Pearce, Pogrebnyak, Hunt, McCleary, Harte, Gunnarsson.

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Baker, Clark, Stevens, Holman, Westwood, Bannan, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Benteke. Subs: Given, Ireland, El Ahmadi, Albrighton, Delph, Bowery, Lichaj.

Here are the teams...

Aston Villa are Sky Bet's odds-on favourites to pick up the three points at 5/6 with Reading 100/30 and the draw 5/2. The Royals head into the game as the 8/15 favourites for relegation with Villa currently 13/8. Our 'What If...it's unbelievable Bentekkers' price boost offers first goal favourite Benteke at an enhanced price of 5/1 to break the deadlock.

Good evening everyone and welcome to Villa Park for the crucial clash between Aston Villa and Reading. The teams are in and will be updated momentarily. If you'd like to get in touch tonight you can send an e-mail to jack.woodfield@bskyb.com or tweet @JWoodfield365

Kick-off is at 2000 GMT...

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