Reading sneak past Ipswich

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:39

Reading sneak past Ipswich

Ipswich suffered what could prove to be a costly Championship defeat as they were beaten 1-0 by Reading.
With Middlesbrough having been beaten in the early kick-off, Mick McCarthy’s men could have pulled level in second place with a win.
But Jamie Mackie’s 14th-minute goal ensured that they remained in the thick of the play-off places, with Norwich closing the gap on them in fourth to just a point.
The visitors survived an early onslaught from Ipswich, with Daryl Murphy going close before Mackie’s decisive strike.
Ipswich huffed and puffed in a poor second half but only really came to life in stoppage time, when Murphy again went close to adding to his 21 goals.
The hosts almost took the lead after six minutes and, predictably, it was from the boot of Championship top scorer Murphy.
The Republic of Ireland international initially looked to play a return pass to the onrushing Freddie Sears, but the rebound off a Reading foot fell kindly to him. The bustling centre-forward ghosted past two opponents but shot straight at Adam Federici with his weaker right foot.
Federici then had to be alert to hold onto a 25-yard effort from Kevin Bru before Reading took the lead completely out of the blue on 14 minutes.
There seemed to be little danger when Mackie picked the ball up on the right wing, but he rifled a low shot into the far corner beyond Bartosz Bialkowski.
The action was relentless with Hal Robson-Kanu firing over for Reading when well positioned 20 yards out and, at the other end, Jay Tabb unable to direct a header goalwards after good work from Luke Chambers and Sears down the right.
Clearly shaken by the surprise opener, Ipswich were struggling to break down the visitors, although the lively Sears forced a save from Federici two minutes before the interval after finding space in the Royals’ area.
Reading almost doubled their lead five minutes after the restart when Nathan Chalobah’s 20-yard free kick was tipped away by the diving Bialkowski.
Ipswich went agonisingly close to levelling after 54 minutes when Tabb raced onto Sears’ flick but his low cross-cum-shot narrowly evaded both the far post and Murphy.
Teddy Bishop saw a shot deflect wide of the far post before Simon Cox’s attempt from the edge of the area lacked power.
Home substitute Paul Anderson fashioned a good opportunity on 68 minutes but Federici clung on to his left-footed shot before the same player turned provider with a devilish low cross that Sears fired straight at the impressive Reading stopper.
Anderson was at the heart of the action, curling over a 20-yard free-kick after fellow substitute and debutant Luke Varney had been fouled before Mackie missed an equally good chance, firing wide of the near post with team-mates well placed.

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