Reading registerd their first league win of the season as they ran out 3-1 winners against Barnsley at Oakwell this afternoon. Having gone behind to Andy Gray’s early opener, Alex Pearce and a brace from Noel Hunt ensured the three points went to the Royals.
Full report by Rory O’Sullivan:
Something seems to be clicking for the Royals at the moment. Where they have looked nervous, they now brim confidence. Where they have looked backward-thinking, they now gallop toward the horizons of opposing territory. This is only true, however, on the evidence of a well-earned 3-1 victory away at struggling Barnsley.
Indeed, despite an excellent opening from the visitors, it was Simon Davey’s Barnsley that took the lead when Andy Gray directed a header beneath Adam Federici.
The Royals were back in the game soon enough, however, when skipper Pearce capitalised on some indecision in the Tykes’ penalty area to hoist a powerful left-footed shot into the top corner.
Noel Hunt, who has been recently criticised for his performances up front, proved why the arrivals of Gregorz Rasiak and Jobi McAnuff should pose a selection headaches for manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Irishman scored an excellent brace here and his influence may be responsible for the exit of Barnsley boss Davey, who left the club through mutual consent following a spell of results that leaves the Yorkshire club at the foot of the Championship and without a win to their name after five matches.
On the back of defeat in the Carling Cup to Barnsley, however, Reading, would have been anxious themselves that they would see their winless streak match that statistic.
Hunt had other ideas, however, and coolly slotted home a penalty on 53 minutes following keeper Luke Steele’s collision on Jimmy Kebe that may or may not have been a legitimate penalty.
Nevertheless, the Royals excellent resilience at times at managed will not simply be encouraged by his side’s ability to bounce back from an early setback but more delighted that his system is yielding goals, especially away from home.
Hunt then put the game beyond doubt just a minute after giving the Royals a 2-1 lead. He once again built on Kebe’s industry when he glanced the Malian winger’s cross past Steele and beneath a set of rather disgruntled Barnsley supporters.
Adam Federici – 7
Rarely troubled but dealt with everything he needed to, no chance with the goal
Liam Rosenior – 5
Sloppy at times on the ball
Alex Pearce – 6
Superb finish for goal
Matthew Mills – 6
Signs of a decent partnership forming with Pearce
Ryan Bertrand – 5
Ok going forward but needs to concentrate defensively at times
Jem Karacan – 6
Much improved from last weeks display against Sheff Utd
Brynjar Gunnarsson – 7
Experience helped the midfield
Gylfi Sigurdsson – 7
Continues to impress
Jimmy Kebe – 7
Won the penalty and great cross for Hunt’s second
Hal Robson-Kanu – 7
Always willing to run at players, good to see
Noel Hunt – 8
2 goals showed what he is all about
Michael Antonio (Kebe) – 6
Decent enough league debut for the Royals
Gregorz Rasiak (Robson-Kanu) – 6
Could have scored near the end on his debut
Late sub for Hunt but worked hard