Match Report: Clinical Reading wipe out Adams' early opener for Crawley

Crawley 1 Reading 3

broadfield stadium

There was a shock result at the Broadfield
Stadium yesterday - Reading won. Well, that was certainly the way the Crawley
Town supporters saw it, chanting for their manager, Richie Barker, to
"sort it out" as their team trailed 3-1 in the second half. These are
fans, in case you (or they) have forgotten, who were watching non-League
football only two years ago.

It reflects the heightened expectations of their followers that they feel a team in eighth place in League One ought to be able to beat a struggling Premier League club. However, the FA Cup was unable to work that piece of magic yesterday, with the finishing of Adam Le Fondre and Noel Hunt proving the difference between the teams after Crawley had taken the lead after only 14 seconds.

"I don't know how much it would cost to buy them but it wouldn't be cheap," Barker said. "Expectations here are ridiculous. You can't educate some people. One day when I'm gone, people will realise how well I've done. I know Gary Alexander won't mind me saying this, but f I could swap him for Adam Le Fondre then I would do and the faster people round here realise that, the better."

Victories have not been easy to come by for Reading this season, so any reminder of how it feels to walk off the field as winners was welcome. "It was just about trying to get a result and doing the basics as well as we could – which we didn't do in the first 14 seconds," their manager, Brian McDermott, said. "You just have to react and I thought the reaction from the players was good. It has turned out to be an okay day."

He made seven changes to the team beaten 3-1 by Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, with Ian Harte wearing the captain's armband for the first time in a long and distinguished career of over 400 games. It did not begin well, the Irishman presenting the ball to Nicky Adams on the right. He cut inside and hit a left-foot shot that arched over Adam Federici and in, to the delight of the majority of a record crowd.

Federici was caught out for that one, but saved his team after nine minutes, leaping to tip central defender Joe Walsh's header over the crossbar, and a minute later Reading levelled. Garath McCleary cleverly controlled his volleyed pass from the right to Le Fondre, who had hung back as the Crawley defenders raced back and had all the time and space he needed to place a first-time shot low past Paul Jones' left hand.

Federici again saved well, this time from Billy Clarke, before Reading went ahead three minutes before the interval. Again McCleary was the creator, cutting the ball back for Hunt to volley in at the near post.

The Reading supporters expressed their surprise at seeing their team ahead away from home, and it got even better in the 49th minute when the referee, Anthony Taylor, deemed Walsh's challenge on Hunt a foul, Le Fondre converting the penalty with relish. "It looked like Joe got the ball," Barker said. "I believe the referee has made a mistake."

Crawley were stunned, but recovered without ever looking as if they could close the gap, with only long-range efforts from Adams and Mat Sadler forcing saves from Federici.

"I'm disappointed," Barker said. "I think we deserved more out of the game than we got. We had chances, but the goalkeeper pulled off two or three good saves. To put him under as much pressure as we did speaks volumes for the players."

Crawley (4-4-2): P Jones; Hunt (Akinde, 82), Connolly, Walsh, Sadler; Adams, Simpson, Akpan, M Jones (Elford-Alliyu, 68); Clarke, Alexander.

Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Cummings, Morrison, Pearce, Harte; McCleary (Gunter, 85), Karacan (Guthrie, 68), Tabb, Robson-Kanu; Hunt, Le Fondre.

Man of the match: Anthony Taylor

Referee: McCleary (Reading).

Match rating: 7/10

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam