McCarthy vents fury as rivals close the gap

Reading 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0

The midwinter blues have hit Wolverhampton Wanderers hard. Mick McCarthy's men have not won in the Championship in January, and this was their fifth consecutive game without victory. Reading have not been flawless this month but this comfortable win, despite the scoreline, thanks to Neill Collins's own goal after 60 seconds, means that The Royals have done the double over Wolves and have closed to within two points of the league leaders.

Collins's night got worse when he was sent off in injury time for swearing at the assistant referee and it was clearly catching. McCarthy's reaction to the goal that condemned his side to a second defeat in those five games was short and sweet. "What a shite start," he said. "It shouldn't happen. Absolute tosh, rubbish, drivel."

The former Republic of Ireland manager continued in a far more colourful and expletive-filled vein after that, all of which made it clear that he is extremely worried about the disappearance of a previously powerful position at the top of the table. "How we respond now is what's important. I can't do anything about what's happened here," he said in a calmer tone.

Steve Coppell, the Reading manager, who would refuse to hype up Christmas, let alone a football match, had spoken beforehand about the impact a win for either side would have here, "regardless of the three points". Although of course they come in handy, too. On the basis of McCarthy's reaction, it would seem as if that is round one to Coppell in the psychological battle for promotion.

What caused McCarthy's anger started with some dithering at right-back by Kevin Foley, which saw Stephen Hunt win back possession. He found Chris Armstrong, who crossed, and in jumping for the ball with Kevin Doyle, Collins, the Wolves centre-back, saw his attempted clearance arc and loop over Wayne Hennessey and under the crossbar.

Given that Reading's last league outing was a 2-0 defeat at Swansea City 10 days ago, the early strike soothed some of the hosts' nerves that their own push for automatic promotion might be faltering. The only thing to upset Coppell's men was Michael Duberry being forced off with a cut head, leaving Coppell with only one of his first-choice back four.

Noel Hunt had a free-kick saved by Hennessey, who also saved from James Harper, but the expected onslaught from the visitors, bar that of the four-letter kind, never arrived.

Goals: Collins og (2) 1-0.

Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Kelly, Duberry (Gunnarsson, 30), Pearce, Armstrong; Kébé, Cissé, Harper, S Hunt; N Hunt (Long, 81), Doyle (Lita, 82). Substitutes not used: Andersen (gk), Matejovsky.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Hennessey; Foley, Stearman, Collins, S Ward; Kightly, Henry, Quashie (Edwards, 86), Jarvis (Vokes, 85); Ebanks-Blake, Keogh (Iwelumo, 63). Substitutes not used: Higgs (gk), Vokes, Hill.

Referee: R Booth (Nottinghamshire).

Booked: Reading Gunnarsson; Wolves Ward.

Sent off: Collins (90).

Attendance: 29,009.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
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.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'