Sidwell on target to give Dillon first success

Reading 2 Cardiff City 1
Click to follow

Reading proved that there is life after Alan Pardew last night when they came from behind to win for the first time in a year against their Welsh visitors.

Pardew handed in his resignation twice last week to the chairman, John Madejski, and was initially rebuffed before Pardew was sent away on "gardening leave". That leaves the former Crystal Palace midfielder in managerial limbo, although reports linking him to the West Ham position could be made more concrete today.

Reading's caretaker manager, Kevin Dillon, was flushed with excitement after this victory and doubly so having suffered defeat in his first outing against West Ham last Saturday.

After seeing Nicky Forster equalise Peter Thorne's early goal for the visitors and then Steve Sidwell lash home the winner, Dillon said: "I enjoyed it tonight and I want the job. However, I have no indication as to how long I've got to prove myself. It could be about whether we win games and not how we play, or the other way round.''

If it was done on how Reading played, Dillon would not have long to go based on the Royals' first-half performance, when they were outplayed by Lenny Lawrence's visitors.

Cardiff took the lead with a neat move after just 12 minutes. With some precise build-up around the penalty area, Graham Kavanagh slipped the ball to Thorne and with Graham Shorey too slow to move up for off-side, Thorne found the bottom corner of the net.

Three minutes later Thorne, who scored at the weekend in Cardiff's 5-0 drubbing of Gillingham, put another chance wide.

With visiting support that drowned out the locals, Cardiff were playing like the home team but crucially failed to take advantage of their numerous chances. Robert Earnshaw, the four-goal hero from the weekend, missed his chance to score as Marcus Hahnemann ran smartly off his line to block.

Lawrence then saw his team drop too deep in the second half, which he felt allowed Reading the opportunity to level and ultimately win this match. With 61 minutes gone Scott Murray fired in a shot from the right that rebounded to Forster, who turned it in from close range for his 50th goal in a Reading shirt.

Then, with 11 minutes remaining, Sidwell claimed the points that moved Reading into fifth place. After a neat lay-off by Murray, the England Under-21 midfielder let fly from 18 yards for the winning goal.

Reading (4-4-2): Hahnemann; Shorey, Murty, Brown, Williams (capt); Hughes, Murray, Sidwell (Watson, 90), Harper; Goater (Tyson, 76), Forster. Substitutes not used: Mackie, Salako, Ashdown.

Cardiff City (4-4-2): Alexander; Barker, Weston, Vidmar, Collins; Langley, Robinson, Boland, Kavanagh; Thorne, Earnshaw. Substitutes not used: Bonner, Bowen, Gordon, Croft, Margetson.

Referee: M Fletcher (Worcestershire).