Date:Tuesday February 14 2012
Attendance: 22, 567
Noel Hunt`s header was enough to win a game with very chances at Pride Park as Reading ran out 1-0 victors over Derby County. With both defences on top throughout the match neither side looked likely to score until a Jimmy Kebe cross picked out Hunt and his downwards header beat Frank Fielding and bounced into the roof of the net. Despite some late pressure The Rams were not able to muster a comeback and Jamie Ward`s glancing header wide of the near post was the only real moment of note as Reading`s recent run of form continued and they moved into the play-off places with the three points.
Nigel Clough named an unnamed side with a return on the bench for Steve Davies after his layoff with a fractured skull. The game got off to a tight start with neither side able to create any clear cut chances although Jason Roberts wasn`t far away from a Hal Robson-Kanu cross and the striker turned sharply in the area moments later but Jason Shackell recovered well to prevent a shot on goal. Callum Ball had The Rams` first effort of the half when Tom Carroll returned the ball back into the area following an Adam Federici punched clearance but the youngsters looping head dropped harmlessly over. Nathan Tyson then cut in from the left and hit a firm effort but it was straight at Federici who had an easy save to make shortly afterwards when Jeff Hendrick broke forward but a deflection took the pace off his effort and the sides went in level at the break.
Steve Davies came on in place of Craig Bryson during the break and Theo Robinson joined him ten minutes later in place of Callum Ball. The first effort of the half came the way of the visitors and they took the lead on the hour mark when Jimmy Kebe crossed from the left and Noel Hunt`s downward header bounced beyond Frank Fielding and into the roof of the net. Chances were still at a premium although Paul Green did let fly after picking the ball up inside the Reading half but his effort was off target and Davies saw a freekick deflected wide from the edge of the area before Shaun Barker had a header cleared from inside the six-yard area from the resulting corner. Jamie Ward glanced a header just wide of the near post from a Green freekick and Nathan Tyson saw another header cleared from in front of goal before Ward fired wide of the mark with an effort from the edge of the area but the visitors comfortably held on to claim the win.
Derby County: Fielding; Green, Shackell, Barker, Roberts; Hendrick, Carroll (Bailey 77), Bryson (S.Davies 46); Ward, Ball (Robinson 55), Tyson.
Subs: Legzdins, Buxton.
Reading: Federici; Connolly, Gorkss, Pearce, Harte; Kebe, Karacan, Leigertwood, Robson-Kanu (Mills 82); Hunt, Roberts.
Subs: Anderson, Tabb, Church, Le Fondre.
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Date:Tuesday February 14 2012
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