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Charlton 0-1 Reading: Match Report

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It was another brilliant away day for Reading who are unbeaten from the Madejski since February when they took all three points back to Berkshire after a priceless 1-0 win against Charlton at The Valley. Danny Williams scored 73rd minute stunner which sent the away fans into raptures. The win sees Reading go five points clear of the chasing pack for the play offs. Here Sophie Goddard makes here Tilehurst End debut recapping all the action.

Ben Hoskins

Reading: McCarthy; Obita, Gorkss, Pearce, Gunter; McAnuff, Guthrie, Williams, Drenthe (McCleary); Pogrebnyak, Le Fondre (Robson-Kanu)

Nigel Adkins made four changes from the 1-1 draw against Huddersfield last weekend. Sean Morrison, Hal Robson-Kanu and Garath McCleary were all dropped to the bench while Michael Hector missed out due to injury. Adam Le Fondre, Kaspars Gorkss, Royston Drenthe and Danny Guthrie all started.

The first half was poor on Reading's behalf. Again it looked as though Reading were in the relegation scrap and Charlton were the team fighting for the play-offs.

The home side had most of the possession and also a few half chances in the opening 45 minutes. Jordan Cousins had a chance on goal after some poor defending from Jordan Obita but his shot was comfortably saved by Alex McCarthy.

Ex Royals striker Simon Church started for Charlton for the first time in three weeks, but didn't seem to offer the Addicks much up the top and didn't threaten McCarthy or the Royals defence.

Chris Gunter went on one of his superb runs and crossed the ball into the box but this was cleared by the Charlton defence; this was one of the few talking points for the Royals in the first half.

Reading came out the brighter of the two teams in the second half though, starting well and surging forward on a fantastic counter attack when Danny Guthrie broke forward from the Charlton half and found Royston Drenthe. The Dutch winger put in a good ball into the box where Le Fondre headed down for the waiting Williams but the midfielder fired just wide of the goal.

The next to have a good chance on goal was Player of the Month curse stricken Le Fondre. Jobi McAnuff fed the ball through to Alfie who controlled the ball on the six yard box but the striker fired wide while on the turn.

It was clear to see that Reading had missed Danny Guthrie in midfield over the past few games and he had a superb chance to put the Royals one up. He had a superb free kick saved by ex-Reading goalkeeper Ben Hamer. He clawed the ball out of the corner of the goal to make sure it went out of play.

Adkins then took off Royston Drenthe, who hadn't really created much during the game and brought on Garath McCleary and he almost had an immediate effect. It was another lovely move which found Le Fondre who fed the ball through to McCleary, who was one on one with Hamer but he scuffed the ball just wide of the goal.

Another chance went begging and this time it fell to Pavel Pogrebnyak on the left of the penalty box but he could only find the side netting.

In the 73rd minute Reading finally took the lead through a fantastic goal by Danny Williams. Guthrie broke from his own half and found Williams on the right of the penalty box who struck the ball sweetly past Hamer.

The American was delighted and jumped into the away fans which subsequently saw him receive a booking. If there was ever any doubt that Reading players didn't care, you could tell by the celebration that the goal meant everything to each and every one of them.

After the goal, Charlton found a bit of urgency, but a bit like their second half performance, they didn't really give much. Substitute Reza Ghoochannejhad had two chances in as many minutes. First was a free kick which was fired high and wide. The second was when Gorkss, who had to have his head banged earlier on in the game after a clash of heads, headed straight into Ghoochannjahd's path but he volleyed well wide of the goal.

You could hear the relief at full time when the referee blew his whistle. Reading are now five points ahead of seventh place Nottingham Forest with six games to go. Nail biting times.

The Royals head down to Bournemouth on Tuesday in what will be another crucial game against another potential Play-Off contender.

Onwards and Upward, URZZZ!