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Instant Reaction: Bournemouth 3-1 Reading

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A severely disappointing first half display from the away side puts the Royals in a perilous position as key rivals make up ground in the play-off race.

Clive Brunskill

Coming into the game Reading were on a high, with a good win at Charlton to come off the back of, Reading named 1 change in their starting line-up. Goalscorer and fan-favourite Danny Williams was injured, and replaced by Wayne Bridge to give the ex-England international his spot at left-back and nudge Jordan Obita into the midfield.

This signalled cracks in Reading's central midfield that deepened to a yawning chasm as Danny Guthrie was injured in the warm-up to see Hal Robson Kanu drafted in, despite the return of Mikele Leigertwood to the subs bench.

The game kicked off and Bournemouth led early on through Matt Ritchie, as the hosts broke down the right, striker Lewis Grabban squared to Ritchie to score against Reading for the 2nd time this season.

The team's morale seemed to drop instantly, as Bournemouth proved they were a real team, exposing the individualist Reading to grab another through ex-Swindon winger Ritchie. Kaspars Gorkss squandered position in a dangerous area, and eventually Bournemouth worked it into the back of the net via strikers Grabban, Kermogant and the effervescent Ritchie.

Alex McCarthy was required to save a strong Grabban header, still before the half-time whistle, before it was 3-0 for real when right-back Francis comfortably beat the returning full-back Bridge to find Kermogant and seal the win.

If ever you needed to define consolation, it would be Reading's first and only goal, scored by consolation-specialist Robson-Kanu. The fact it was a decent 25-yard effort will matter little to player and fans, alike.

The game finished 3-1, Bournemouth wanted it more and deserved it. But, the questions will come thick and fast for Nigel Adkins and his team- why are we the team with less desire and hunger? How can we possibly be that team that loses on such factors?

So, a dismal day as our vocal and numerous away support head back north with a real bitter taste.
Top effort from them, sadly unmatched by our team.

We'll have the full report, ratings and MotM poll in due course.