We didn't expect this did we? A game that most wrote off as an inevitable battering instead yielded a very welcome three points, with the Royals getting away with a typical smash and grab at the Riverside. An early goal from Simon Cox, set up by Ryan Edwards, was enough to secure the win, despite some nervy final moments.
The Royals lined up in the same 4-2-3-1 formation that has been commonplace this season, with Jordan Obita and Michael Hector returning to the starting XI. Also, new signings Oliver Norwood and Jamie Mackie made their first starts for the club. Federici, Gunter, Pearce, Kuhl, Edwards, Taylor and Cox filled the other places in the team.
Academy graduate Simon Cox grabbed the game's only goal after just seven minutes in a move started by Oliver Norwood before the Irishman was set up by Ryan Edwards. The Royals held on for the rest of the game, battling doggedly against a Middlesbrough side much expected to challenge for promotion this season.
Started with a great crossfield ball by Norwood, some super interchange before Edwards chipped in to Cox who chipped home delicately.— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) August 30, 2014
So, Reading head into the international break with a big three points under their belt before returning to the Madejski on Saturday 13th September to face Fulham. Nigel Adkins will hope to have several more senior players available to him for that game, with eleven first teamers currently unavailable.