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Reading FC 3-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers: Match Report

Reading returned to the Madejski to play out a six-goal thriller with high-flyers Wolverhampton Wanderers. Bucks Royal gives us his match report from the game.

Simeon Pickup

Reading made two changes to the side that was beaten 1-0 at Hillsborough eight days earlier, with the now fit Adam Federici and Michael Hector returning for their temporary replacements Mikkel Andersen and Jake Cooper, who both dropped to the bench. Former Royals Scott Golbourne and James Henry lined up for the visitors.

The opening fifteen minutes were relatively uneventful, with the game refusing to spark into life, but both teams had opportunities to open the scoring. For the Royals, Simon Cox went close with a flicked header from Jordan Obita's cross and a drive from distance, with Wolves' George Saville forcing a good save out of the returning Adam Federici before that.

The deadlock was broken on 19 minutes following a very well worked corner routine involving Obita and Norwood. Obita took short a corner from the right, using Norwood as support, before getting the ball back. The Northern Irishman then picked the ball up again in space on the right before whipping a pacey cross onto the head of Hector who bulleted home the first goal of his Reading career.

Despite looking relatively comfortable for the rest of the first half, Reading were unable to build on their lead. Simon Cox was linking up well with frontman Glenn Murray, who lashed a shot off target following a clever break. Hope Akpan also scuffed a shot comfortably into the arms of Carl Ikeme. So far, so good.

Nigel Adkins made one half-time change, replacing Hope Akpan with Danny Guthrie in a straight swap in midfield. Oliver Norwood had the first chance of the second half, arcing a 30-yard drive narrowly over Ikeme's crossbar in what wasn't far away from being a spectacular goal.

But the 51st minute brought with it a whirlwind spell of play that turned the game on its head several times over. Danny Guthrie gave the ball away in the middle of the park before Bakary Sako drove a low cross into the Reading six-yard box for James Henry to slot home at the far post. Wolves were in the ascendancy, and they completed a remarkable (yet short lived) turnaround a few minutes later. Jordan Obita, failing to clear his lines at the back, could only find Evans with a hashed clearance that the Wolves player delightfully pounced on.

Seeing a hard-earned lead slip away in a flash can always have a bad effect on a team, especially considering the nature of the two goals - sloppy defending meant that the Royals gifted the visitors a lead. But to Reading's credit, they did not let their heads drop. From the restart, Simon Cox went on a marauding run forward before playing in Jake Taylor, who slid a cool finish into the back of the net.

Much of the second half was a low-key affair, with both sides struggling to make clear-cut chances. Nigel Adkins made two changes in that time, replacing Simon Cox with Jamie Mackie and Jake Taylor with Aaron Kuhl. Cox had up to that point been impressive, linking up well with Murray and turning provider for Reading's equaliser. On 73 minutes, Kuhl was introduced to shore up a midfield area that Wolves were starting to exert influence over, with Reading switching to what appeared to be a 4-3-3 formation, with Blackman and Mackie either side of Murray.

It was looking like the game would gradually wind down into a 2-2 draw, but Wolves retook the lead with a few minutes to go. A corner was swung into the box from the right, with the ball being bundled just over the line. But the Royals yet again refused to lie down, drawing level yet again through the on-loan Glenn Murray whose deflected strike from the edge of the area flew past Ikeme to seal a point for Reading.