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Reading FC 2-0 Middlesbrough FC: Instant Reaction

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In a battle of fourth against second at the Maddejski Stadium, a goal just 16 seconds in set up a massive win for Steve Clarke's side.

Martin Willetts/Getty Images

Reading: Al-Habsi, Obita, McShane, Hector, Gunter, Norwood, Williams, Robson-Kanu (Tshibola), Pizaon (John), Blackman, Sa

The big team news saw Jonathan Bond miss out due to injury with Ali Al-Habsi making his first league start between the posts for Reading, while Orlando Sa returned from suspension to lead the line.

Any pre-match concerns over the goalkeeping situation were soon at the back of the mind, after Reading put the ball in the net just 16 seconds in. Hal Robson-Kanu's cross ending up on the head of Danny Williams to give us a massive early advantage.

That would be about the only time that Reading got into the Boro half for the next 20 minutes as Aitor Karanka's side enjoyed almost all the possession without really troubling Al-Habsi. The only real danger in the first half was referee Keith Stroud, who wasn't haven't the most consistent day at the office, much to the annoyance of the home fans.

While not enjoying much of the ball, Reading still had the better of the chances, seeing one cleared off the line and several long-range efforts whizz past the woodwork. At the other end, Al-Habsi had just one real save to make, pushing a stinging low drive past the post.

Into the second period and both sides began to tire. Oliver Norwood saw a free-kick sneak past the post but no team really took firm control on the contest. Boro had plenty of nice approach play but struggled to get efforts away on target, although a couple of drives did flash past Al-Habsi's post.

The final third of the game was a nervy one for Reading fans but five minutes from time those nerves were eased when Nick Blackman won a penalty. The TTE Player of the Month stepped up and rolled it home to give Reading a 2-0 win with his eighth goal in as many games.

We'll have a full review of the game as well as player ratings a little later this weekend here on The Tilehurst End.