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Reading FC 1-2 Brentford FC: Instant Reaction

The Royals ended 2015 in miserable fashion with a sixth defeat in seven after an absorbing clash at the Madejski Stadium.

Stu Forster/Getty Images

Brentford won for the second season in a row in Reading after edging a close and entertaining match that witnessed three outstanding goals of the highest quality. Ryan Woods gave the West London side the lead with a long-range effort before Garath McCleary equalised around the hour mark.

After that it could have gone either way but Sergi Canos was to score the winner with a beautiful piece of skill and firm drive beyond Jonathan Bond.

It was another frustrating afternoon for Reading in a game that felt very familiar. They started brightly with Hal Robson-Kanu in particular causing the away side some early problems. The Wales international created the first decent chance all himself after he used his skill and strength to get the better of James Tarkowski before firing from a narrow angle straight at David Button.

Robson-Kanu was again involved as Nick Blackman came close but Brentford took the lead. Woods shot from the edge of the area giving Bond no chance but Reading will be disappointed that they gave him so much time and space to shoot.

The Royals' heads did not drop and they continued to probe, creating a few decent half chances but never doing enough to get an equaliser, whilst Brentford always looked dangerous on the break. The half ended on a sour note for the Royals when Ola John pulled up with what looked like a hamstring injury.

John was replaced by McCleary whilst Matej Vydra came on for Robson-Kanu. The latter soon missed a decent headed chance, though to be fair to him he did seem to see the ball late. Vydra showed the perfect response when he quickly made amends by exchanging passes with McCleary to allow his fellow half-time sub to poke home.

From there it looked like the game could go either way but as with Reading's luck at the moment it was to be a second piece of magic from Brentford that would settle the game. A cross field ball found Liverpool loanee Canos who flicked the ball over Quinn, knocked it past Michael Hector before hitting an emphatic volley into the back of the net.

The goal seemed to take the wind out of Reading's sails and in truth the final 20 minutes were comfortable for Brentford. There was still time for Hector to get a second yellow card when he went down too easily in the Brentford box.

Reading maybe did not deserve to lose but they definitely did not deserve to win. It was a decent display, however, we have long gone past the stage where performances provide comfort. Reading have now lost four of their five games since they sacked Steve Clarke perhaps showing that the manager was not the problem.

The nature of Brian McDermott's teams and the Championship means this season is far from over but if Reading could put an end to this season right now then they probably would.

The Tilehurst End will have more reaction to come.