The Royals faced Barnsley in their final game of 2017 with high hopes of returning back to Berkshire with three points. In a year of amazing highs and lows, the Royals ended in typical frustrating fashion, taking home a point in a 1-1 draw.
Yann Kermorgant got his first goal of the season with a second half header, before Barnsley equalised in the 91st minute. Jaap Stam was disappointed in his reflection of the game, especially as we keep dropping points by conceding late goals. He told the Official Club website:
“You don’t want to give it away so late in the game. It’s happened to us a couple of times this season, teams scoring against us in extra time.
“It’s simple things. They put a centre-back up front at the end so you need to mark up, defend those crosses coming in. We know that, but still it happens and they score.
“It was hard work, you expect that coming over here. It’s not always easy to play the football you want to over here. Both teams need the points, so you know it’s going to be a fight.
“In the first half, we could have played a little bit more, used the space they gave us to play out from the back. In the second half we kept on pushing, had a couple of shots and then we scored that goal.
“It was a good attack, a great cross from Tyler and a good finish from a striker who has come back from a big injury after being out for a long time. So scoring that goal, for him, will be a big relief.
“If we were a bit more careful and accurate with the passing, maybe we could have scored that second goal. But at the end of the game it’s 1-1. And basically, not enough.
“When you are 1-0 up with a few minutes left, you know they are going to bring an extra striker on or push a defender up there to make it difficult for us at crosses. And they succeeded in doing that, which is very frustrating.
“It’s a case of working out who is going to pick up who, defending from these crosses when they come in. You need to think quick, communicate quick, be aware of your surroundings and see how many players in the box and decide who is going to pick who up.
“Sometimes it doesn’t go how you want it to go. It’s not only us who have that problem though. But when you concede a late goal like that... we keep saying the word frustrating, but it’s not a good feeling.
“At 1-0 up, we needed to defend, to work hard to keep the three points. And we couldn’t do that today.”
The games keep coming with Birmingham the visitors to the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday, before Reading go to Stevenage in the FA Cup next Saturday.