Reading came from behind to claim a 3-2 win over Brentford tonight in a dramatic game at the Madejski Stadium.
After a less than impressive 0-0 draw with Barnsley at the weekend, it was promising to see the Royals start this evening's game on the front foot as they pressured the Bees defence from the off. New signing Jordon Mutch was right at the heart of the action, having the hosts' best chances in the opening 20 minutes of the game.
A goal was coming, and come it did for Reading in the 22nd minute as Garath McCleary was sent down the right wing before sending a cross into the box that was turned against the post by a Brentford defender, but former Bees midfielder John Swift was there to slot home the rebound.
However, that seemed to give Brentford a wake up call and they began to create some real chances as the first half came to a close and were perhaps unlucky not to go into the break level; Lasse Vibe and Sergi Canos both had big opportunities to equalise. They did finally manage to hit the back of the net after the interval though as Florian Jozefzoon went on a 40 yard run before cutting the ball back for Jota to smash the ball home from inside the box after 63 minutes. Just three minutes later and the visitors were in front, with Vibe beating Ali Al-Habsi from close range following a neat through ball from Jota.
It was punishment for Jaap Stam as he failed to change the system despite the Bees being on top, but he did eventually bring on not one, not two but three substitutes all in one go as Roy Beerens, Yann Kermorgant and George Evans all made their way on to the pitch. This time it was the Royals' turn to complete a quick-fire turnaround, with Danny Williams' poking the ball home from McCleary's cross in the 77th minute to make it 2-2. The winning goal came thanks to a goalkeeping howler from Daniel Bentley, who rushed off his line to try and beat McCleary to ball, but it all went horribly wrong for the former Southend man as Kermorgant latched on to the ball and turned it goalwards, leaving Beerens with the simple task of finishing into an empty net.
Brentford will be wondering how they themselves didn't score a third, with Jozefzoon seeing a first shot saved by Al-Habsi before his attempt from the rebound went all along the goal-line but could not find its way past it. It was a scare for Reading, but they managed to hold on to take all three points and remain fourth in the table.
Reading: Al-Habsi, Gunter, Moore, Blackett, Obita, Williams, Mutch, Swift (Evans 73'), Kelly (Kermorgant 73'), McCleary, Grabban (Beerens 73')
Stay tuned to Tilehurst End for a full report and ratings in the next day or two.