I'm never hopeful of a win on my birthday weekend. I only remember doing so a handful of times and when we have lost it's been pretty badly. However, it was nice to watch my first game as a 25 year old and come away feeling content.
The first half was definitely back to Reading's expertise; lots and lots of possession football. Birmingham allowed us to have the ball as freely as we wanted but we couldn't make the most of it. Thankfully Birmingham didn't have much spark to their game either, and as the first 45 minutes came to a close I was thinking that maybe I would have been better staying in the Caribbean restaurant Mum and I had been to before the match.
However, Reading started much livelier in the second half, Liam Kelly unlucky not to score very early on; only former Brighton keeper David Stockdale stopping him. When Modou Barrow missed his sitter from five yards I was ready to go back to Turtle Bay and drown my sorrows in rum as I had not yet seen us win this season (the only game I've missed was the victory over Villa). I was convinced, along with many of the other 894 Royals fans that travelled on Saturday, that this yet again was going to be a frustrating afternoon and a wasted opportunity to get more points on the board.
It was obvious that if we got a goal we were going to win, and thankfully we got our well deserved first goal on the hour mark when a Tyler Blackett cross found Jon Dadi Bodvarsson who headed home to score his first goal for Reading. I think his stats from last season don't serve him any justice, and hopefully with a strong squad of players around him, Jaap Stam can get the best out of the Icelander.
Reading continued to strengthen and doubled their lead in the 85th minute when substitutes Garath McCleary and George Evans linked up to ensure all of the points were coming back to Berkshire.
It's great to see Reading improve week on week again. The performance at QPR was awful, the performance at Preston was average but the performance at Birmingham was good.
Okay, granted they're not going to be the strongest opposition we play this season, but we were allowed to play our style of football and we played it well. The set up looked right, the body language was good, the play looked calm and comfortable.
The new signings I think are proving to be a success, as well as established players improving in their position (Blackett and Kelly most notably). If we could strengthen our squad by the end of the transfer window, I think we could have more exciting things to come this season.