Anssi Jaakkola: 7
A couple of fine stops in the early stages to prevent the away side taking the lead. Less to do later in the game.
Leandro Bacuna: 6
Bustling and busy, drove forward a few times. Quiet but effective enough.
Tiago Ilori: 7
Strong defensively and confident on the ball, although he had a few slip-ups that I'll forgive him for. Surely has to start regularly now that Paul McShane is sidelined through injury.
Tyler Blackett: 6
Shaky, but did enough physically to marshal Stevenage's attack and make sure Reading came away with a clean sheet. In his defence (pun intended), he's not used to playing as a centre back in a partnership.
Chris Gunter: 7
On the positive side, a trio of assists helped spur Reading to the win - the highlight a fantastic cross that Dadi headed home for his second of the night. On the other hand, Stevenage had too much joy down his side and could have scored at least once, so can’t give him the 8/10. Much better and more comfortable on the right.
Liam Kelly: 6
Looks much more comfortable playing deep in front of the defence where he can find space and pick passes. Although he wasn't too influential, he was energetic and industrious.
Dave Edwards: 5
Pretty anonymous, but generally kept the ball moving well, especially by pinging passes out wide in the second half when Reading were on the break. Lacks the obvious physical presence of van den Berg and the technical skill of Kelly - tonight wasn't his night.
Pelle Clement: 5
Worked hard and had some clever touches, but he lacks the necessary killer instinct to open up a defence. Too often caught in two minds when a decisive action was required.
Sone Aluko: 5
Like Edwards, largely anonymous, but grew into the game in the second half when space opened up on the break. Didn't create enough for Reading in the final third, but for me he looked more comfortable on the wing where he could use his stronger foot more freely.
Jon Dadi Bodvarsson: 9
What a night for the Icelander! Three very well-taken goals - two close range efforts with his feet and one powerful header. His confidence will be sky high, and he has to start on Saturday. Worked hard in open play.
Roy Beerens: 5
Offered Reading a more direct option by trying to cut inside and drive at the Stevenage defence, but it didn't come off enough. Probably did enough to persuade Stam that he's worth another go, even if just from the bench.
Omar Richards: 6
Unlucky not to start, but perhaps the right decision to keep him as fresh as possible whilst he's still getting used to first team football. Energetic, confident and intelligent on the ball in his brief cameo at the end.
Average rating: 6.16
Who was your man of the match? Well, probably Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, but we’ll run the poll anyway. Can’t see the poll? Here’s the link.
The fans who turned up: 10
Considering how many people had predicted a low turnout before the match, and how true that proved to be, the few thousand that did take the time out deserve a pat on the back.
Whoever it was that thought it was a good idea to have both teams start the game in their home kits: 2
What a wally.
Reading’s kitman who went to Hogwood to pick up the orange jerseys in time for the second half: 10
It’s a lot easier to play well when you can see your team mates.
Stam - Our kitman had to go back to Hogwood and pick up the away kit so we could change it. #ReadingFC— Tom Crocker (@TomJCrocker) January 16, 2018