After a disappointing collapse midweek against Blackburn, on Saturday afternoon the Reading travelled to Villa Park still in search of a first win in the league this season. Yet for 80 minutes, it looked as we were heading towards another loss in uninspiring fashion. It wasn’t until the last 10 minutes that the Royals finally found a bit of life in them, and a last gasp injury time penalty from Sam Baldock rescued a point for Paul Clement’s side. Here’s how you reacted to what could prove to be a very important result..
Paul Clement had some big decisions to make with his starting eleven after some poor individual performances in recent weeks. For the trip to Villa Park, Clement left captain Paul McShane out of the squad completely, whilst Liam Kelly and Yakou Meite both dropped to the bench, as Mo Barrow, David Meyler and - most importantly - Tiago Ilori all stepped back into the first eleven. After McShane’s awful display against Blackburn in which he gave away 2 penalties, it was vital that Ilori was passed fit for Saturday. Here’s how you reacted to some of the big calls made by Clement...
Respect Clement for dropping Kelly to the bench and leaving out McShane entirely #readingfc— Saul22 (@SaulSmith22) August 25, 2018
Ilori returns, Kelly dropped, and no Paul McShane to be seen.— Jacob South Klein (@JacobSouthKlein) August 25, 2018
Common sense reigns. #readingfc
Fair play to PC for the McShane decision. Don’t bring him back. Decent lineup today. Optimistic. #ReadingFC— Matty (@KingMattyTheOne) August 25, 2018
McShane has been eliminated completely which is exactly what was needed, get him off to another Championship side before the loan deadline hopefully. Great to see that Mr Complacency Liam Kelly is out too, no place for players like him in our team. #readingfc— Nath St Paul (@NathStPaul) August 25, 2018
What a moment this was. After being so fortunate to only be 1-0 down after a very average 80 minutes, and a couple of absolute wonder saves from the Villa keeper - most notably from Sam Baldock - it looked as though the Royals were heading for their fourth defeat of the season. However, after loan signing Josh Sims was controversially deemed to be fouled in the area, up stepped Sam Baldock to grab Reading’s second point of the season, which certainly went down rather well with the Reading fans...
Feels like a win. Hopefully this kick starts our season. Get in #readingfc— Baz McCormack (@BazMcCormack) August 25, 2018
A quick word on Liam Moore. After just two years at the club, the fan favourite centre back made his 100th appearance for the club on Saturday afternoon, an astonishing achievement for a fantastic player. After the all the rumours surrounding him throughout the transfer window, for him to conduct himself in the way he has - both on and off the pitch - has been brilliant. He has showed his love for this club, and boy do the fans love him. With word spreading now that he is on the verge of a new contract, hopefully he will be here for many years to come. He was certainly shown love by the Reading faithful after his milestone start on Saturday...
100 #ReadingFC appearances for Liam Moore now. A vital part of our squad. passionate, committed when on the pitch and an all-round decent bloke. Hopefully it’s not long before he’s appointed captain.— Jake Moore (@JakeMoore352) August 26, 2018
Congratulations @liammoore93! ⚪️
You're exactly who we need....a captain that leads by example— Paul Tanner (@longlaneroyal) August 26, 2018
Becoming a club legend— Amilie Poole (@amilie_poole) August 26, 2018
Thanks for everything you do, your passion and commitment is second to none, if it wasn’t for you we would have been relegated last season & now you’re back doing a fantastic job in defence thanks for staying a Royal MOTM every game for me ⚽️— Graham Holdstock (@stockyboy7) August 26, 2018
Hopefully this point is a springboard for the rest of the season. The scenes when Baldock scored that last penalty were incredible, almost every player coming over to celebrate with the fans as one. Although performances haven’t been great, and results have certainly left a lot to be desired, one thing for sure is you cannot doubt this team’s passion and commitment to the club. Onwards and upwards from here, next up is Watford in the Carabao Cup before a big game on Saturday as Sheffield Wednesday head to the Mad Stad.