After a prolonged break since our last game away at Derby due to the FA Cup Fourth Round, the Royals were back in action on Tuesday night and travelled to Bolton. It was yet another strong performance from Reading as they continue to develop under Gomes, dominating the ball and creating the best of the chances - especially in the first half.
Emiliano Martinez, Matt Miazga and Nelson Oliveira all made their first starts for the club and it was the latter who cooly slotted home from 12 yards, 20 minutes from time, to send Reading into the lead. However, it was another frustrating end to a positive performance as Jack Hobbs headed in an equaliser deep into injury time, denying the Royals a deserved three points.
There were many key talking points to come out of the game which certainly got the fans talking after the game on Twitter...
All eyes were on Twitter at 7pm on Tuesday to find out who of the new loan signings would be make their way into the starting eleven. Predictably, Miazga started next to Moore after the departure of Tiago Ilori to Sporting Lisbon. Nelson Oliveira and Martinez also made their debuts.
Oliveira grabbed his first goal, while Martinez and Miazga were desperately close to getting a clean sheet also. It is also clear to see just from the Bolton game how well all three suit Gomes’ style of play. Both Miazga and Martinez looked shaky at times but are certainly an upgrade on what we had before, and will surely continue to improve themselves and the team.
The fans had a lot to say about the new boys after the game on social media, and are eager to see what else they can offer in the coming weeks...
Miazga did ok but a little bit shaky and loose at times. Oliveira very good hold up play but lack of match sharpeness did showed in front of goal, and Martinez is a definite upgrade on what we have. But again none of these positives will matter if we can't win games. #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) January 29, 2019
So typical of us to not kill the game and end up dropping two precious points... On the bright side, Oliveira is just what we needed and will only get better with more games. #ReadingFC— Jonnie Harris (@jonnieharris99) January 29, 2019
No cutting edge... again
It was another strong performance on Tuesday night. Gomes really has got this team playing some beautiful football at times. A team sitting 22nd in the Championship don’t usually have the confidence to play out from the back the way we are at the moment, and I’m positive it’ll bring results soon enough.
However, the final ball or shot let us down time and time again. It’s been the same for pretty much the whole season. Both Swift and Aluko missed massive chances in the first half that would’ve put Reading in such a comfortable position in such an important game.
It’s certainly frustrating the fans, and understandably so as it’s getting to that point in the season where we need to be getting results, and missing guilt-edged chances will not help that...
Oliveira exactly what we’ve been missing, be we just don’t have goals from midfield, missed some absolute sitters this evening #readingfc— Luke (@gibbsey517) January 29, 2019
#readingfc. Positive display but we should have killed game off before the end. Can't miss chances like that. And poor to let cross in at end. Plus side Martinez and oliviera look good. Keep believing guys. We can do this— steve richardson (@Rich1Steve) January 30, 2019
Conceding last minute
It happened at Rotherham, Preston, Brentford and now Bolton and it can’t keep happening. We were cruising through that game, Bolton hardly threatened at all after we scored. It would’ve been a massive three points, the biggest of the season so far. It would’ve been such a confidence boost going into Villa, now it feels like we’re going into that game off the back of a defeat.
Of course, it left the fans feeling a mix of emotions when Hobbs headed home unmarked. Anger, frustration and disbelief were probably the top 3 but it really was a massive kick in the teeth, as you can see from the following tweets...
Gutting to concede so late, but a point closer to safety than we were 9am saturday morning - tricky games for all three #readingfc #rufc #bwfc on saturday but have a feeling a point will be enough to get us over the dotted line come saturday night.— Mathew Roberts (@mathew12roberts) January 29, 2019
So that's now Brentford, Rotheram and Bolton that we have conceded last minute equalisers against as well as missing a penalty at the death vs. Leeds for a possible equaliser. 7 points in which we have just beaten ourselves #readingfc— Josh (@Shorts221) January 29, 2019
4 massive points dropped in the last minute of games against relegation rivals, not acceptable. Need to see these sort of games out. #readingfc— Tom (@TomMoore0506) January 29, 2019
Fan1: Are you still upset about Bolton’s late equaliser?— Loyal Royal (@RoyalstilIdie) January 30, 2019
Fan1: But it was 24 seasons ago.
Fan2: Still hurts.
Fan1: Yeah, I know.#ReadingFC
Let’s just hope Gomes’ team take the positives from this game into Saturday afternoon, as we dominated the game from start to finish really. It’s a big chance missed, and it was a massive game but if we keep playing the way we are I’m still confident we’ll beat the drop.