There is nothing better than a 94th-minute winner away from home with the Royals taking three points back to Berkshire. Hull City took the lead early in the first half but Reading equalised through Yakou Meite. Andy Carroll won a good header in the box in the 94th minute which hit Ryan Longman to go into the net.
Reading remain three points off the play-offs in 12th. Manager Paul Ince said after the game that we didn’t give up and got a bit of luck. He spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live.
Ince on the victory
“I’m happy because we didn’t give up. In the second half we came under a bit of pressure as we tired, as you would do. But the subs came on and made an impact. We got the free-kick and there’s no better time to score than the 94th minute.
“We dug in there… it looked like it was going to peter out at 1-1. But when the free-kick comes, you just want that one bit of quality. We got that from Thomas’ free-kick… and then you see big Andy Carroll going up to win that header!
“It’s a great feeling. We had a four-hour journey home after Burnley, feeling like we’d been robbed. Now we have a five-hour journey back and we can have a smile on our face.
“The 350 or so fans who travelled up made the journey up the motorway… that’s not easy. So I’m so, so pleased that they can go back with a smile on their face.
“And the players have a break for a week, so they can go away with their families with that positivity. We’ve got things to learn and we can get better, but we had five or six first-team players out today. So it’s commendable to the lads who did play today.
“Sometimes we start slow – and that is something we need to learn. We gave away an early penalty at Watford, and here we allowed a header in our box. But this team doesn’t give up. I tell them: as long as we stay in the game, we’ll have a chance.
“Then we start to play some good stuff down the right – Thomas, Junior Hoilett and Andy Yiadom got so much joy down there and caused so many problems… just that final ball wasn’t clinical enough.
“Then we got the equaliser which was thoroughly deserved, and that gives you a lift again. It can be all about momentum swings. If you concede the second, everyone drops and you lose your shape and you’re chasing the game. But we score, and their heads drop. The message at half-time was: keep going.
“When it got to about 85 minutes I thought it was petering out, and I’d have took a point. But we got that bit of luck in the 94th minute. So I’m very happy.
“There was a fantastic run and a bit of quality from Lucas to win the free-kick that led to the goal… we’re capable of that and I want to see it more often. But I won’t grumble or moan… now it’s nice to be able to have a few days off with my wife and enjoy a few days.
“If you lose today, you can spend a couple of weeks feeling grumpy. But we won, so I’m feeling happy. And I’m pleased for the players too.”
Ince on the winner
“The timing [of the winner] was great. I’m not saying we deserved to win it. It was always a tough game to come to. You always thought it would end in a 1-1 draw and it was going to peter out.
“But we stood fast, got the free-kick and got lucky - it was a great header from Carroll and I didn’t see it go in the net because everyone was jumping up. You don’t like that to happen to any team, but fortunately we got it in the right minute and I wouldn’t say it was just rewards as a point would have been fair for both teams, but when you look at how we were robbed at Burnley... now we have a four-and-a-half-hour journey back and it’s a lot more pleasant than after Burnley. It’s three points we needed and the timing was fantastic.”
Ince on Mbengue
“He was brilliant. Regan Slater got in down the right side at times and he (Slater) tried to run him (Mbengue) but there was no way he was doing that.
“He’s 20 - people forget that. Tom Holmes is 22 so we have a young backline - not so much Holmes as he’s nearly played 100 games - but more so for Mbengue.
“He was absolutely brilliant. He was exceptional. He fights, he’s quick and he’s a bit raw at times but you know what you’re going to get from him. And he is a trier.”