Tuesday night was a night of mixed emotions it seems for the Loyal Royals. There was the happiness and pleasure at seeing us hold firm defensively and bag another clean sheet, but also the disappointment of not winning a game that was there for the taking.
It was one of those evenings that just needed a moment of quality from either team. Both ourselves and the Hatters got in decent positions but we lacked both the clinical touch and moment of decisiveness to win the game.
There are definitely positives to take - we would not have got a draw in that game last season - but also bits that we need to improve on. As ever, I suppose.
Here’s how the fans reacted...
The positives were pretty obvious. A solid defensive performance from a depleted backline against a team that can be a real handful going forward, and bagging our sixth clean sheet of the season.
And by no means was it a bad performance. We got in promising positions and gave Luton as good as we’ve got. And there were some decent individual performances - from the two Toms in particular.
So, yeah. There were certainly some positives for the fans to get their teeth stuck into...
Decent point that. Big credit to the back 3 looked really uncomfortable for first 20 minutes but really grew into it. We’ll look a better team once we can pick a more settled side. #readingfc— Sam Richards (@SammyRich89) November 1, 2022
Also I still think I’m right in believing our fans vastly overrate Baba Rahman. But I’m starting to think I’m wrong with a similar assessment of Tom Holmes. He’s stepped up this season and kept the back four organised again tonight - vice captaincy has suited him well. #readingfc— Matt Williams (@mattwilliams100) November 1, 2022
Happy with a point. No one really deserved the win there #readingfc— Harry Sands (@SarryHands) November 1, 2022
Although a tad erratic, I thought Mbengue put a great shift in tonight. Good point. #readingfc— Rob Nutley (@Rnutley) November 1, 2022
Really even contest tonight, was just missing a bit of quality in the final third.— Pedro‼️ (@PictonPedro) November 1, 2022
Keep needing to remind myself that a clean sheet is VERY decent considering the #ReadingFC defence is absolutely decimated.
Hope Hutch is back for Friday and Sarr soon
The positives are, defensively we looked pretty solid even with a makeshift back 5. Also if you step back & look at the big picture we'd have all absolutely taken being a competitive mid-table side before the season started. Looks increasingly like that's what we'll be #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) November 1, 2022
We fought to the final whistle but just couldn’t put the ball in the net. I think the defence changing has affected our attacking play. Tom Holmes was excellent, definitely MOTM ⚪️ #readingfc— Luke (@Luke1871_) November 1, 2022
Don’t mind a point there another good effort and it’s not a defeat #readingfc— Dave McCormack (@davemc_exile) November 1, 2022
Unfortunately there were a few negatives as well too. There’s still a part of me that thinks we’ve dropped two points rather than gained one - it’s a weird feeling.
Luton weren’t really at it going forward, so if we just made one correct decision or showed an ounce of composure, we’d have won the game.
A point and clean sheet is not to be sniffed at, but it still rankles a bit that we should’ve, and maybe could’ve, got all three points...
With the exception of one or two from Ince, our crossing has been absolutely abject tonight.— Greg Double (@Dubstep1988) November 1, 2022
Yiadom, Rahman and the normally reliable Hoilett particularly poor.
Unforgivable when you’ve got Carroll and Meite/Long up top. #readingfc
So so wasteful tonight. A good point overall but a terrible performance. Losing the ball under no pressure all night in the midfield. Baba, Ejaria and Junior all had shockers. Hendrick not getting on the ball enough. #ReadingFC— Jamie Hodder (@Jamie_Hodder21) November 1, 2022
Good to get a clean sheet, awful performance though. Lose possession so easily, slow on the counter, Ejaria lost the ball far too often. Carroll was everywhere (missed a couple of good chances though) Hoilett was poor. Luton weren't much better #Readingfc— paul lane (@paullane26) November 1, 2022
Not the worst result but definitely 2 points dropped. Got to win on Friday #readingfc— Ben (@BenParsons89) November 1, 2022
Take the point but that was turgid. Really whetted the appetite for the visit of ultra expansive PNE on Friday. #readingfc— Rob Molloy (@Dobchecks) November 1, 2022
Two points dropped, Luton there for the taking. Another point towards safety though #readingfc— Lee Wyeth (@leewyeth) November 1, 2022
Really disappointed with the result, my feeling is that we could have won, just wasn't our night. I'll take the clean sheet, and I'll take the performance: not a #readingfc player who didn't give it everything. And I didn't fall over this time!! Bonus!!— Karz From The 'Ding ☕ (@FFSKarz) November 1, 2022
As much as I love Carroll and Meite, not a fan of this lump the ball forward in to them. It invariably ends up coming back #readingfc— Dom (@domwindle) November 1, 2022
All in all, a topsy-turvy night. But my overriding emotion is that it’s a decent point. A clean sheet and point away from home in this league is never a bad thing.
But, of course there are clear improvements to be made. As there always is. That’s life.
Onwards and upwards to a difficult last home game before the World Cup break.