David Button: 5
A better performance than his shambolic display against Northampton Town that unfortunately ended with a similarly poor play.
Started his afternoon well with a smart and strong stop low to his left when Reading were pretty open defensively in the early stages. Tracked the ball across the box fantastically well in the 71st minute to make a close-range save from a redirected cross.
Then at the end, Button came for the corner that Orient scored from but couldn’t force his way through the pack and found himself woefully out of position. A disappointing end to what had, before that, been a decent bounce-back performance.
Tyler Bindon: 7
Pulled out of position a few times early on when Leyton Orient started the game in better form than Reading, though he got less help from Femi Azeez than Matty Carson at left-back got from Harvey Knibbs.
Found even higher than in previous games down the right side in the first half, and won multiple headers in high up areas. Eventually booked for a late challenge close to Orient’s corner flag midway into the period. Created a half chance for Lewis Wing around the half-hour mark with calm play on the ball.
Shortly after he scored his first goal in Reading colours when he got the lightest of touches on Dom Ballard’s rebound off the post to tuck it into the far corner.
Continued his decent play in the second half, winning yet more headers down the right, but he was left with a lot of work to do by both Azeez and Ben Elliot, limiting his chances to get forward again.
Harlee Dean: 6
The most vocal of Reading’s players early on when Reading were struggling to cope with Orient’s pressure. Left with very little cover from his midfield in the first half and not to blame for the opening goal.
Made an excellent last-minute challenge to stop an Orient attacker from having a free shot in front of the goal late in the match.
Bemusingly put into the forward line late on as Reading looked for any knockdown from which they could generate a chance. Like his other defenders, he did everything asked of him today, which turned out to be too much.
Nelson Abbey: 6
Struggled a little in the early stages when afforded very little cover, but settled into the game as the half went on and used his strength to squeeze out a few Orient attacks.
Did incredibly well to use his pace to solve a dangerous-looking attack close to the hour mark, getting ahead of his runner after the rest of the defence was taken out of the game.
Matty Carson: 5
Had to focus on the defensive side of his game in the first half and wasn’t really able to get deliveries into the box. A little overawed as many others were in the early stages and might have been part of a defence that conceded more against a better side but got through his appearance with Reading still at level pegging.
Charlie Savage: 5
Brought into the lineup late after Sam Hutchinson tweaked something in the warm-up. Could have potentially done more to stop the supply for the opening goal, managing to divert it but only further into his box.
Did better stepping in to break up plays in the second half and patrolled the edge of the box fairly well and outperformed Wing, but this wasn’t a performance Savage will remember for years.
Lewis Wing: 4
Really weak positionally early on when Reading were struggling to cope with Orient’s attacking play. Didn’t track back to prevent runs into the box in many instances.
Stung the palms of the goalkeeper a few times, first just after the half-hour mark when Bindon created half a chance for him. Later in the second half he attempted a shot from a free-kick when most were expecting a delivery into the box. Unfortunately it didn’t trouble the goalkeeper too much.
Gave away the corner that Orient scored their second from, almost making up for it shortly after when he lofted the ball over the ‘keeper to Elliott, only for the ball to be lofted back over.
Femi Azeez: 4
Seemed to struggle with the positioning and role expected from him defensively when Orient were pressing early on, often caught out of position.
Helped Reading to progress the ball a few times with his running but benefitted from the strength of Bindon behind him.
Booked for a petulant smashing of the ball against the advertising hoardings after he gave a corner away with a poor touch. Not a great performance, and withdrawn for Mukairu before the end. Might be getting to the point where a run on the bench would be best for him.
Harvey Knibbs: 5
Again, he could have done more early on to help out the defence, often finding himself somewhat bypassed out of possession.
Always gets himself into good positions with his running. Put through late in the first half by Ballard’s through ball and should have done better, cannoning his shot off the goalkeeper.
Somewhat anonymous in the second half and withdrawn for Ben Elliot late on.
Dom Ballard: 7
Possessed of a really nice touch, creating a chance for himself as Reading started to get back into the game around the half-hour mark with a fantastic takedown from a skied ball.
Hugely important in the opening goal, unlucky to put his deft header off the post but lucky to put it directly into Bindon’s path and pick up an “assist”.
Should have been gifted with a second assist shortly after when his direct ball behind the defence put Knibbs through on goal.
Withdrawn for Tom Holmes late on when Reading tried to see out a point.
Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan: 5
Had a quiet day by his standards, and we could really do with his early-season form reappearing soon. Ehibhatiomhan had limited involvement in both the early stages that Orient dominated and the better end to the half Reading enjoyed.
Led a counter attack down the field shortly after the interval and perhaps should have passed the ball off earlier rather than having a blocked shot. Faded hugely after that though and just couldn’t get involved today, making fewer than 20 touches.
Nesta Guinness-Walker: 5
Made his first appearance for Reading since Port Vale on August 12, and will have been a happy sight for a lot of Reading fans who have put up with some middling left-back play this season.
Tidied up a Leyton Orient counter-attack from a corner by getting across to clear the ball out of play shortly after coming on.
Paul Mukairu: 4
The most anonymous of the substitutes today, not making much of an impact going forward or defending. Touched the ball just six times.
Ben Elliott: 5
Couldn’t keep his shot down late on when Wing lofted the ball up and over the goalkeeper from the touchline. Made chances for Reading with his running with the ball into the box.
Tom Holmes: 5
Similar to Guinness-Walker, Holmes made his first performance today since the loss to Port Vale in August. Not at fault for the Orient second goal but still not one to pass the ball out from the back.
Who was your MOTM against Leyton Orient? Vote below or through this link.