David Button: 5
Beaten within a few minutes of kick-off and then had sparingly little to do for the rest of the first half outside of claiming a few crosses. Helped by having Tom Holmes return to the team for sure as he often wants to stay home rather than sweep.
Didn’t have to make a save all game but did play a little more convincingly from crosses than he has done in recent weeks.
Andy Yiadom: 7
Ran well with the ball and helped Reading to progress up the field often in the first half. Created a real problem area for Lincoln in a triangle with Wing and Azeez. Couldn’t quite force a decent opportunity to shoot through a crowded box.
The captain found himself consistently involved today, making over 100 touches and providing Reading with an attacking outlet out wide when Azeez wanted to drift inside.
Defended well though he spent much of the first hour high up the field. Forced to defend deeper in the final half hour. Booked for retaliating to losing the ball in his own defensive third.
Tom Holmes: 7
Relatively steady in the first half and it’s undeniable that he eats up crosses into the box. Finished the first half with an 100% record in aerial duels. On the ball Holmes found himself very involved throughout the game. Did OK on it though and helped Reading to maintain possession just fine as they stacked up 68% possession in the first half.
Helped Reading to see off Lincoln’s attempts to do some attacking in the second half with relative ease and does seem to communicate better with Button than Bindon can at this point in time.
Nelson Abbey: 6
Back in the team after needing to be withdrawn against Oxford, Abbey will have wanted an easy start to the game. He got none of that, and conceded an own goal when he couldn’t deflect the ball out for a corner, instead bobbling it up and over Button.
After that, Abbey spent much of his time on the ball rather than defending as Reading dominated possession.
Booked when he went through the player to get to the ball on the half way line in the first half.
Helped Reading to cut out balls in behind a few times and generally looked solid but not as good as Holmes today.
Jeriel Dorsett: 6
Beaten a little too easy down his flank for Lincoln’s opening goal and couldn’t recover.
Played high up the pitch for much of the game, helping Reading to maintain possession. Got his reward for his passing in the second half when Knibbs ran onto his crisp through ball and finished.
Shows great stamina to get up and down the pitch with decent speed but eventually pulled up a little lame and was withdrawn late on with a bit of a limp for Mbengue.
Michael Craig: 5
Found himself a little higher up the pitch for much of the time and (as many others did) produced mixed results when looking for the final ball.
Part of a significant counter attack for Reading and tried to curl one through to Sam Smith in the middle but put it too close to the goalkeeper. Couldn’t quite communicate his intentions quick enough to slide Azeez into the box.
Made a nice turn out from between two Lincoln pressers in an example of his calmness on the ball under pressure.
Made some nice passes out wide to get Reading started in buildup when Lincoln were able to move forward in the second half. Withdrawn for Savage as Reading went for it just after the hour mark.
Lewis Wing: 6
Had a reasonable first half and found himself involved heavily. Got the ball dangerously into the box a few times from set plays. Made a beautiful double turn out of pressure and looped in a decent shot from a long way out, giving the keeper trouble.
Took a painful one from a late challenge to earn the opposition a booking late in the first period.
Found himself under a lot of pressure from Lincoln whenever he got the ball, but still managed to orchestrate a lot of Reading’s movement in the final third. Tired as the game went on and had a tough chance to win it late on with a volley that he put over.
Harvey Knibbs: 7
Whipped a nice cross through the danger zone as Reading attacked but struggled to find a final pass in the first half.
He's proving to be an absolutely lethal finisher for Reading, both in the scything runs he makes through defences and the simple but smart finishes. Showed both of those qualities in his goal to equalise.
Almost the hero when he got himself free in the box and beat one man before seeing his shot saved just before injury time.
Femi Azeez: 6
Plays fantastically entertaining football and continued to provide threat. Had an assist chalked off with Mukairu’s disallowed goal early on.
Made a fantastic play to jink inside and put Smith into a crossing position in the 35th minute.
Continued to attack his markers whenever he got time on the ball throughout the game and linked up well with Lewis Wing in particular. Got so close to freeing Savage up for a winner in the 88th minute and saw his cutback blocked at the last second.
Paul Mukairu: 5
Amazingly saw two goals chalked off in the first half, both for marginal decisions. First, Mukairu probably applied too strong a push to his defender when the ball was bundled in.
Had more success with his dribbling today, but was often wasteful with his final ball. Mukairu consistently seems to stay on the ball a second or two longer than perhaps he should.
Made a really lovely shimmy inside the field early in the second half to help Reading earn a corner but shortly after did the same thing before slicing wide. Withdrawn for Ben Elliott just after the hour.
Sam Smith: 5
Headed over from a corner when he wriggled free in front of the post in the first half, but was pretty quiet other than that. Made some good runs but his teammates struggled to pick him out in a stacked box.
Charlie Savage: 6
Endured more attacking pressure than Craig when he came on as Lincoln became more progressive once Reading equalised. Played some raked long balls forward with his left foot from the centre of the pitch to the top right-hand side that helped to pin Lincoln back in their own half.
Harried two Lincoln players to win the ball back for Reading in central midfield well in the 80th minute.
Ben Elliott: 6
Put out wide again where his creative impact is minimised and should be afforded the opportunity to play close together with other players rather than asked to put in crosses. Spun out from the wing nicely and played Wing inside at one point.
Played some nice passes with Savage to help some attacks progress and got Knibbs into the box with a crisp pass through the defence.
Amadou Mbengue: N/A
Came on to help Reading see out the game when Dorsett got injured just before the 90 minutes were up.
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