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Reading 1-3 Barnsley: Player Ratings

Sim’s grades from a poor home defeat to the Tykes.

Reading v Stevenage - Sky Bet League One - Select Car Leasing Stadium Photo by Kieran Cleeves/PA Images via Getty Images

David Button: 5

I wouldn’t fault him for any of the goals, and he did at least guess the right way for the penalty. It was one of those odd afternoons when Button only had one save to make besides picking the ball out of the net three times. Underwhelming distribution.

Andy Yiadom: 7

One of Yiadom’s better performances this season, giving Reading some much-needed forward thrust down the right side. The best example of that came in the first half when he went on a long foray upfield before being brought down for the free-kick that created the opener. Continued that positivity throughout the game, including the second half when Reading were otherwise generally flat.

Tyler Bindon: 4

A day to forget for the youngster, who was at fault for all of the Barnsley goals, albeit to different degrees.

For the first, he unwisely left his arm stretched above his head as the ball hit it, giving the Tykes a first-half penalty. It’s the kind of decision that goes nowhere 95% of the time, but it’s still an error for Bindon to learn from.

For the second, Bindon was too easily beaten in the air by Herbie Kane, seeming to misread the flight of the long ball. That allowed the Barnsley man a straightforward job of controlling the pass and laying it off to Devante Cole to slam home from range.

For the third, he dived in recklessly to dispossess Fábio Jaló, got nowhere near the ball, and the Tykes man had plenty of space in which to pick the low cross for Max Watters.

On the flipside, he did have some better moments, including going close to making it 2-0 in the first half. Met Lewis Wing’s free-kick well, forcing a save out of the ‘keeper with a header.

Nelson Abbey: 6

Generally pretty good overall, but caught in no-man’s land for the third goal, not getting near goalscorer Watters right behind him, allowing an easy tap-in from close range.

Clinton Mola: 6

A pretty solid afternoon for the youngster, who was thrown into the first team in the absence of the injured Jeriel Dorsett at left-back despite poor performances earlier this season. Looked a lot more composed than he has done previously and the defensive damage was done after he came off.

Although he added little going forwards in open play (not really his job to be fair, with that task handed to Yiadom on the other side), he did get an assist, flicking on a free-kick for the early opener.

Michael Craig: 5

On the whole Craig looks increasingly settled in that deep-lying role at the base of Reading’s midfield, but I do have some things to call him up on.

In the first half at one point he lost the ball with a loose touch, dived in recklessly and was booked, which forced a more subdued game for him from then on in. Should also have been more alert for Barnsley’s second, not getting back quickly enough as the long ball came downfield, and was nowhere near Cole when his long-range shot was hit.

Femi Azeez: 7

Reading’s best attacking threat in open play, particularly in the second half when the hosts otherwise struggled to cause the visitors problems. Looked positive and confident down the right wing, putting in some dangerous crosses. Didn’t quite have the end product required though and was (harshly) withdrawn with five minutes to go despite Reading needing a goal.

Lewis Wing: 6

Provided the key moment of creativity for Reading early on, sending in the free-kick that Mola headed on for Knibbs. Could have had an assist of his own later, finding Bindon with a set-piece delivery from the right wing. Besides those moments from dead balls though, Wing wasn’t influential enough in open play when Reading needed him to put his mark on the game, particularly in the second half. Taken off with five to go.

Harvey Knibbs: 6

Built on his Carlisle United brace with another goal, this time a close-range early header, but otherwise added little in a quiet afternoon. Could have done better with a low cross from Azeez at the beginning of the second half, probably should have come off too, but stayed on for the full game.

Paul Mukairu: 5

Anonymous, didn’t do anything apart from a first-half blocked shot. Withdrawn for Caylan Vickers on the hour mark.

Sam Smith: 5

It wasn’t Smith’s day but that was primarily down to a lack of service, with Reading often trying long balls to him that didn’t come off. His only two efforts were headers that he couldn’t do a lot with.

Subs

Caylan Vickers: 5

Replaced Mukairu with half an hour to go and did little in that time on the pitch.

Amadou Mbengue: 5

Out of position in the build-up to Barnsley’s third, too far upfield, isolating Bindon.

Ben Elliott, Charlie Savage and Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan: N/A

All came on with just five minutes to go so none were on long enough to get a grade. Ehibhatiomhan looked pretty positive with the ball at his feet though, looking to run at Barnsley rather than just do the straightforward target-man stuff. Good to see Elliott and Savage come on too, but both needed a lot more time on the field to make an impact.


Average: 5.53/10

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