Coniah Boyce-Clarke: 7
A save in a penalty shootout is a net positive in my book, and Boyce-Clarke pulled off one of those, denying Sone Aluko. He also played a key part in Reading’s equaliser, smartly bowling the ball upfield down the left flank to play in the onrushing Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan.
I wouldn’t fault him for either of the goals - a tuck-in from close range and a one-on-one chance. He did have a hairier moment in the second half though when he seemed unsure on how to deal with a long ball through the middle with Ladapro rushing on, but got away it. Otherwise dealt pretty well with whatever came his way, not having to pull off any real heroics.
Kelvin Abrefa: 6
Pretty steady at right-back in his first appearance of the season, but didn’t offer much going forwards. Given Reading’s need for full-backs to offer width and creativity, that was a bit of a shame. Taken off for Dorsett in the second half with Yiadom taking the right-back spot.
Amadou Mbengue: 5
He doesn’t convince me as a centre-back, at least not based on tonight. Mbengue looked a bit shaky and he was caught out for Ipswich’s second, losing Ladapo who snuck in for a one-on-one. Should probably stick to right-back, although Andy Yiadom’s likely to get the nod next time out.
Tom McIntyre: 6
More assured than his centre-back partner but without really dominating. Seemed more confident when moved out to left-back in the second half.
Matty Carson: 5
Put in the cross for 1-0, but had a poor half otherwise before being withdrawn at the break. Had a tough evening up against winger Omari Hutchinson, and it was down that side that the Chelsea loanee got in, beating Carson, before putting the cross in for 1-1.
Michael Craig: 7
My biggest standout overall, Craig looked classy in possession and was a real presence in the middle of the park when Reading needed more players like that. On the basis of this showing he’s put in a good audition to Ruben Selles for more first-team involvement in the league.
Jay Senga: 5
Nothing disastrous, but pretty anonymous. Withdrawn for Charlie Savage in the second half.
Tivonge Rushesha: 5
Shunted out wide on the right in Reading’s 4-2-2-2, and it just wasn’t his position at all. Couldn’t affect the game in or out of possession and was taken off for Harvey Knibbs in the second half.
Ben Elliott: 5
A mixed evening that ended badly, so let’s get his final moment out of the way first. Elliott wasn’t the only player to miss with a poor penalty, but it was a bad spot-kick all the same: he blasted his effort well off target.
In the rest of the game he showed promise in possession, demonstrating that classy technique on the ball we’ve seen before and which should take him far. He duly came up with some bright moments going forwards, with Reading generally struggling to create them otherwise. But he didn’t extensively influence the game enough, and didn’t give Carson enough cover, with Reading struggling down that side in the first half in particular.
Basil Tuma: 5
Another anonymous showing. Reading will have wanted to get Tuma in behind or down the flanks to use his searing pace, but they failed to do it and, accordingly, he had little impact on the game. Taken off for a much more impactful Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan.
Caylan Vickers: 6
Another one to sky his penalty, but this time it detracted from a positive all-round performance that stood out. Vickers almost had his first goal for the club for 1-0, although it’ll be credited to the Ipswich defender.
He didn’t have a lot to work with, but - as has already become a trend with him - his ability to keep the ball rather than losing it cheaply, combined with his positivity in driving forward and taking men on, gave Reading some spark going forwards. Almost had an assist in the first half when he burst forward and nearly played Rushesha in on goal.
Andy Yiadom: 7
Seems to have been jolted into some better performances recently by Amadou Mbengue getting into the first team, and this was another good display. Yiadom started out at left-back, coming on at half time, putting in an important challenge at one point to stop Aluko getting in. Looked positive when switched over to right-back later on in the half too and he’ll likely keep that spot for the trip to Cambridge United.
Harvey Knibbs: 7
Replaced Rushesha on the right side of the midfield and gave Reading more impetus and intensity both in and out of possession, although a shot dragged wide (corner) was the closest he came to a stand-out key moment in normal time. Converted his penalty - the only one in the side to do so.
Charlie Savage: 5
Got the last 25 minutes or so in Senga’s place and didn’t stand out any more than his predecessor. Poor penalty, saved by the ‘keeper.
Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan: 7
Scored a really good goal for 2-2. Chased after a Boyce-Clarke long throw, bulled the defender off the ball, charged infield and showed great composure to slot home from a fairly tight angle. He made it look easy, but confident, in-form strikers do just that. Just a shame he didn’t get to take a penalty.
Jeriel Dorsett: 6
Came on at centre-back to allow a reshuffle in defence. Didn’t really do much in his limited time on the pitch, besides looking fairly solid, but his involvement perhaps hints at Selles looking to him for more minutes in the future.
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