Scunthorpe United v Reading

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Football League Championship

Scunthorpe United0(0)Reading2(0)

Long 57, Harte 63 (pen)

Scunthorpe United :
Murphy, Gordon, Nelson, Mirfin, Togwell, Nunez, O'Connor (J.Wright 46), Hughes, Duffy (Miller 74), Dagnall, Garner.
Subs not used:
Lillis, Raynes, Nolan, Collins, Godden.

Reading :
McCarthy, Griffin, Mills, Khizanishvili, Harte, Karacan (Tabb 70), Leigertwood, McAnuff, Kebe, Long, Manset (Church 65).
Subs not used:
Federici, Pearce, Antonio, Robson-Kanu, Hunt.


by Reading Evening Post at Glanford Park

Irish charms Shane Long and Ian Harte scored as Reading took another giant leap towards promotion as they racked up a magnificent seven wins in a row.

Star striker Long scored his 23rd of the season for Royals as Everton manager David Moyes looked on from the stands and Harte reached double figures with his effort from the spot.

After a dismal first-half display from Reading, they sprung to life during a six-minute spell to further compound Scunthorpe's relegation woes.

United manager Alan Knill promised the fans his side would play their way out of trouble and it looked they would do exactly that as they controlled the opening exchanges.

Iron playmaker Michael O'Connor pulled the strings for the home side as Royals sat back and allowed them to play free-flowing football in their own half without threatening too much.

United, more accustomed to the unpredictability of the bobbly Glanford Park surface, stroked the ball around Royals as they felt their way into the game and sensed some kind of an opening.

The midfield pairing of Mikele Leigertwood and Jem Karacan were chasing shadows for large parts of the first half as Reading failed to get a grip of the game against the strugglers.

And Scunthorpe striker Chris Dagnall almost punished McDermott's men when he ghosted past Ian Harte and flashed a shot just wide of Alex McCarthy's goal in the 24th minute.

Jobi McAnuff replied immediately with Reading's first shot of the game, but his daisy cutter was parried away by Joe Murphy and former Royals player Andy Hughes cleared the danger.

Dagnall carried on to cause Matt Mills problems with his direct running as Scunthorpe peppered McCarthy's goal.

Any neutral who had not heard of either side would have picked Reading as the likely relegation candidates and United as the play-off chasers. such was United's dominance.

Karacan, Mathieu Manset and Jobi McAnuff all had rare and speculative efforts just before the break, but all too often Reading's front line were left feeding off scraps.

United, who had amazingly hammered leaders QPR 4-1 on Saturday, made a bright start to the second half as they looked to claim another big scalp in quick succession.

Early shots from Ramon Nunez and Sam Togwell were thankfully wide of McCarthy's goal.

Kebe hit back with a rasping drive as Royals countered, but Murphy produced a sublime save to turn his shot around the post.

Buoyed by his earlier effort, Kebe then charged down the right flank in the 56th minute before skinning Ben Gordon and squaring for Long to turn past Murphy for the opening goal.

Long came agonisingly close to adding a second when Karacan played a delightful through ball for him to chase, but defender Michael Nelson tripped him in the box and conceded a penalty.

With the 24-year-old striker clutching his knee in agony on the side of the pitch, Harte stepped up to drill the 62nd minute spot-kick past Murphy.

At times it wasn't pretty, but Royals' never-say-die attitude was a trait that served them well

Last season Scunthorpe saved their Championship status with a 2-2 draw in this fixture. But this defeat pushes them closer to a return to League One.