Team: Green, Simpson, Dunne (Onuoha), Hill, Assou-Ekotto, Phillips, O’Neil (Johnson), Barton, Jenas (Kranjcar), Hoilett, Austin.
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Traore, Henry, Chevanton
A cracking start, where the game should have been all but over in the first 15 minutes, but this is QPR. We made enough chances throughout the game to finish them off, but our ratio of goals scored to chances made must be frightening.
Our wide men did well, but so often the final ball was poor. We struggled in the middle of the park, and at times got overrun, with too many unforced errors. Charlie Austin looked jaded and Andy Johnson must now become far more involved.
All the other results went our way, so a decent day at the office. A two week break is just what we need with the injuries piling up. Our next four fixtures, with three of them at home, all look to be more than winnable. Come Christmas we will be there or thereabouts. Happy days.
The Queen’s Park Rangers assistant manager Kevin Bond praised Joey Barton for helping his side earn a draw at Reading, even though it was not enough to take them back to the top of the Championship.
Reading took a 62nd_minute lead through Garath McCleary, but Barton equalised 12 minutes from time with a well-flighted free kick to earn Rangers a point.
“Joey was excellent,” Bond said. “He got a great goal and that really got us back in the game. He was terrific all match and he has been terrific for us all season.”
Bond did feel though, that Rangers missed the chance to take a stranglehold on the game in the first-half. “We had a number of chances early on and should have been at least 2-0 up, but their keeper (Alex McCarthy) made a number of wonderful saves,” he added. “Not scoring many goals does put a bit of pressure on yourselves but, thankfully, we’ve been mostly tight at the back this season.”
QPR had got back on track, after three matches without a win, by beating Derby 2-1 in their previous outing. They took the game to Reading from the start, with Junior Hoilett striking the bar from 25 yards and Charlie Austin twice being denied by athletic saves from McCarthy.
Reading gradually got into contention, with Pavel Pogrebnyak jabbing a shot just wide from a McCleary cross and also nodding over from a Chris Gunter centre. The QPR goalkeeper Robert Green also had to make a fine stop to keep out a glancing header from Chris Baird from a Guthrie free kick. QPR responded swiftly, with McCarthy having to make fine saves from an Austin header and an angled drive from Hoilett.
But Reading, beaten 5-2 at Sheffield Wednesday a week earlier, went ahead just after the hour when McCleary’s dipping 25-yard shot deceived Green and bounced in off a post.
Reading should have doubled their lead, with Green saving smartly from Jordan Obita, but Rangers stole a point when Kaspars Gorkss clumsily fouled Austin on the edge of the area and Barton clipped home the free kick through a gap in the defensive wall. McCarthy got a hand to the ball, but could not keep it out.
The Reading manager, Nigel Adkins, was pleased at his side’s reaction after the debacle against Wednesday. “I anticipated a good response and no one let me down,” Adkins said. “It was a good game with a lot of energy from both sides. We went in front and wanted to see it out, but they got back into it with a good goal.”
“We keep getting on the scorecard and keep ticking over. As long as we stay in the race, that’s the main thing. Every game in this division is a challenge, every game is competitive. We drew a line under the Sheffield Wednesday game and we’re just now striving to improve.”
Bond, meanwhile, confirmed that the defender Richard Dunne, who was replaced at half-time, had a back injury and is likely to miss the Republic of Ireland’s forthcoming friendlies against Latvia and Poland.
Jimmy picked me up from Beaconsfield Station and the heavens opened enroute to the ground. But it did stop by the time we parked up. I have to say that you don’t hear ‘Baba O’Riley’ by the Who blaring out at a football ground very often. Well done to the pipe band on what was a brief march alongside one side of the ground before we observed a minute’s silence.
As for the game, well we really should of done better with the flurry of chances in the opening 15 minutes or so. Junior Hoilett hit the crossbar with a long-range effort. Charlie Austin had two very good chances and there was also a big shout for a penalty. We were much the better side and it was disappointing that we weren’t ahead at half-time.
Richard Dunne was stretched out horizontal with what looked like a back problem? Junior Hoilett was struggling and would certainly have been taken off if we hadn’t already made our three substitutions. The good news though was that Kranjcar and Onuoha were involved.
I think Andy Johnson should of come on much earlier as Charlie Austin looked drained to me. Johnson is always very lively and apart from supporting Austin he would also create more space for him to manoeuvre.
Reading did look dangerous going forward at times and after they scored I wondered if we would end up without getting our just rewards despite creating further chances and finishing the stronger side. Joey Barton’s fabulous free kick at our end found a gap in the Reading wall and over 2,000 R’s fans wildly celebrated.
What followed was one of the loudest renditions for some time of: ‘You’re Not Singing Anymore’ as Joey Barton ran over to the bench to make his wonderful tribute to Ale Faurlin. Well done to him for doing that.
I felt a bit better after the other results came in, but we really should of killed Reading off before half-time.