Leicester City 1:2 Reading
City recovered from a poor start to play their part in an excellent contest, but robbed of a point when Reading were awarded an injury time penalty.
Nigel Pearson sent out an unchanged line-up against the division’s form team but after a decent opening spell City fell behind in the 16th minute.
McGivern was disposessed by Kebe 30 yards out and then compounded his error by not closing the Reading striker down as he approached the goal, leaving him an easy task of beating Weale from close in.
Reading threatened to add to the scoreline but Long sent a header over and Mills had an effort blocked on the line by Morrison, the loose ball almost going off McGivern and into the net.
City eventually fought their way back into the game towards half time. Some strong running from Dyer, who had an excellent night, created a chance for King which went narrowly wide.
In the 40th minute another great ball from Dyer found Waghorn whose beautifully directed header beat Federici in the Royals goal.
City almost went in at half time with the lead when another darting run and cross from Dyer found King close in, but Federici produced a fine save to send the ball over the bar.
The second half was great entertainment with constant end to end stuff. Kebe squared for Sigurdsson, who would have scored but for a great intervention by King and then Kebe tested Weale with a shot.
The football was then put on hold for five minutes, but the entertainment continued… on the hour Griffin’s frustration at trying to deal with Dyer surfaced and he appeared to raise a hand to the City winger’s face. They got into a grappling match which most of the other players joined in and Griffin was lucky to see only a yellow card, while Dyer scarcely deserved his. The drama wasn’t over as the ref restarted with a drop ball and Wellens injured Tabb, resulting in the Reading player being stretchered off after lengthy treatment. Howard was so incensed by Wellens’ challenge that he spent the rest of his time on the field trying to kick lumps out of the City midfielder whether he was near the ball or not. Fortunately for both players the Reading bench swiftly gave Howard the hook, in favour of the more peacefully named Church.
The football resumed, with a bit of added edge and Weale did well to keep out a Sigurdsson shot.
Liverpool loanee Jay Spearing then made his debut replacing Oakley in the 70th minute.
More great work from the tireless Dyer then saw him chase down Betrand, rob him, and scuttle off towards goal. Half the stadium leapt out of their seats but sadly his near post shot found the sidenetting.
Weale produced a great save from Bertrand, but then almost made a hash of a cross from Kebe, Morrison tidying up after him.
At the other end Dyer was denied the goal he deserved when Federici tipped away his shot at full stretch.
Just when it looked as though both teams would have to settle for a point, City conceded an injury time penalty.
Church raced into the box and, although it looked as though Solano had put in a ball winning challenge, the ref pointed to the spot. Sigurdsson coolly placed it to Weale’s left and the small band of Reading fans were celebrating yet another win.
It was harsh on City, who had contributed to an excellent spectacle, but Nigel Pearson was not complaining:
“I have seen it again and I have spoken to Nobby about it, and he thought he got the ball, but I am not going to complain about it. I have seen them given and I have seen them not given, but tonight it was given.”
City: Weale, Solano, Morrison, Hobbs, McGivern, Oakley (Spearing 71), Wellens, King, Dyer, Waghorn, Gallagher (N’Guessan 74). Subs Not Used: Logan, Brown, Howard, Adams, Kermorgant.
Reading: Federici, Griffin, Mills, Khizanishvili, Bertrand, Kebe, Tabb (Gunnarsson 61), Howard (Church 64), Sigurdsson, McAnuff, Long (Rasiak 75). Subs Not Used: Hamer, Robson-Kanu, Karacan, Pearce.
Referee: David Foster (Tyne & Wear). Attendance: 20,108.