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Reading v Albion - from the Madejski Stadium
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- Result: Reading 0 Albion 0
- Two sent off in undistinguished first half
- Pogrebnyak dismissed for hosts (31)
- Ulloa shown straight red (39)
- Barnes hits post for Albion (78)
- Six pages of coverage in The Argus tomorrow
Albion fans were probably the happier at the end - but it was a game their side could have won.
Final: Reading 0 Albion 0
LuaLua received a good ovation from Albion fans when he made way for Buckley.
Meanwhile the bookings continued to mount. Crofts was next to see yellow for a needless foul near the Reading byline.
Albion’s passing was very impressive at times and they stitched together a terrific move to make room to Ward coming in the edge of the box. But he crashed his shot past the near post when he should have done better.
Reading sent on Blackman for Karacan for the final push.
Albion were inches from taking the lead on 78 minutes when Barnes hit the near post from close range as he latched on to Ward's low cross. A relieved McCarthy, who appeared to have got a touch to the initial effort by Barnes, grabbed the rebound.
Home fans suddenly roared their men forward hoping to really cash in on the escape but Pearce's sharply hit snapshot was well held by Kuszczak low down.
Rain was sweeping down now. Kuszczak needed two goes to secure Williams' drive but he had tight hold of the ball by time Le Fondre got there.
Then the keeper came out to safely catch a deep cross beyond his far post.
Attendance: 18,306 (inc 1,687 away fans)
Guthrie was booked for fouling LuaLua in a central position ten yards outside the Reading box.
Forster-Caskey chipped the free-kick beyond the far post where Upson headed it back across the goal and Calderon flashed a volley over the bar.
LuaLua has done well today. We know he is a threat going forward, but he's been disciplined in defensive duties too. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 15 September 2013
Then momentum switched back to Reading.
Bridge did well to get in a cross from the byline but Williams was under a lot of pressure as he sent his tumbling header well wide.
Barnes looks in the mood with swivelling volley from Crofts' cross saved by McCarthy. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 15 September 2013
Barnes almost made an immediate impact. He got on the end of a deep Crofts cross after Forster-Caskey had led an attack and saw his perfectly executed volley blocked low down by MaCarthy diving to his right.
When the ball was worked back in, the keeper had to go low to his left to push away a Calderon drive.
It was better from Albion though. Forster-Caskey helped work LuaLua into a great position on the byline but he could not pick out a colleague and his low cross was blocked away for a corner.
LuaLua took the flag kick and put it right on the head of Calderon - but the full-back mistimed his header and sent it looping gently off target.
Karacan had another go at the other end a couple of minutes later but this time his curler went too high.
Barnes went on after an hour, replacing David Lopez.
Forster-Caskey and Andrews were involved in a neat move which got LuaLua away down the left. David Lopez got on the end of his low cross with a brilliant first touch to take him beyond his marker - but got his second all wrong and sent the ball squirting tamely across the goalmouth from a great shooting position.
Perhaps Barnes should be on for #bhafc as a hold-up outlet.— @AndyNaylorArgus 15 September 2013
Bridge had given Reading more cutting edge and they looked the more dangerous side now.
BBC Sussex's Warren Aspinall "Wayne Bridge already causing problems skinning Calderon and Reading more of a threat now." #BHAFC— @BBCSussexSport 15 September 2013
Shows strength in depth Reading have compared to us ATM with HT subs. Under the cosh right now #BHAFC— @BradStrat 15 September 2013
Superb run by Bridge, has to be said #bhafc— @Martyn20 15 September 2013
Bridge was quickly on the attack. He got past Calderon easily and drove in a cross which was parried by Kuszczak and had Albion scrambling to clear. The ball was eventually worked to Karacan who again tried his luck and again Kuszczak parried, this time high to his left.
Kuszczak had to dive to his left in the opening seconds of the half to turn away a low 25-yarder from Karacan and Albion defended the resulting corner strongly.
Bridge and Robson-Kanu were on for the second half in place of Kelly and Drenthe.
Second half is in progress.
BBC Sussex's Warren Aspinall "I think we need to bring a target man on so Barnes would be the man and then Buckley at a later stage." #BHAFC— @BBCSussexSport 15 September 2013
No complaints about either red. Ulloa's foot-up was not malicious, just thoughtless in the advantageous circumstances. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 15 September 2013
There were boos for the ref at half-time.
Calderon was next in the book, for a foul in stoppage time.
But Guthrie's resulting free-kick was overhit and sailed over everyone for a goal kick.
Neat work in midfield by Crofts and Andrews allowed Albion to win a corner and, as the attack continued, Greer had a close range header parried on the goal line by McCarthy:
Half: Reading 0 Albion 0
LuaLua then cut inside and had a go from 30 yards. His shot bounced up into the arms of Pearce, who held it easily.
So that's both centre forwards gone. #bhafc loss will be greater than Reading's, both now and after.— @AndyNaylorArgus 15 September 2013
LuaLua was now Albion's lone striker. He helped make room for Forster-Caskey, who made ground as Reading backed off but then swirled his shot wide.
Albion then suffered a hammerblow when Ulloa raised his boot as a ball bounced up in front of him and caught Pearce high. Ulloa was shown red as players converged quickly.
The distraught Albion striker shook hands with Pearce before leaving the pitch.
Porebnyak can have no complaints about his red (31). Theatrical dive after tripping LuaLua for his first yellow. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 15 September 2013
With tempers running high, LuaLua chose a poor time to slide in for a ball he was struggling to reach moments later. He was shown a yellow card for his foul as home fans called for a red.
Pogrebnyak went down theatrically, believing he had been pushed by Andrews but Scott ruled it was a dive and showed yellow - then the subsequent red.
Ulloa was just off target with a clever backwards header after Calderon had nodded the ball into the penalty area as Reading claimed offside.
Then the match well and truly came to life.
Ref Scott played advantage when Drenthe caught Andrews late.
The next stoppage was a foul by Pearce on Ulloa. Scott booked Pearce, then went back and showed Drenthe yellow as well.
That corner came to nothing - but another soon after was laid back to Andrews, who stood the ball up to the far post.
Ulloa got to it but his header came off a defender for another flag kick.
This one was cleared as far as LuaLua, whose 25-yarder was blocked by a defender in the penalty box.
Pogrebnyak was booked for a foul on LuaLua just inside his own half and, when McCarthy's miscued punch from the resulting free-kick gifted Albion a corner, they seemed to come alive.
A squall of pressure ended when LuaLua chipped a superb ball across to David Lopez on the right and his cross was met by a powerful diving header from Crofts which flew narrowly wide of the near post.
Roles were reversed next time as David Lopez made the running and passed to LuaLua for a low shot which deflected about a yard wide.
Albion fans amused themselves by coming up with a new song for Oscar Garcia
This has turned into a very dire affair so far..Still 0-0. #readingfc #bhafc— @jonathanl50 15 September 2013
It was generally a low-key start - with a low-key atmosphere from home fans.
Drenthe won a free-kick and, with team mates expecting a cross, went for goal from the set-piece.
Kuszczak got across to the ball at his near post but fumbled what looked a simple catch and was lucky not to concede a corner.
Reading system unchanged, still 4-2-3-1, just three different players, including most obviously Pogrebnyak. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 15 September 2013
Drenthe certainly had plenty of the ball in the opening exchanges.
He won a free-kick off LuaLua, which came to nothing, and also curled a cross too close to Kuszczak.
Reading got the ball to the dangerous Drenthe, starting on the right, in the opening minutes but Albion had two men closing him down and he ran the ball out for a goal-kick - to the delight of away fans at that end of the Madejski.
David Lopez curled a free-kick into the Reading box but it was headed away from Ulloa - and Drenthe's subsequent overhead kick to complete the clearance turned into a through ball for Le Fondre. The striker got to the edge of the box and teid to check inside the covering Ward, who took the ball off him with a perfectly timed tackle.
Andrews was then spoken to by the referee a foul as Reading made quite a bright start.
Albion looking like this...
CALDERON GREER UPSON WARD
Match is in progress
Don't think Bucker or Agustien can have any complaints. Bucker and fit-again Barnes offer attacking options on the bench. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 15 September 2013
Bridge was given a warm ovation by Albion fans when his name was read out kust before kick-off.
Albion, in all yellow, will defend the away end in the first half.
Just had it confirmed Conway's absence is because international clearance did not come through in time from the Welsh FA. #bhafc— @AndyNaylorArgus 15 September 2013
This has not been a happy hunting ground since then for the Seagulls, though. They have conceded 11 goals on their three most recent visits.
My information from Reading is that they have played some very good stuff in patches this season, especially here, without quite clicking as Nigel Adkins would like.
This is not the first time Sky have chosen to televise this fixture. They did it back in 2002-03, when Reading were chasing a place in the top flight and Albion were in relegation danger.
It led to to these memorable end-of-match scenes...
Although it was billed as a comfortable home win that day, Albion actually created chances to make it a lot closer. Craig Noone made a big impact off the bench as left winger. Can LuaLua do something similar from the off today?
Here's what happened here on Albion's most recent visits - almost two years ago....
Well, we started off in warm sunshine from Brighton and it got gradually colder, darker and wetter as we moved north.
We now have grey but dry skies overhead as kick-off nears.
It's a 1.15pm start today in case you were wondering.
Got to start with that one!
More than nine years ago now. Nicky Forster got the winner for Reading that day as it finished 3-2.
I'm guessing many of you following this will be doing do because you don't have access to Sky Sports. I've thought of that and will be offering you TV highlights of Reading v Albion here today.
Just not today's Reading v Albion!
Here we go then - the international break well and truly over and a few talking points in Oscar Garcia's line-up.
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