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Match Report: Peterborough United 3 Reading 1 (Posh Fan's Perspective)

Wednesday 21st March 2012
Peterborough ended Reading's 10-game unbeaten run, coming from behind to record a comfortable 3-1 win at London Road.

Posh put in a well battled performance to beat high-flying Reading from a goal down, before tonight, Reading had won 16 of their 17 games when in front. Reputation means nothing at London Road now that Peterborough United have returned to their free-flowing attacking style of football for which they had become synonymous with.

Before the game, Posh players came out for the warm-up wearing shirts printed with ‘Get Well Soon Fabrice' on the front, a statement that everyone, connected with football or not, seconds.

The game had started relatively quietly but for the odd piece of promising play by Posh. The liveliest the crowd got in the opening 10 minutes of the match was when Posh's new female physio came on to treat Lee Frecklington to a series of whistles from the males in attendance.

In the 11th minute, Grant McCann attempted to start an attack, playing a superb long ball across the pitch up to Tommy Rowe, only for Rowe just to miss the pass and see the ball go out of play. A few minutes later, Reading started to exert some pressure for the first time in the game, as Jobi McAnuff put in a cross into the Posh area which was headed out of danger.

17 minutes in, McCann tried his luck from range, only for Reading ‘keeper Adam Federici to hold onto his shot. Throughout the opening sparring sessions, Craig Alcock had been working incredibly hard and showing some real class in the challenges he made.

A couple of minutes later, in the 19th minute of the game, Reading scored the opener through Noel Hunt. A brilliant solo run by Jimmy Kebe causing danger at the back, Kebe's shot unconvincingly saved by Paul Jones fell right into the path of Hunt, who slotted past Jones into the far corner. Considering Reading's form, many Posh fans had already resigned themselves to the defeat and, at the very most, the possibility of a draw.

However, six minutes later, pessimism changed to optimism, as George Boyd smashed home from inside the area after the ball fell to him following a corner-kick, leaving Federici with absolutely no chance in the Reading goal.

Posh continued to press Reading, and, 33 minutes in, the comeback was complete, £1 million man, Tyrone Barnett, heading home at the near post from another well worked corner. A welcome change to see Posh scoring, rather than conceding, via a corner-kick.

Heading into half-time, Jones was called upon to make another save, again looking less than convincing, as he parried the ball back into the danger zone. In the first-half were a number of key men for Posh contributing to a battling performance that saw them lead at the break. Frecklington had been tracking back well to help out the defence, Shaun Brisley looked to be settling into the Posh defence well, keeping his composure when under pressure, Craig Alcock working very hard at right-back and Tyrone Barnett giving some exquisite touches in-between causing problems up front and tracking back.

For most of the opening quarter-of-an-hour of the second-half there wasn't much to get excited about. That was until the 59th minute, after Posh forged a golden chance for Tyrone Barnett who hit the post after a defence-cutting through ball by Paul Taylor following some excellent and patient build-up play.

Reading had only five-minutes of any real pressure to offer, which came midway through the half, forcing the home side into dropping deeper. There was a small scare for Posh as the human-brick-wall, Gabriel Zakuani, looked to be suffering from his broken toe. Thankfully, Zakuani was able to carry on trouble-free, and continue to keep veteran forward Jason Roberts out of the game, winning the physical battle between the two well-built men.

After weathering the storm, Posh sealed a well-deserved victory on 82 minutes, George Boyd booted the ball, from near to his own goal, and into the Reading half where Paul Taylor was lying in wait. Taylor, able to win the sprint, passed the defender to win the ball, finding himself in a one-on-one situation with Federici before coolly slotting past the ‘keeper to give Posh a 3-1 lead over promotion chasing Reading.

The remainder of the game was very comfortable for the hosts, with a shot in frustration by the quiet Jimmy Kebe (much to the credit of Tommy Rowe) flying way off the target setting the tone for the visitors evening.

The final whistle blew on a superb performance by Posh all but sealing Championship football for next season, sitting 13 points clear of the drop zone. A match that should have been far more difficult than it actually was, not that Posh will care one bit.

Final Score: Posh 3-1 Reading

Posh:  Jones, Zakuani, Alcock, Rowe, Brisley, McCann, Frecklington, Boyd, Tomlin (sub Ball 82min), Taylor (sub Sinclair 86min), Barnett. Unused subs: Lewis, Little, Kearns.

Reading:  Federici, Karacan, Pearce, Leigertwood, Hunt, McAnuff, Kebe, Gorkss, Harte, Mullins (sub Le Fondre 68min), Roberts (sub Church 82min). Unused subs: Tabb, Kanu, Anderson.

Attendance:  6,717 (972 Reading fans)
Aaron Gratton

Total articles: 16

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