REPORT: Reading 0-0 West Bromwich Albion- goalless draw all but confirms Championship survival

Reading all but confirmed their championship status for another season with a 0-0 draw.

A goalless draw at a sun-kissed Madejski Stadium all but confirmed Reading’s Championship status for another season.

The Royals fans met the full time whistle with scenes of jubilation as their battle against relegation was finally put to an end, with Jose Gomes and his players showing their appreciation to the fans who created a fantastic atmosphere at the Madejski Stadium.

It was far from the ideal start for the hosts as Jose Gomes was forced into two early changes as Nelson Oliveira went down injured and was replaced by Danny Loader. Just moments later Reading lost their in-form striker Yakou Meite, who had been in fantastic goal scoring form, to injury and he was replaced by Garath McCleary.

Despite having to make two changes, Reading looked the brighter of the two sides as McCleary caused the Baggies problems as he cut onto his left foot inside the box and unleashed a shot which was well blocked by Kyle Bartley.

McCleary then linked well with Ovie Ejaria to work Reading’s best chance of the half as Ejaria’s quick feet allowed him to trick his way past two defenders into the box but he fired his effort across goal and wide of the target from a narrow angle.

Garath McCleary

West Brom failed to create too many opportunities in the first half as Rekeem Harper hit an optimistic half volley well wide before Emi Martinez was called into action as he saved from former Royal Hal Robson-Kanu before he prevented an effort from Jacob Murphy.

The Royals created the first good opening of the second half as a swift team move saw McCleary lay the ball off for Loader with a clever flick but Sam Johnstone reacted well to tip Loader’s attempt over the crossbar.

Despite sitting at opposite ends of the table, both sides looked evenly matched with chances created at both ends. Loader saw his edge of the box shot tipped over the bar from Johnstone after McCleary had laid the ball off for him with a clever flick.

The Baggies then came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock as the Royals were saved by the crossbar as Harper came inches away from capping off a fine team move from the visitors.

With Championship survival in sight, the Royals pushed to find a winner and Lewis Baker came close to scoring an extraordinary goal as he spotted Johnstone off his line and tried an effort from just inside the visitors half but it sailed over the roof of the net.

Lewis Baker

Both sides continued to push for an opener as Matt Miazga made a brilliant recovery tackle to prevent a West Brom breakaway before Andy Yiadom picked out McCleary in the box but his diving header was comfortably saved.

Johnstone had to come to his sides rescue once again as a thunderous Baker free-kick looked headed for the top corner before the keeper got fingertips to  the ball push it over the bar.

Reading had a late penalty call turned down as McCleary went down under a lunge in the box, but the referee awarded a free kick to West Brom much to the bemusement of the home crowd.

The Royals took control in the final ten minutes as they pushed for a winner as McCleary broke into the box on two occasions but failed to pick out a Reading shirt first time around before Mo Barrow headed wide from the second effort.

The Baggies gave Reading a late scare in injury time when Jay Rodriguez hit a fierce effort which bounced off the post before Chris Gunter cleared a goal bound effort to maintain the clean sheet.

The final whistle was met with an eruption of relief from the Royals fan as results elsewhere meant that the Royals Championship status was all but confirmed for another season as relegation rivals Rotherham were beaten 3-1, leaving Reading six points above the drop zone with two games left and with a far superior goal difference.

 

Reading line-up: Martinez, Yiadom, Moore, Miazga, Blackett (Gunter 57′), Rinomhota, Baker, Ejaria, Barrow, Meite (McCleary 13′), Oliveira (Loader 6′)

West Bromwich Albion line-up: Johnstone, Robson-Kanu (Gayle 83′), Bartley, Townsend, Rodriguez, Adarabioyo, Dawson, Field (Brunt 66′), Harper, Holgate (Phillips 61′), Murphy.

Attendance- 17,255
Visitors- 2,084

 

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Andy Preston

Sports reporter for The Wokingham Paper. Sport Journalism graduate from the University of Brighton.

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