The Wokingham Paper

REPORT: Reading 1-3 Sheffield Wednesday: Frustrated Royals handed opening day defeat

Yakou Meite keeps his eyes on the ball
Yakou Meite

READING were dealt an opening day blow in the Championship a quick response from Sam Hutchinson cancelled out Yakou Meite’s equaliser before Lucas Joao added a third in stoppage time.

Wednesday took the lead through Harris in the first-half before an intense few minutes in the second half saw Meite equalise momentarily before the Owls went ahead again just two minutes later through Hutchinson.

Wednesday goalkeeper Kieran Westwood, was sent off for bringing down Mo Barrow outside the box with just over ten minutes remaining. But, a frustrating half saw Wednesday able to maintain their lead as Reading fell to a 3-1 defeat in their opening Championship match.

Reading started off the game the brighter of the two sides with both sets of supporters in fantastic voice for the opening game of the season.

John Swift had several free-kicks throughout the first-half as he tried to find Reading shirts in the box, often to no avail but Yakou Meite did have a few chances which he was unable to guide on target.

There were few chances in the first 20 minutes, but Sheffield Wednesday did come close to taking the lead when a loose pass from Danny Loader was intercepted by Kadheem Harris who broke into the box and forced a smart save from Joao Virginia at his near post.

Swift and Andy Rinomhota kept the Royals passing ticking in midfield, while the hosts struggled to create any clear cut openings with Meite often cutting an isolated figure up top.

The Royals then had a huge shout for a penalty waved away from the referee as Hutchinson looked to have handled a goalwards shot.

Andy Yiadom broke into the box and cut inside onto his left foot before unleashing a shot goal-wards which was blocked by what looked like a hand, however the referee James Linington, waved away Reading’s protests much to the dismay of the home crowd.

Wednesday were beginning to grow into the game as Barry Bannan fired a shot inches past Virginia’s far post.

With 30 minutes gone at the Madejski, Sheffield Wednesday took the lead. Harris beat Moore with a tricky piece of skill to make his way into the box and calmly cut on to his right foot before slotting the ball past Virginia to break the deadlock.

Reading pushed hard for an equaliser nearing the end of the half and had another strong claim for a penalty waved away by the referee. Swift floated a deep delivery from a free-kick towards Miazga who lost out in a duel with Steven Fletcher as the Scottish striker looked to have climbed on the back of the Reading defender, but again Reading would have to settle for only a corner.

The home fans would be further frustrated as the referee blew for half-time just as Meite looked to break one-on-one with a defender from a long ball.

There were no personnel changes for Reading at the break, but Jose Gomes did seemingly change his formation with Loader up top with Barrow and Meite on the wings.

The second half started with a high intensity and Reading found an equaliser just ten minutes after the break. Josh Barrett floated a dangerous cross into the box which Meite met and looped a header over Westwood to level the score.

But the score wasn’t level for long as Wednesday put themselves back in front. Just moments after Matt Miazga cleared off the line with a header, Wednesday had the lead as Sam Hutchinson headed in from the resulting corner.

Barrett then found Mo Barrow in the box with an accurate switch and after an immaculate first touch from Barrow to open up space for a shot, he blazed his effort well over the bar in a mad few minutes.

Gomes made his first changes with 65 minutes on the block as Charlie Adam and Michael Olise replaced Josh Barrett and Danny Loader.

New signing Charlie Adam looked lively as he showed his vast range of passing and came close to finding a second Royals goal as hit shot from the edge of the box flew wide.

With just over ten minutes of normal time to play. Sheffield Wednesday were reduced to ten men as goalkeeper Kieran Westwood was sent off.

Barrow raced onto a through ball and was brought down by the keeper, leaving the referee no choice but to dismiss him.

Swift lined up the resulting free-kick but his effort was blocked before Adam fired a shot goal-wards from the rebound which was comfortably saved.

Lucas Joao then added a third in stoppage time to seal the points for the visitors and condemn Reading to defeat. The Royals travel away to Hull City next weekend for their first away game of the season.

Attendance: 16,319, visitors 2,149

Reading: Virginia, Yiadom, Moore (c), Miazga, Richards, Rinomhota, Barrett (Adam 65′), Swift, Barrow, Meite, Loader (Olise 65′).

Subs: Walker, Morrison, McIntyre, Adam, Olise, Baldock, Novakovich.

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Palmer, Lees, Borner, Odubajo, Lee, Hutchinson, Bannan, Reach, Fletcher, Harris.

Subs: Fox, Rhodes, Pelupessy, Nuhiu, Lucas Joao, Dawson, Forestieri.

Goals: Harris 30, Meite 54, Hutchinson 56. Joao 90+7

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