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Watford 1-2 Reading

Watford 1-2 Reading

TRUE TO form, Reading came from behind to take all three points from Vicarage Road as a lacklustre Watford succumbed once more having had the lead.

A Shaun Cummings own-goal handed Watford the lead before Jimmy Kebe levelled with a far-post header. With just a handful of minutes left, ex-Rotherham forward and rumoured one-time Hornets target Adam Le Fondre snatched the visitors a second with a header from a corner.

Jonathan Hogg missed out with a knee injury meaning John Eustace returned to the starting XI alongside Prince Buaben. Lee Hodson replaced Lloyd Doyley who feature against Bradford and Scott Loach came back in for Jonathan Bond between the sticks.

Royals captain and ex-Hornet Jobi McAnuff missed out through injury so Hal Robson Kanu and Kebe started out wide for Brian McDermott`s side.

Noel Hunt had the best chance of the opening exchanges, heading a Kebe cross narrowly wide of the Hornet`s far post.

Mark Yeates registered Watford`s first effort on target a few minutes later when he bent a right-footed free-kick into the palms of Adam Federici from 20 yards.

Kebe turned recipient in the 19th minute when he headed Shaun Cummings` cross over at the far-post from virtually underneath the crossbar.

Kebe found himself in a dangerous position again in the 25th minute as he lashed a half-volley at Loach`s near-post from an acute angle.

From Watford`s next attack Carl Dickinson crossed and Yeates improvised well to flick the bobbling ball narrowly wide.

Just a minute later though, Watford took the lead when Cummings diverted Troy Deeney`s right-wing cross past his own 'keeper when under little pressure from Sordell at the back stick.

In the 37th minute Yeates nearly caused havoc when he delivered a wicked low cross which Royals stopper Federici did well to get down to and divert away.

McDermott`s side should have been down to 10 men when Robson-Kanu went in high and with studs showing on Yeates - somehow the Welsh international escaped with a booking.

Just four minutes before the break Kebe snatched the equalizer by stooping to nod home at the far post after a flowing move and cross by Robson-Kanu.

Half-time: 1-1

Within seconds of the re-start Watford were let off the hook when Simon Church was somehow denied at the near-post following a scramble from Robson-Kanu`s cross.

On the hour mark Yeates saw a free-kick drop just over the bar from 20 yards, brushing the roof of the net on its way.

Buaben saw a low effort blocked well by Alex Pearce just after the hour before Forsyth hung a header way over when well place. The Scot`s blushes were however spare by an offside flag.

With a quarter of the game to go, Forsyth was lucky to remain on the field with two bad tackles in the space of a few minutes, but somehow referee Graham Salisbury refrained from sending the winger off.

Five minutes from time, substitute Le Fondre found the net, heading home a corner with one of his first touches since entering the fray.

Full-time: 1-2

Watford were no-where near their best and hugely missed the previously imperious Michael Kightly (who started again for Wolves today). Too many players were ineffectual and with two goal and appearance-shy strikers on the bench it never looked like Dyche`s men could threaten the Royals once they had taken a late lead.

Watford:Loach; Hodson, Mariappa, Nosworthy, Dickinson; Yeates (Iwelumo), Eustace (c), Buaben, Forsyth (Jenkins); Sordell & Deeney.

Subs not used: Bond (gk); Iwelumo, Doyley & Garner.

Reading: Federici; Cummings, Harte, Gorkss (c), Pearce; Karacan, Tabb, Kebe (Antonio), Robson-Kanu; Church (Le Fondre) & Hunt.

Subs not used: Andersen (gk), Mills, & Gunnarsson.

Attendance:11 291

Referee: Mr G Salisbury

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Tom Bodell
Date:Saturday January 14 2012
Time: 7:17PM

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