Reading 1-0 Fulham Cham 24(2) 1617 - BBCSports

last updated Wednesday 25th January 2017, 4:01 PM


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Reading (0) 1-0 (0) Fulham


Reading climbed back to third in the Championship as Ali Al-Habsi saved a late Chris Martin penalty to secure a win against Fulham.

Roy Beerens had earlier put the hosts ahead just after half-time when he swept in the rebound from John Swift's saved spot-kick.

Garath McCleary went close to a second when his curling shot struck the bar.

But Fulham missed the chance to take a point as Martin saw a penalty saved for the second game in succession.

A game rearranged after thick fog forced it to be abandoned at half-time in December saw a quiet first half followed by a more expansive second.

Reading, having lost their past two league games, upped the tempo after the interval and went ahead after referee Steve Martin penalised Tim Ream for a push on Liam Moore.

Swift's penalty was saved by David Button, but Beerens reacted quickest to finish.

Fulham were twice denied an equaliser when Sone Aluko had shots inside the six-yard box blocked on the turn. But Martin missed the best chance which came after Lucas Piazon had been fouled by Moore.

Slavisa Jokanovic's side have now had seven of their past nine penalties either saved or missed. They stay ninth, five points off the play-off places, after just their second defeat in nine league games.

Reading, meanwhile, have scored five and missed six penalties this season, although five of those six have been converted on the rebound.

Reading manager Jaap Stam:
"I didn't think either penalty was a penalty. They were both light ones.

"We're lucky that we scored on the rebound and we're very happy that Ali Al-Habsi saved the other.

"It's stressful and a lot easier if you finish a penalty at the first attempt. Then at the end you concede one, but it's a great save by Ali that gets us the three points.

"We're third in the league, but we're not thinking about trying to catch the top two. We approach every game trying to win. Your team needs a mentality that you can win every game in this league.

"It's not easy for us to win every game, as we're not there yet in terms of how we're playing.

"But if we play like we did today, you've got chance to win more games then you lose."

Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic:
"We have missed seven penalties this season and it's a really strange situation and we have to find some sort of solution to this problem.

"I've never heard of a problem like this and it's a stressful situation for myself and the players as they pushed hard and made important chances towards the end of the game.

"Sadly, we couldn't take the best one when it was presented to us.

"I cannot blame any player, Chris takes a shot from the penalty spot and it's saved. This is the fifth different player to take a penalty and I can't blame anyone in particular for this current situation."























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