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Reading 1-0 Fulham Cham 24(2) 1617 - Daily Mail

last updated Wednesday 25th January 2017, 3:55 PM


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Adam Shergold at Daily Mail


Reading (0) 1-0 (0) Fulham


Penalties are meant to be a positive thing, but fans of Reading and Fulham must be overcome with a nauseating feeling of dread every time the referee awards them one.

This match featured two of them, with Reading’s apparently useful mastery of tucking away rebounds proving the decisive factor.

Jaap Stam’s side have been awarded 11 penalties in the Championship this season, and converted just five. It would appear a terrible record, until you consider that a further five have led to goals on the follow-up.

Roy Beerens was the most alert in this crucial victory over their fellow promotion hopefuls, reacting quickest to score after John Swift’s penalty shortly after half-time had been saved by David Button.

The award of the penalty looked soft to say the least, with Tim Ream adjudged to have fouled Liam Moore as the two collided in pursuit of the ball in the box.

So it looked as though justice would be served when Moore fouled Lucas Piazon in the closing minutes to give Fulham a shot at a draw.

But Chris Martin’s thunderous penalty was saved brilliantly by Ali Al Habsi, the second the striker has missed in four days and, incredibly, the seventh Fulham have spurned out of their last nine.

‘We missed seven penalties, it is a really strange situation and we have to try and find a solution to this problem, said manager Slavisa Jokanovic.

‘It is a stressful situation, they fought and arrived for this late chance to save the game. It is a completely strange situation.’

Stam and his team won’t care much for Fulham’s strange streak of misfortune. They needed this win, which arrests a three-game losing streak and moves them up to third in the Championship, albeit still some way behind Brighton and Newcastle.

The original fixture back on December 30 was abandoned at half-time because thick fog and this one also looked like being lost in the mists of time after an uneventful first-half.

But Reading took control after the break, scored, then rattled the crossbar when Garath McCleary stepped in skilfully from the left.

Ultimately, the superior team won but Stam might have them practising penalties for the rest of the week.

‘It is a bit of a nightmare to be fair,’ said the Dutch manager. ‘It looks like the players are training to score on the rebound. When you get a penalty, you are thinking ‘oh no, not again!’























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