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Reading 3-0 Fulham Cham 06 1415 GetWestLondon

last updated Monday 15th September 2014, 2:32 PM
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Paul Warburton at GetWestLondon


Reading (1) 3-0 (0) Fulham


Fulham lost a goal, a man, and the game in the space of four first-half minutes.

Matt Smith made a poor lunge at Hope Akpan and lasted 18 minutes on his debut.

A couple of minutes later, ace predator Glenn Murray stooped to head home, and that was all she wrote, as they say, when it came to any chance of a point.

Early on, Smith made his aerial presence count with a twice won header in the box, but former Leeds team-mate McCormack swivelled only to fire way over the bar.

Like the predator he is, the striker signed on deadline day, latched on to a Jordan Obita cross and threw himself at a dead centre header from seven yards that left Kiraly helpless.

It got worse from a Fulham point of view.

Smith lunged into a centre-circle challenge with Hope Apkan studs showing, and had the referee was reaching for a red card even before the Royals midfielder stopped writhing.

Emerson Hyndman was next into the book, but Reading were mightily indebted to Chris Gunter for a challenge on Tim Hoogland just as the Fulham man was about to pull the trigger from six yards.

Straight down the other end, Simon Cox was a toe poke from converting Murray's curling cross.

Cox then looked as if he must score from 15 yards, but elected to try and jink past a defender and squandered the chance.

Chris David hit a thumping left-foot drive from fully 30 yards, but the otherwise idle Adam Federici was alert to divert he shot last time in the round his far post.

In an end-to-end half Murray turned and fired just past the upright.

Fulham's man of the match Gabor Kiraly was alert to palm a deep cross off Murray's head, and the Hungarian keeper, still a fan of the baggy sweat pants he wore last time in England he did well to get a hand on a Cox shot with the Reading man left in space.

He did even better when Jake Taylor took aim from the edge of the box, and still went full length to bring off a brilliant save.

However, there was again nothing he could do when Murray rose high and handsome to convert a second header, again from an Obita cross on 54 minutes despite a Fulham defender on the line.

The scorer went off to a rousing reception after 67 minutes, replaced by one of the few still around from the time Fulham were last visitors to the Madejski two years back.

Pavel Pogrebynyak wasted no time reminding Fulham fans what they're missing when his downward header leapt up to hit the bar and plop back into Kiraly's grateful arms.

It was a tired 20 men that allowed sub Nick Blackman to waltz through, and although forced well wide did well to pick his spot to bypass a defender on the line and herald a mass exodus in the away end.




















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