Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Reading 3-3 Norwich City: Aussie keeper Federici beaten three times by Canaries

Reading 3 (Harte 28, 59, Long 60 pen)

Norwich City 3 (R Martin 16, Holt 26, C Martin 32)

HT: 1-3 Att: 15,934 Ref: M Oliver


Reading: Federici - Griffin, Mills, Khizanishvili, Harte - McAnuff, Karacan, Howard (Antonio 53), Hunt - Long, Church (Subs not used: McCarthy, Tabb, Robson-Kanu, Cummings, Pearce, Armstrong)

Norwich City: Ruddy - R Martin, Barnett, Ward, Lappin - Smith, Fox (Gill 82), Crofts, McNamee (Jackson 68) - C Martin (Daley 83), Holt (Subs not used: Rudd, Hoolahan, Johnson, Askou)


Australian goalkeeper Adam Federici conceded three goals in the first half of this match at Reading’s 24,224-capacity Madejski Stadium.

Reading pulled a goal back before half-time and were then thrown a lifeline when Norwich striker Grant Holt was somewhat harshly sent off on the stroke of half-time for a tackle on Ian Harte.

Referee Michael Oliver has now sent off six players in 12 matches, and he has twice sent off two players in games.

Facing 10 men, Reading fought back and two goals in 2 minutes, the latter from a penalty, enabled them to salvage a point in a 3-3 draw that left them 9th on the Npower Championship ladder, 2 points behind 8th-placed Norwich.

Russell Martin out the visitors ahead in the 16th minute when he played a one-two with Korey Smith and cut into the box on the right before shooting over Federici from an angle and into the far corner of the net.

A disastrous back-pass by Matthew Mills in the 26th minute gave possession to Grant Holt, who rounded Federici and netted from an acute angle to make it 2-0 for the away side.

Ian Harte reduced the arrears in the 28th minute following a corner. Noel Hunt flicked on Brian Howard’s corner from the right at the near post and, when a desperate David Fox struggled to clear the ball on the line, Hart hammered it home from close range.

Four minutes later, Chris Martin restored Norwich’s two-goal buffer with a free-kick from 25 metres that flew over the wall and lodged inside a diving Federici’s right-hand post.

Hunt went close with a header for Reading in the 33rd minute, but the visitors threatened again soon after and Federici produced a fine save in a one-on-one with Holt to concede a corner.

Howard shot straight at Norwich keeper John Ruddy in the 38th minute as the home side battled to stay in the game.

Two minutes later, Long tested Ruddy with a long-range effort and the keeper was not found wanting.

In the 45th minute, off went Holt after the red card and there was an air of expectation in the 60 per cent full stadium about the second half, which would pit 11 players against 10.

Reading were in full stride from the start of the second period, but to Norwich’s credit, they kept two strikers up front and seemed intent on winning this match.

In the 50th minute, Ruddy produced a fine save, diving to his right and turning Simon Church’s ferocious shot against the post.

In the 59th minute, Jem Karacan slipped the ball through for Hunt on the right of the box and he skilfully chipped it over the advancing Ruddy to make it one goal the difference.

A minute later, Simon Lappin was adjudged to have fouled Long and Reading were awarded a penalty, which was clinically despatched by Long to make it 3-3.

Reading should have won it when, in the 68th minute, Harte sent over a perfect cross to the far post from the left, but Hunt nodded the ball over the bar.

Norwich were still dangerous, however, and Chris Martin headed just wide from a left-wing cross in the 69th minute.

Norwich made three substitutions in the second half and Reading only one, but neither side could add to its tally.

In the 70th minute, Jobi McAnuff’s shot was turned wide for a corner by the hard-working Ruddy, who, in the 75th minute, made a brilliant save from Long, who had only the keeper to beat.

Reading had 75 per cent of the possession in the second half but could not break down the visitors’ defence.

Reading had 21 shots on goal, 14 of which were on target, while Norwich had 6 and 4, respectively.

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