Reading’s survival bid received a huge boost as they produced one of the narrow football results of the midweek action in the Championship. Michael Morisson put the home side ahead in the 13th minute before Romaine Sawyers equalized in the 44th minute. The defining moment and match-winner came in the 63rd minute from an unfortunate own goal by Taylor Harwood-Bellis. The three points meant that Reading has now gone four games without defeat.
Reading interim manager Paul Ince: “I’m just drained, I’m not used to this stuff anymore. I’m getting too old for all this. But it was so important to get the victory and I thought that we thoroughly deserved to win. We came out of the traps really quickly, we started well and looked really confident. That makes a change [from usual]. And, at last, it was nice to get a goal first. We then tried to protect it, kept dropping off, and allowed Stoke back into the game. We still couldn’t believe that it was 1-1 at half-time. We had to go again and show that spirit and belief that we have got at the moment.”
Stoke’s Michael O’Neill: “We didn’t play well enough. We didn’t start the game quick enough, we had too many players who were sluggish. We turned the ball over too much in the first half. But we got the goal just before half-time and, in the second half, you think that we’re going to go out and be better. We had chances but we didn’t take them and then we lose a poor goal off a corner and lose the game. Our performance certainly wasn’t at the level that we would like it to be but we still should have taken something from the game. Every game is still important. We’re not just seeing the season out.”
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