Championship
ReadingReading2CardiffCardiff City1

Reading 2-1 Cardiff City: Tom Ince strike sees Royals come from behind to win

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Sport Wales at Select Car Leasing Stadium
Republic of Ireland international Callum O'Dowda scores his first Cardiff goal on his second appearance for the club

A stunning second-half strike from Tom Ince helped Reading come from behind to beat Cardiff City.

The visitors dominated the opening exchanges after Callum O'Dowda headed them into an early lead.

Shane Long equalised with a penalty after Ince was brought down by Curtis Nelson.

The Royals applied increasing pressure after the break and, although chances were scarce, they secured victory in style as Ince let fly with a 25-yard thunderbolt.

Having lost at Blackpool on the opening weekend, this was a spirited response from Reading as they embark on what manager Paul Ince predicted would be a "tough season" following the club's transfer embargo and financial struggles.

As for Cardiff, boss Steve Morison will rue his team's squandering of a fine opportunity to build on their victory over Norwich City last Saturday.

This is a new-look Bluebirds side after a summer of flux in which 14 new signings arrived and 10 senior players departed, and it was one of those off-season recruits, O'Dowda, who put them ahead in the fourth minute as he nodded in at the back post from Ryan Wintle's free-kick.

O'Dowda almost had a second soon afterwards but, after being teed up by Sheyi Ojo, his low shot was well saved by Reading goalkeeper Joe Lumley.

It was a bright start from the visitors, with Ryan Wintle dictating play from the base of midfield and O'Dowda and Ojo threatening on the break.

However, the momentum of the encounter soon swung in Reading's direction as they were gifted an equaliser.

Cardiff centre-back Cedric Kipre misjudged a header from a long ball, allowing Ince to run in behind and take the ball past keeper Ryan Allsop. As Ince then shaped to shoot, he was pulled back by Nelson, who conceded a penalty but was fortunate only to be shown a yellow card with no covering defender in sight.

Reading supporters bayed for a red but had to be content with a spot-kick, which the returning Long struck into the bottom corner to score on his first start for the Royals exactly 11 years since his last.

The leveller gave the hosts fresh impetus and they should have led when Andy Yiadom's teasing low cross was fired over from close range by Nesta Guinness-Walker.

Cardiff seemed to compose themselves again in the early stages of the second half, but Reading continued to grow in confidence and they took the lead in spectacular fashion.

Ince picked up possession around 30 yards out, took a touch forward and allowed the ball to bobble in front of him before unleashing a fierce strike into the top corner.

Neither side offered much in attack from that point, with Cardiff increasingly direct and desperate in their search for an equaliser while Reading were happy to hold on to their lead and a well-earned first win of the season.

Cardiff City manager Steve Morison told BBC Sport Wales: "We weren't good enough, we got the goal and could have had another one but we didn't do enough today, it was not a good enough performance.

"Last week we were brilliant, this week I can only apologise to the 2,000 odd fans who gave up their Saturday to come and watch us not turn up.

"We're only two games in, there will be a level of inconsistency because things take time... it's a very even league but it is unforgiving, and if you're not at it you will get beat."

Reading manager Paul Ince said: "I'm delighted. We were disappointed with the Cardiff goal but this group don't give in and the response was brilliant, we put them on the back foot.

"It was a disappointing decision from the referee [not to send off Nelson]. I don't want to see people get sent off but it baffles me. If you miss big decisions, it could have cost us. These things change games. It's a blatant red. It's crystal-clear.

"This team is always going to fight and the Championship is about competing. I thought the fans were brilliant and they understand the situation we're in. This is where we are and today we got what we deserved."

Line-ups

Reading

Formation 5-4-1

  • 1Lumley
  • 23HoilettBooked at 20minsSubstituted forClarkeat 90+5'minutes
  • 17YiadomBooked at 90mins
  • 3Holmes
  • 5McIntyre
  • 18Guinness-Walker
  • 10Ince
  • 19Fornah
  • 8Hendrick
  • 14EjariaSubstituted forAbrefaat 66'minutesBooked at 86mins
  • 7LongSubstituted forEhibhationhamat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 21Bouzanis
  • 30Abrefa
  • 33Clarke
  • 34Holzman
  • 35Ehibhationham
  • 37Leavy
  • 48Tuma

Cardiff

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Allsop
  • 2RomeoSubstituted forPhilogene-Bidaceat 73'minutes
  • 16NelsonBooked at 25mins
  • 23Kipré
  • 17CollinsBooked at 65mins
  • 6Wintle
  • 35RinomhotaSubstituted forRallsat 45'minutes
  • 10OjoSubstituted forEteteat 73'minutes
  • 19SawyersSubstituted forSangat 73'minutes
  • 11O'Dowda
  • 36WattersSubstituted forM Harrisat 52'minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 8Ralls
  • 9Etete
  • 12Sang
  • 15Denham
  • 21Alnwick
  • 25Philogene-Bidace
  • 29M Harris
Referee:
Darren England
Attendance:
13,866

Match Stats

Home TeamReadingAway TeamCardiff
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home8
Away6
Shots on Target
Home2
Away2
Corners
Home1
Away2
Fouls
Home17
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Reading 2, Cardiff City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Reading 2, Cardiff City 1.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. John Clarke replaces Junior Hoilett.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Cédric Kipré (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Joe Ralls with a cross following a set piece situation.

  5. Post update

    Kion Etete (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Andy Yiadom (Reading).

  7. Booking

    Mark Harris (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card.

  8. Booking

    Andy Yiadom (Reading) is shown the yellow card.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Mark Harris (Cardiff City).

  10. Post update

    Andy Yiadom (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Jaden Philogene-Bidace (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Kelvin Opoku (Reading).

  13. Post update

    Jamilu Collins (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Tom Ince (Reading).

  15. Booking

    Kelvin Opoku (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  16. Post update

    Jamilu Collins (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Kelvin Opoku (Reading).

  18. Post update

    Kion Etete (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Junior Hoilett (Reading).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Kelvin Ehibhationham replaces Shane Long.

Page 1 of 6

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