Ipswich Town 0 Reading 3

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 22 November 2005
Reading stretched their unbeaten record to 22 games with a comprehensive victory over an inept Ipswich team, completing a quick-fire double over Joe Royle's men and going top of the table.

Steve Sidwell gave the hosts a thoroughly deserved lead, while Leroy Lita and Kevin Doyle helped themselves to a goal apiece after the break, with Ipswich having no reply.

Reading had the ball in the net on eight minutes, but Lita was flagged offside as he nodded home from close range after Lewis Price could only parry Sidwell's 20-yarder.

Price produced a fine tip-over save to deny Sidwell and then Kevin Harper fired over at the far post after a dangerous Bobby Convey cross was missed by two Ipswich defenders.

Price saved a Lita shot before Town lost lone frontman Sam Parkin to a leg injury on 18 minutes, with former Royals favourite Nicky Forster coming on.

It made no difference as Reading continued to call the tune and it was no surprise when they went ahead on 28 minutes. Convey crossed for Doyle to have a close-range effort well blocked by Sito Castro, but Sidwell was on hand to sweep home the rebound.

Town made a second change on 34 minutes, Fabian Wilnis replacing Kevin Horlock, and cult figure Richard Naylor going up to offer much-needed support to Forster.

Immediately Sidwell almost put through his own goal, his tackle back on Forster sending the ball narrowly past his own post.

Lita curled a shot wide and then Glen Little ran half the length of the field to win a corner and from his delivery Ingimarsson headed over, before Town were booed off at the break.

Ipswich briefly threatened after the break as Naylor headed over Darren Currie's cross and Naylor's touch then let him down when Jimmy Juan put him in.

Reading went ahead with their first second half attack though, as Doyle's pull-back found Lita who sent a cushioned volley into the far corner.

Nicky Shorey shrugged off three tackles before Jay McEveley halted him with a brave block and Sidwell sent the rebound wide.

Forster headed wide before Price had to pull off a superb reflex save to keep out a touch from his own defender Wilnis to another dangerous Convey cross.

Town had their first shot on target on 67 minutes - what turned out to be their only one - but Gavin Williams' tame side-footer was easily saved by Marcus Hahnemann.

Forster's flick almost found Naylor, but Hahnemann raced out to clear and then Reading made the points safe on 77 minutes as Ibrahima Sonko headed down a Little corner, Lita touched it back and Doyle volleyed in from two yards.

Reading declared at that point and Ipswich had two efforts off target from Forster and Currie sent a free-kick into the sidenetting, but the hosts never looked like breaching Reading's fine defensive record.

The visitors look to have an excellent chance of promotion, but Ipswich meanwhile look set for a season in mid-table, or even lower on this evidence, despite manager Joe Royle saying he was hoping for a play-off place by Christmas.

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