Reading 1 Blackpool 0

Last updated : 09 December 2008 By Footymad Previewer
Reading boss Steve Coppell rang the changes for Blackpool's visit but his side were still strong enough to beat a Seasiders team with a good away record.

The Royals won by a solitary first-half goal, but on reflection they will think the result was better than the performance.

It could have been more but Stephen Hunt saw an injury-time penalty saved by Paul Rachubka.

During the afternoon Reading failed in their appeal against the red card shown to Jimmy Kebe at Barnsley on Saturday, so he missed out as he began a suspension.

James Henry took his place and Coppell rested central midfielders James Harper and Kalifa Cisse. Blackpool were without Daniel Nardiello, who has only just recovered from a niggling groin injury.

A drab game kicked only into kicked into life with Reading's opener after 27 minutes. Skipper for the night Ivar Ingimarsson hammered in a fierce effort from the edge of the penalty area.

Blackpool's hopes took another dip six minutes later. Referee Jarnail Singh, officiating in only his second Championship game of the season, dismissed Lee Hendrie.

He had put his studs up as he tackled Reading midfielder Marek Matejovsky and Mr Singh instantly showed him the red card.

There was a scare for Reading 20 minutes from time when keeper Marcus Hahnemann injured a leg trying to clear the ball. He was replaced by Adam Federici, recently returned from a loan spell at Southend.

Within a minute Federici was picking the ball out of his net, but his blushes were spared when Gary Taylor-Fletcher was called back for offside.

Reading's lowest league attendance of the season were not enjoying a poor game and the frustration spread to the touchline where Mr Singh lectured frustrated Blackpool boss Simon Grayson after he had a few words to say.

Five minutes from time Mr Singh decided enough was enough and indicated that Grayson should leave his seat on the bench and retire to the stand.

Blackpool came close to snatching an equaliser near the end but Keith Southern's shot hammered against Stephen Hunt knocking him over, but rebounding to safety.

The penalty miss came after Chris Armstrong was brought down by Keith Southern. Stephen Hunt put the ball to Rachubka's left but he made a flying save.

Reading's victory keeps them in third place, but they were unable to make up ground on Wolves and Birmingham, who also won.