Reading 2 Charlton Athletic 0

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 18 November 2006
New Charlton head coach Les Reed knows he has a major rescue job on his hands after seeing his side well beaten by Reading.

Charlton were always second best and rarely posed a threat to a team which is still enjoying its first season of Premiership football.

A goal in each half saw Reading cruise to a victory that would have been even bigger if they had taken all their chances, particularly in the first half.

Charlton's players looked apprehensive in the tunnel before the kick-off and showed little enthusiasm for the game from the moment it began.

As a result Reading had all the early pressure although it was Charlton who came closest to scoring.

Ki-Hyeon Seol handled the ball and from the from the free-kick Andy Reid set up a shot from Marcus Bent which saw Marcus Hahnemann go full stretch to tip it away for a corner.

That was about as good as it got for Charlton because Reading roared back to dominate the game.

The goal that seemed inevitable came in the 18th minute. It began out on the left with Steve Hunt setting up a chance for Nicky Shorey to cross. As the ball came in Seol was perfectly placed to head firmly past Scott Carson.

Four minutes later Reading nearly added a second and again the move began down the left with Hunt setting up another Shorey cross. This time the ball fell to Glen Little, who steered his shot just wide of the post.

Hahnemann was having a quiet time and an intended cross from Jerome Thomas that sailed straight into his arms was the nearest Charlton came to a threat.

Reading were wasting their opportunities. A long ball across goal from Little was carelessly headed over the bar by Hunt and the Irishman then blasted a second effort high and wide.

Soon afterwards Hunt and Kevin Doyle set up a chance for Steven Sidwell, which the midfielder blasted firmly over the bar.

There were times when Charlton were forced to pull ten men back in defence to cope with Reading's overwhelming attacks and the home side should have been more than a single goal ahead at the break.

Carson pushed his luck, and Sidwell, as the second half continued in the same vein.

The keeper and Sidwell went for a loose ball and collided. As they both stood up Carson shoved Sidwell to the ground with both hands, but referee Graham Poll took no action.

Charlton did improve slightly in the second half although they still looked second best and in need of a huge injection of confidence.

Reading appealed loudly for a penalty after the ball struck Matt Holland on the arm, but again Mr Poll turned down their claims.

Then Carson was called on to make a superb save to keep out Hunt's volley from a Shorey pass.

Reading eventually made the game safe 18 minutes from time with a goal that had a stroke of luck about it.

Sidwell completely mis-cued his shot and the ball fell at the feet of Doyle, who lifted it past Carson for his sixth goal of the season.

Belatedly Charlton did come close through Holland only to see Little clear the ball off the line, but the Londoners ended up a well-beaten side.

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