Reading 2 Doncaster Rovers 1

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 21 October 2008
Kevin Doyle's ninth goal of the season rescued Reading as they recovered from a late Doncaster Rovers rally to snatch victory at the Madejski Stadium.

Reading looked to have been made to pay for sloppy finishing as Jos Van Nieuwstadt cancelled out Andre Bikey's opener 16 minutes from time.

But Doyle responded two minutes later to head home James Harper's free-kick and preserve Reading's perfect home start to the campaign.

The Royals hardly seemed to be brimming with confidence as they looked to get back to winning ways following defeat at Preston - in fact, it was Doncaster who carried the early threat.

James Hayter came close to breaking the deadlock on 15 minutes when he challenged Ivar Ingimarsson in the air and saw the ball loop off the Icelandic defender and just wide of the far post.

Reading responded though and broke the deadlock on 18 minutes after Jimmy Kebe's threatening run was ended on the edge of the box by a tug from James O'Connor.

Stephen Hunt turned provider from the free-kick, arrowing a clever cross to the near post for centre-back Bikey to head home, a set-piece straight off the training ground.

Kebe came close to adding a second before half-time when he headed wide from a Stephen Hunt cross.

The home side should have given themselves a second-half cushion when James Chambers' routine clearance bounced against Kebe's legs to present Noel Hunt with an opening in front of goal that he scooped over the bar with just Neil Sullivan to beat.

Doyle also wasted a chance to kill the game off when he took advantage of more sloppy defending to round the Rovers keeper, but his first touch was too heavy and he lost his angle to goal.

In between, Lewis Guy had seen a penalty claim waved away for a challenge from Liam Rosenior and seen a long-range effort drift wide of Marcus Hahnemann's post as Doncaster sensed a way back.

And after Martin Woods saw a free-kick tipped over by Hahnemann, they found it, Woods centring for Van Nieuwstadt to rise between a crowd of players and head home.

But the celebrations lasted just two minutes as Reading bounced back, substitute Harper's free-kick flicked home by the diving Doyle, whose nine goals this season have all come on home soil.

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