Saturday, 26th April 2014 at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
Skybet League Championship
Doncaster Rovers 1 Reading 3
Referee – Mr Anthony Taylor
Attendance – 10,212 (1,027 visitors)
A fine, cool and breezy afternoon welcomed Reading to the Keepmoat Stadium for a match that had a lot of meaning for both sides. Rovers needed three points to have a chance of staying up and Reading needed the three points to stay in the Play-Off places.
Rovers last win against Reading came in 1984 at Elm Park with a 4-1 scoreline, with a hat-trick by Alan Brown, father of Chris.
Rovers made one change from the Millwall game, Billy Sharp coming in for Theo Robinson and Abdoulaye Meite had the red card he got at Millwall rescinded and was thus able to play.
Rovers, defending the South Stand end, got the game gonig in what was the last match at home this season.
In the fifth minute a long pass back by Gunter, of Reading, went out for a corner to the Rovers but nothing came from it and it was cleared.
The next twenty minutes were spent exclusively in midfield, in the middle third of the pitch as each side probed for a breakthrough.
In the 25th minute it came when, following a throw-in on the Rovers left halfway in the Reading half, the ball reached Sharp. A low cross to the middle was dummied by Brown, the ball ran to the unmarked COPPINGER to the right of goal for him to slam past McCarthy for the opening goal.
Over the next ten minutes Rovers had a majority of the play culminating in a great cross from Coppinger on the right bringing a firm header by Brown from 16yards that was well saved by McCarthy.
Reading now stepped up their game and as the last five minutes came up they won a series of corners but all were well defended, with Johnstone not troubled unduly.
Half Time – Doncaster Rovers 1 Reading 0
The second half opened with Rovers having a good spell but only winning a corner to show for it and nothing came from that.
Around the hour mark Reading got into the game and put the Rovers defence under pressure. Then, in the 63rd minute Leigertwood was brought down in the penalty area and the referee and his assistant agreed on the penalty being awarded. LE FONDRE blasted the ball low into the net to equalise the score.
The Rovers responded and pushed Reading back on to defence for a spell and introduced Wellens to the fray.
Play went from end to end for a while then Reading got into their stride and piled the pressure on to the Rovers defence.
The 78th minute brought a low cross from the Reading right for Le Fondre to fire high and wide from 16yards.
Then, minutes later, Leigertwood shot just over the bar from twenty yards.
In the 87th minute a cross from the Reading right was headed in at the far post from close range by POGREBNYAK, who, a couple of minutes later, fired over the bar from 20yards.
Into five minutes of added time and, with Rovers all pushing forward for an equaliser, Pearce brought the ball out of defence, took it to the edge of the Rovers penalty area before passing to POGREBNYAK to fire low inside the near post and past Johnstone.
Rovers had played well but the penalty and the resultant goal fired Reading into life.
Result – Doncaster Rovers 1 (Coppinger 25) Reading 3 (Le Fondre pen63 Pogrebnyak 87 90+5)
Teams – ROVERS – Sam Johnstone; Gabriel Tamas, Paul Quinn, Abdoulaye Meite, Enda Stevens; James Coppinger, Paul Keegan, Dean Furman, David Cotterill; Chris Brown, Billy Sharp
Subs used – Richie Wellens for Furman 69 mins; Theo Robinson for Sharp 85 mins; Jamie McCombe for Tamas 89 mins;
Subs not used – Luke McCullough, Marc De Val, Alex Peterson, Jon Maxted gk
Reading – Alex McCarthy; Chris Gunter, Sean Morrison Alex Pearce, Jordan Obita; Garath McCleary, Mikele Leigertwood, Hope Akpan, Jobi McAnuff; Pavel Pogrebnyak, Adam Le Fondre
Subs used – Jake Taylor for Akpan 76 mins; Kaspars Gorkss for Le Fondre 90 mins; Michael Hector for McCleary 90+2 mins;
Subs not used – Nick Blackman, Shaun Cummings, Gozie Ugwu, Adam Federici gk