Championship
Watford0Reading1

Watford 0-1 Reading

Sean Murray and Danny Williams

Kaspars Gorkss scored as Reading subjected Beppe Sannino to his first defeat as Watford head coach.

The Latvian defender headed Jordan Obita's corner home early on to make Reading's only attempt on target tell.

A header and stinging shot from Troy Deeney were saved by Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, before Fernando Forestieri fired over from six yards.

McCarthy saved from Lewis McGugan late on, before Watford debutant Alexander Merkel was sent off for a poor tackle.

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Nigel Adkins: Reading manager on Watford win

Since succeeding Gianfranco Zola in December, head coach Sannino had guided Watford to a win and three draws prior to the visit of Nigel Adkins's side.

The hosts created the bulk of the chances at Vicarage Road, but Reading, with McCarthy excelling, showed a resilience to earn a first win in six matches.

Despite their poor run of form, the win moves the Royals to within one point of the play-offs.

Watford, who missed promotion in the play-off final last season, remain in the bottom half of the table.

Gorkss glanced his fifth-minute header past Manuel Almunia after Obita's fine delivery and the lead was almost extended when Jobi McAnuff shot wide.

Watford responded well and McGugan's deliveries posed problems for the visiting defence before Sean Murray came agonisingly close to connecting with Daniel Pudil's delivery across goal.

Barring a wayward Adam Le Fondre shot, Reading spent much of the second period under pressure as they protected only their second goal in five matches.

Deeney's header and shot on the turn forced McCarthy into action, before the striker's cross was blazed over by the unmarked Forestieri.

It was Watford's golden chance to extend their four-match unbeaten run and when Merkel saw red for a reckless challenge on Nick Blackman, their frustrating day was complete.

Watford head coach Beppe Sannino:

"I would like to see my players always play good football, nice and easy football as well, but we were a little bit slow today.

"It was difficult to come out with the ball. We played a lot of back passes which disappointed me, that was the point I didn't like today. But it is a part of my job. What we saw in the second half is giving me a lot of positives."

Reading manager Nigel Adkins:

"I thought we played some good football in the first half against what I believe is a good side in Watford.

"We've got a lot of players out who have been out injured for a long time and obviously (it comes) on the back of a couple of disappointing results over Christmas.

"Obviously the form over Christmas with the results going against us wasn't ideal and Leicester are doing a great job now where they are in the league.

"But we're back on track for the play-off positions with 21 games to go and we're really going to enjoy the second half of the season."

Line-ups

Watford

  • 1Almunia
  • 3BellerínSubstituted forForestieriat 55'minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 18PudilBooked at 90mins
  • 6Ekstrand
  • 4Angella
  • 12DoyleySubstituted forFaraoniat 78'minutes
  • 8MerkelBooked at 90mins
  • 16MurraySubstituted forBattocchioat 73'minutes
  • 20Fabbrini
  • 9Deeney
  • 10McGugan

Substitutes

  • 7Battocchio
  • 11Forestieri
  • 17Hall
  • 19Faraoni
  • 23Iriney
  • 24Woods
  • 33Nosworthy

Reading

  • 21McCarthy
  • 12McClearySubstituted forTaylorat 87'minutes
  • 11McAnuffBooked at 58mins
  • 5Pearce
  • 17Gorkss
  • 2Gunter
  • 23Williams
  • 16AkpanBooked at 55minsSubstituted forBlackmanat 82'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 9Le FondreBooked at 17mins
  • 7Pogrebnyak
  • 37ObitaSubstituted forCummingsat 85'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Federici
  • 3Kelly
  • 10Drenthe
  • 22Blackman
  • 24Cummings
  • 25Taylor
  • 35Hector
Referee:
Keith Stroud
Attendance:
15,725

Match Stats

Home TeamWatfordAway TeamReading
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home19
Away15
Shots on Target
Home5
Away1
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home16
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Watford 0, Reading 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Watford 0, Reading 1.

Booking

Daniel Pudil (Watford) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Nick Blackman (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Gabriele Angella (Watford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Nick Blackman (Reading).

Dismissal

Alexander Merkel (Watford) is shown the red card.

Foul by Alexander Merkel (Watford).

Nick Blackman (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Marco Davide Faraoni (Watford) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Diego Fabbrini.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Daniel Williams.

Attempt missed. Fernando Forestieri (Watford) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Alexander Merkel.

Attempt missed. Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) header from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Jake Taylor with a cross.

Foul by Alexander Merkel (Watford).

Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Jake Taylor replaces Garath McCleary.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Shaun Cummings.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Shaun Cummings replaces Jordan Obita.

Booking

Fernando Forestieri (Watford) is shown the yellow card.

Fernando Forestieri (Watford) has gone down, but that's a dive.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Nick Blackman replaces Hope Akpan.

Offside, Watford. Cristian Battocchio tries a through ball, but Marco Davide Faraoni is caught offside.

Fernando Forestieri (Watford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Chris Gunter (Reading).

Attempt blocked. Garath McCleary (Reading) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Garath McCleary following a set piece situation.

Attempt missed. Alex Pearce (Reading) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jobi McAnuff with a cross following a set piece situation.

Foul by Lewis McGugan (Watford).

Jobi McAnuff (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Marco Davide Faraoni replaces Lloyd Doyley.

Foul by Lewis McGugan (Watford).

Chris Gunter (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Watford. Conceded by Garath McCleary.

Substitution

Substitution, Watford. Cristian Battocchio replaces Sean Murray.

Foul by Alexander Merkel (Watford).

Adam Le Fondre (Reading) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Gabriele Angella (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Lewis McGugan with a cross.

Attempt missed. Troy Deeney (Watford) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Lloyd Doyley.

Attempt blocked. Diego Fabbrini (Watford) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lewis McGugan.

Attempt missed. Lewis McGugan (Watford) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Sean Murray.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Leicester2517351954
2Burnley2514831950
3QPR2514741449
4Derby2513571544
5Nottm Forest25101141041
6Brighton251096839
7Reading251087338
8Blackburn251078337
9Ipswich25997736
10Wigan241068536
11Leeds2510510135
12Huddersfield25979534
13Middlesbrough25898733
14Blackpool25889-632
15Watford24798530
16Bournemouth258611-1330
17Birmingham257810029
18Bolton256109-528
19Sheff Wed245109-125
20Charlton245910-824
21Millwall255713-2422
22Doncaster255614-2421
23Yeovil244515-1917
24Barnsley243813-2117
View full Championship table

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