Royals hang on for win
Reading secure first win
By Peter Fraser. Last Updated: August 19, 2007 3:08pm
Hunt: Match winner
Reading secured their first three points of the season thanks to a strike on the stroke of half-time from Stephen Hunt.
On 44 minutes Hunt met a long throw from Ulises De la Cruz, who had entered the game 10 minutes earlier as a replacement for the injured Graeme Murty, to volley in from close range following good work from Kevin Doyle.
After the break shots on target remained at a premium, but it was Everton who dominated.
However, the Merseyside outfit could not convert their dominance of possession into goals as they threw everything at Reading.
James McFadden rattled the Reading post when he cut in from the right to curl in an effort with his left foot, but the Royals managed to hold on for their first win of the season.
The first opening chance of the match arrived on six minutes when Korean Seol Ki-Hyeon got away down the right and whipped over a low cross towards the near post, where Doyle saw his shot put behind by Joleon Lescott.
Everton responded as a deep ball into the penalty area found Mikel Arteta, who cut it back for Andy Johnson.
The England man took a touch before firing a snap-shot goalwards from 10 yards - only for Andre Bikey to deflect the ball over the bar.
Reading felt they had a penalty claim in the 19th minute when the ball appeared to strike Lescott's outstretched arm. Referee Steve Bennett, however, signalled for a corner.
Bikey's cross from the right was met by Doyle on the penalty spot, but the striker guided his first-time shot just wide.
Reading snatched the lead on 44 minutes when a long throw arrived at the feet of Hunt. The Royals midfielder took one touch, before coolly slotting the ball past Tim Howard.
Everton looked more determined following the restart, and Johnson made some progress with runs into the channels.
It was Reading, though, who continued to look the more creative, quick to close down when not in possession.
And Royals defender Bikey was calmness personified when he coolly tapped a loose ball behind from in front of his own goal.
Everton substitute Steven Pienaar got clear down the right side of the area and drilled in a low shot, which Marcus Hahnemann turned around his near post.
The visitors continued to press for an equaliser and McFadden saw his chip come back off the crossbar, and when the ball dropped to Johnson in the six-yard box with five minutes left, a goal looked certain.
However, the England man could only stab his effort off the inside of the post, which just about summed up Everton's afternoon.
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|2||Shots on Target||0|
|3||Shots off Target||6|
Barclays Premier League
|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|