Harper voller punishes Blades
By Andy Clarke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
James Harper scored a stunning goal to give Reading all three points.James Harper scored a stunning goal to give Reading a 1-0 victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane and leave The Blades still searching for their first win of the season.
Reading, who opened with a win over Brighton before an unfortunate defeat to West Ham in midweek, were under the cosh in the first half hour as Neil Warnock's side made an impressive start.
Michael Tonge forced a good save from Marcus Hahnemann early on, while Jon Harley and Chris Morgan also went close to opening the scoring.
But it was not until the 27th minute, when Nicky Forster fired over, that Steve Coppell's men came to life, but they grew in stature as an attacking force before the break.
Four minutes before the interval they scored the only goal, when Harper unleashed a volley from the edge of the penalty area that gave Blades keeper Paddy Kenny no chance.
Moments later the visitors should have doubled their advantage when Dave Kitson struck a post from close range after meeting Bobby Convey's corner.
At the other end, Hahnemann made another good block with his feet to deny Barry Hayles his first goal since his summer move from Fulham.
Substitute Alan Quinn fired a shot just wide from outside the box as United pushed for an equaliser and Morgan volleyed wide from Andy Liddell's corner, but Reading made sure of the points when Adie Williams blocked Morgan's header on the line in the final minute.