READING’S torrid run on the road continued as they fell to a resounding 3-1 defeat at Northampton Town on Tuesday night.
Goals from Hoskins, Appere and Pinnock sealed the Royals’ fate, although a first league goal for Southampton loanee Dom Ballard on the hour mark did give the travelling fans some hope for the final half hour.
Here’s how we thought the players got on:
David Button 3: A night to forget for the Royals ‘keeper. Wasn’t helped by those in front of him, but should have saved both shots which ended up in the back of the net.
Tyler Bindon 5: Was caught too high up the pitch for Northampton’s first goal. Delivered some decent crosses from the right side which could have been converted on another day.
Harlee Dean 4: Clearly not the most mobile centre-back option and his lack of pace was exploited by Town’s forwards in the first half. Didn’t look comfortable on the ball.
Nelson Abbey 6: The best of the defenders, which isn’t saying an awful lot. Did well in his individual duels, but could also have conceded a penalty in the first half after taking too long on the ball in his own box.
Matt Carson 4: A difficult night for the left back. Lost out in a footrace in the lead up to the second goal, and gave up possession in dangerous positions on a number of occasions.
Charlie Savage 5: Picked up an early yellow trying to inject some energy into his side, and was replaced at half-time. Not the midfielder’s best showing in a Reading shirt.
Lewis Wing 5.5: Struggled to prevent Appere picking up pockets of space in between the lines in the first half, but grew into the game as Town sat back in the latter periods.
Paul Mukairu 4: Perhaps unfortunate to get taken off at the break, having spent most of the first half defending. Never got going down Reading’s left.
Caylan Vickers 5: A very quiet day for the youngster on his return from illness. Didn’t see enough of the ball and was replaced on the hour mark.
Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan 5: Did most of his best work in the channels, which isn’t where any Reading fan wants to see him. The quality of the service into him just wasn’t good enough.
Femi Azeez 4: Made some positive runs forward, but just couldn’t get past his man. Missed a great chance at the back post to draw his side level late on.
Harvey Knibbs 7: Came on and added much needed energy into Reading’s front line, although the forward did spurn a great opportunity to grab an equaliser.
Sam Hutchinson 5: Was given a far easier brief coming on after the interval as the hosts dropped deeper. Had more time on the ball than Savage but didn’t create anything of note.
Dom Ballard 6: Took his goal well, finishing calming from the edge of the box. Would like to see him pull the trigger earlier, given how prolific a finisher he is.
Clinton Mola 4: A torrid performance from the left-back was capped off with confusion over a red card. Received two yellows but somehow remained on the pitch.
Ben Elliott N/A: Probably should have been introduced earlier.