READING FC ended their year long wait for an away win in the league as Lewis Wing netted against his former club to help defeat Wycombe Wanderers.
The Royals fans have long suffered on the road and had to wait 378 days for a league win away from home.
Having came so close before spectacularly collapsing at Shrewsbury Town in their last outing, Ruben Selles’ side ensured they collected all three points at Adams Park with goals from Sam Smith and Wing.
Looking to finally put an end to their horrendous year on the road with 20 away trips in the league without a win in 2023, the Royals made the short trip to Wycombe,
There was just one change made by Ruben Selles from Reading’s last League One outing, which was a 3-2 defeat to Shrewsbury after conceding two stoppage time goals.
Wycombe Wanderers v Reading Pictures: Steve Smyth
Michael Craig came into central midfield to replace Sam Hutchinson who missed out through suspension.
While Lewis Wing was named in midfield alongside Criag to face his former side, there was also a former Royal in the Wycombe line-up as Garath McCleary, who made a total of 270 appearances for Reading, started for the Chairboys.
The referee brought out his yellow card for the first time, 14 minutes into the contest when Harry Boyes flew in on Wing with a heavy and mistimed challenge on the edge of Reading’s box.
After both sides traded corners, it was the chairboys who went close to breaking the deadlock when an inswing corner was met by Ryan Tafazolli who couldn’t keep his header down.
The game hit a delay when Dom Ballard unfortunately had to withdrawn via a stretcher after he went down in agony after falling off balance while taking a shot at goal. After a lengthy stoppage, he was replaced by Copenhagen loanee Paul Mukairu.
Reading acted quickly after the game restarted as Femi Azeez pounced on a loose kick from the goalkeeper and picked out Sam Smith in the middle who got the faintest of touches to take the ball into the bottom corner.
Reading’s joy didn’t last long as Wycombe replied just two minutes later. A knock down in the box fell for Killian Phillips who shifted past Craig to make space before he whipped a shot into the far corner to beat David Button.
The Royals dusted themselves off and ensured that they had a lead to take into half-time.
Azeez chested down to control and laid the ball off for Wing to strike first time, and he found the net against his former club after his shot took a wicked deflection off Taffazolli to wrong foot Max Stryjek.
Wycombe made a bright start to the second-half and former Reading man McCleary came a matter of inches away from producing an equaliser when he couldn’t quite stretch far enough to connect with a low cross.
Reading showed their attacking capability with a flowing move forward that ended with Andy Yiadom’s shot falling into the arms of the keeper for a comfortable stop.
Looking to grab his second goal of the game, Smith showed a turn of pace and broke into the box, but could only conjure a tame shot.
Selles made his first round of changes with just under 15 minutes of the 90 left to play as Azeez and Dorsett were replaced by Charlie Savage and Amadou Mbengue.
The second-half ended goalless which meant Reading held onto their advantage to finally record an away win as they collected their first points on the road this season.
The Chairboys started to apply some pressure in the final 10 minutes of the match to try and force an equaliser. But Reading managed to stay compact and organised to defend some set pieces.
Reading still occupy bottom place despite the win, but do move closer to safety and are now seven points adrift of escaping the relegation places after 17 matches.
The Royals are back on home soil on Tuesday night when they host Carlisle United.
Wycombe Wanderers: Stryjek, Tafazolli, Keogh, Low, Grimmer, Boyes, Scowen, Phillips, Wheeler, McCleary, Taylor
Subs: Forino, Breckin, Sadlier, Ravioli, De Barr, Taylor, Pattenden
Reading: Button, Yiadom, Bindon, Abbey, Dorsett, Craig, Wing, Knibbs, Azeez, Ballard, Smith
Subs: Holmes, Savage, Mukairu, Ehibhatiomhan, Pereira, Mbengue, Carson
Goals: Smith 30’, Phillips 32’, Wing 41’