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Royals respond to deduction with vital victory – Reading Today Online

rfc

READING FC picked up a vital away win against League One relegation rivals Carlisle United to boost their chances of survival just days after their most recent points deduction.

After being docked two points earlier in the week to take their season total to six deducted points, Reading clawed them back with just their third away win of the league season.

A goal from Sam Smith and a Harvey Knibbs double fired the Royals to victory in Cumbria to lift Ruben Selles’ side up to 16th in the table, five points above the drop zone.

Following a two point deduction in the week, Reading found themselves slipping down the table and now just three points above the relegation zone heading into Saturday.

That meant their clash with bottom of League One Carlisle United had become a must win to try and ease their relegation fears.

Ruben Selles made just one change from the 3-2 home defeat to Shrewsbury which saw Michael Craig replace Charlie Savage in central midfield.

David Button kept his spot as the number one despite some shaky recent performances, while experienced defender Harlee Dean returned to the bench.

The hosts flew out the trap and had a glaring chance to open the scoring just three minutes in when the ball was fired into the area for Luke Armstrong, who somehow missed the target from close range.

After avoiding a nightmare start as they endured against Shrewsbury last weekend, Selles’ side settled into the game and started to find their groove.

Sam Smith came a matter of inches away from putting Reading in front when he was set free by Harvey Knibbs, Carlisle keeper Harry Lewis flew off his line which prompted Smith to take the chance early with his shot bouncing off the post.

But just a minute later, Smith amended for his missed chance to fire Reading in front.

Lewis Wing showed his creative prowess once again by clipping a ball in behind for Smith who cushioned the ball with an excellent first touch before he swept the ball into the bottom corner.

Reading almost capitalised when a dreadful kick out from Lewis fell at the feet of Ehibhatiomhan who tested the keeper after trading passes with Knibbs.

Carlisle struggled to create much as Jack Diamond drove towards the box before his shot sailed over the top.

The Royals doubled their advantage in the 36th minute thanks to a slaloming run on the right from skipper Andu Yiadom who tricked his way past two defenders before he put the ball on a plate for Knibbs to convert.

Reading could have put the game beyond reach with opportunities from Wing and Femi Azeez, but went into the break two goals to the good.

Just 10 minutes after the restart, Reading ensured the points were all but secured when Knibbs arrived at the front post to meet Azeez’s cross and knocked the ball past the keeper to make it 3-0.

A first Reading change came with 25 minutes to play as Ben Elliott took Ehibhatiomhan’s place on the wing.

The Cumbrians grabbed a goal back with a little more than 20 minutes left to play when Jon Mellish glanced a header in from a free-kick to give his side some hope.

Despite salvaging some hope, Reading were able to shut down their opponents and limit any hopes of a comeback.

Smith was a whisker away from finding his second, and what would have been Reading’s fourth, when he powered a header just wide of the far post.

The Royals held onto their lead to pick up three points which lifts them further away from the relegation zone.

Carlisle United: Lewis, Armer, Lavelle, Huntington, Charters, Ellis, Mellish, Diamond Neal, Armstrong, Vela

Subs: Breeze, Gibson, McCalmont, Butterworth, Robinson, Maguire, Grehan

Reading: Button, Mola, Mbengue, Bindon, Yiadom, Craig, Wing, Knibbs, Azeez, Ehibhatiomhan, Smith

Subs: Pereira, Dean, Savage,

Goals: Smith 17’, Knibbs 36’, 57’, Mellish 71’

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