READING’S search for an away win in the league continues as they lost 3-1 to Northampton Town on Tuesday night.
Ruben Selles’ men went into the break 2-0 down thanks to strikes from Sam Hoskins and Louis Appere, both of which ‘keeper David Button will have been disappointed to concede.
Dom Ballard halved the arrears with an opportunistic finish just past the hour mark but any hope of a comeback were dashed in stoppage time when Mitch Pinnock fired home.
Looking for a response after a lacklustre goalless draw against Burton over the weekend, the boss made three changes to the starting line up. Caylan Vickers recovered from illness to adopt the number 10 berth alongside Paul Mukairu, while Nelson Abbey came in for Tom McIntyre who took a nasty-looking blow to the head on Saturday.
The hosts remained unchanged from the weekend with manager Jon Brady satisfied with the complement who saw off high-flying Exeter City 2-0. And his faith was rewarded in the 10th minute as Hoskins opened the scoring, just as he had done three days earlier. Louis Appere played the forward into the left channel and his strike found the back of the net, despite Button getting a hand to it.
Reading’s most recent trip to Sixfields came back in 2001, when the sides played out a 1-1 in the old Division 2. But hopes of bringing back points were dashed in the 37th minute when the Cobblers doubled the deficit.
Caylan Vickers tested Lee Burge with the Royals’ best chance of the half, but could only watch as Appere beat Matt Carson in a footrace, chopped in onto his left foot and strike past Button who, once again, got a significant hand on the shot.
All of Reading’s substitutes were called into the dressing room to listen to Selles’ half-time team talk, and Harvey Knibbs and Sam Hutchinson emerged as the teams reemerged for the second period.
It had been 325 days since Reading’s most recent league away win, but the side looked more determined to right that wrong in the second half, taking the initiative and ultimately pulling one back. Knibbs managed to get his body between Burge and the ball, teeing up substitute Dom Ballard on the edge of the box, who calmly stroked the ball into the back of the net.
But there was to be no fairytale ending for the Royals as Mitch Pinnock grabbed a late goal to secure all three points for his side.
The defeat keeps Reading in the League One relegation zone ahead of their trip to Leyton Orient on Saturday.
Northampton: Burge, Guthrie, Sherring, Hoskins, Appere, Pinnock, McWilliams, Bowie, Leonard, Odimayo, Brough
Substitutes: McGowan, Fox, Monthe, Simpson, Lintott, Haynes, Thompson
Reading: Button, Dean, Savage, Azeez, Mukairu, Ehibhatiomhan, Bindon, Wing, Abbey, Vickers, Carson
Substitutes: Mola, Elliott, Knibbs, Ballard, Yiadom, Hutchinson, Boyce-Clarke