Royals suffer damaging defeat as Vela scores stoppage time winner – Reading Today Online

Reading v Fleetwood Town Pictures: Luke Adams

READING FC suffered a damaging defeat in a bottom of the table clash against Fleetwood Town as Josh Vela scored a stoppage time winner for the visitors.

A disastrous start saw the Royals go behind just over a minute into the contest in what was a dismal first-half display.

The Royals replied early in the second-half through Dom Ballard, but the Cods came up with the winning goal in hte 92nd minute through their skipper.

Ruben Selles side are winless in their last six League One matches and sit in 23rd place.

The Royals were off the back of a heavy away defeat at Charlton Athletic which saw their away misery continue with seven consecutive losses on the road in the league this season.

In the first ever meeting between Reading and Fleetwood Town, both teams came into the contest in the relegation zone.

Mamadi Camara returned from injury and was placed straight into the starting eleven in place of Femi Azeez, while Dom Ballard replaced Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan to partner Sam Smith in attack.

With confidence already at a low point, Reading made the worst start possible as their visitors stole the lead with the first attack of the game.

Bosun Lawal was allowed to drift forward into space before his 25-yard effort arrowed into David Button’s bottom corner to give Fleetwood lift off a little over a minute into the match.

A couple of promising signs came from Reading when a nice move was ended from Sam Smith’s cross being cleared before Tyler Bindon delivered an inviting cross that just alluded Harvey Knibbs.

But it was Fleetwood who pushed for the second goal of the game and were desperately unlucky on a few occasions not to find it.

A dangerous low cross was diverted behind by Nesta Guinness-Walker who just managed to avoid putting the ball into his own net and instead found the other side of the post.

The Cod Army then hit then outside of the post when Promise Omochere stooped low to steer his header goalwards.

The chances kept coming for the visitors when Reading failed to clear from a corner and a header from point blank range saw Button make an impressive reaction stop.

Jack Marriott was next to try his luck when his stinging low drive was palmed away by Button.

With just 30 minutes played, Ruben Selles had seen enough and opted for a change which saw Azeez replace Camara.

Reading started to show some more impetus towards the end of the half but were left frustrated by their end product as Nesta Guinness-Walker failed to pick out a number of blue shirts in the middle.

Azeez latched onto a smart flick from Smith to race down on goal, but his shot lacked direction and turned out to be a routine stop for Jay Lynch as Fleetwood went into the break a goal to the good.

Reading created a big chance to level just five minutes after the restart when Azeez fired a ball across and seemingly put the ball on a plate for Ballard to finish, but the striker got the ball stuck under his feet and couldn’t prod home.

Just moments later, Ballard was able to seize his opportunity and bring Reading level when Smith’s cutback took a deflection and landed for Ballard to convert on the line.

Fleetwood manager Lee Johnson responded to the Reading goal by making a double switch.

Reading found plenty of confidence and were now very much on the front foot in search of going ahead.

Lewis Wing tested Lynch in goal who was able to get across to keep out his shot that took a deflection on its way.

It was then Fleetwood’s turn to create as Marriott tried to squeeze the ball past Button from a tight angle which was pushed away by the Royals stopper.

Reading had two chances in quick succession as a Fleetwood body got in the way of Knibbs’ shot before Charlie Savage saw his volley cannon off the post.

Selles opted for his next change which saw Ballard replaced by Ehibhatiomhan.

The Cods had a glaring opportunity to go back in front in the 80th minute when the ball dropped for them in the box, but they slammed the chance wide.

Harlee Dean clipped the outside of the post, but with the game in stoppage time, it was Fleetwood who stole the points when Josh Vela was allowed time in the box to place past Button.

The result leaves Reading winless in their last six league matches and in 23rd position in the League One table.

Reading face a stern test on Saturday when they host top of the table Portsmouth, who are still unbeaten.

Reading: Button, Bindon, Abbey, Dean, Guinness-Walker, Savage, Wing, Knibbs, Camara, Ballard, Smith

Subs: Pereira, Elliott, Azeez, Ehibhatiomhan, Craig, Rushesha, Carson

Fleetwood Town: Lynch, Wiredu, Lawal, Vela, Mayor, Marriott, Quitirna, Heneghan, Omochere, Teale, Earl

Subs: McMullan, Robertson, Tshimanga, Stockley, Broom, Patterson

Goals: Lawal 2’, Ballard 55’, Vela 90+2’

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