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Wing rocket helps lift Royals up to 16th – Reading Today Online

RFC

A LEWIS WING rocket helped Reading to claim three vital points in their clash with fellow relegation candidates Port Vale.

After a frustrating first three quarters of the game, it was a moment of pure quality which broke the deadlock as Wing hammered a shot into the left hand corner from 25 yards out.

Harvey Knibbs doubled the lead in the 83rd minute to put the game beyond any doubt, with the result lifting the Royals into 16th position.

Ruben Selles made just one change from the defeat at Portsmouth which saw Sam Smith return to the eleven to replace Paul Mukairu.

David Button kept his place in goal despite his position being under scrutiny after a disappointing display at the weekend.

Vale went into the contest without a win in their last seven which had seen them fall into the relegation places, with the club opting for a change in manager which saw Darren Moore appointed last week.

Both sets of supporters had earned a mutual respect for each other after Vale fans showed their support and sympathy for the Royals after their pitch invasion which led to an abandonment of the original fixture in January.

Another protest was carried out, but this time in the stands, as both sets of fans held up red cards in the 16th minute to highlight football’s ownership problem.

That proved to be the biggest highlight of the half with action on the pitch uneventful for the most part in the opening 45 minutes.

It was Reading who had the better of the chances despite any goalmouth action being few and far between.

The best opening came from an inviting inswinging cross from Femi Azeez which found Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan at the back post, but the forward failed to get the required power on his header to beat the keeper.

After a few tame efforts from both teams which forced the keepers into routine saves, the only other notable chance of the half came for Ehibhatiomhan when he did well to bring down Azeez’s cross, but couldn’t provide the finish as he fluffed his shot,

Selles looked to inspire his side with a half-time change that saw Charlie Savage replaced Michael Craig in central midfield.

Vale went close a few minutes after the restart when a shot forced an unconvincing parry from Button before Yiadom managed to get a toe to the ball to prevent what would have been a dangerous rebound.

At the other end, a clearance from a Savage free-kick dropped for Amadou Mbengue on the edge of the box, but he smacked his first time shot high over the target.

A fizzed ball into the box from Clinton Mola almost resulted in the opener as the ball bounced off a couple of bodies before finding its way over the top.

With no change in the score of momentum in the game, Selles made another switch just before the hour mark by bringing Ben Elliott on for Ehibhatiomhan.

Vale then responded with an attack of their own which ended with nobody getting on the end of a drilled cross into the six yard box.

Azeez came close to finding a moment of magic to break the deadlock when he twisted onto his left foot and unleashed a powerful shot that was brilliantly tipped past the post by Vale keeper Connor Ripley.

The winger then had another sight of goal when he was fed on the right by Smith, but lost all composure and blazed his shot wildly off target.

Azeez continued with some lively contributions when he arrowed a cross into the six yard area begging for a blue shirt to provide the finish, but the opportunity was missed with no end product.

Reading’s frustrations were finally put to bed when Wing blasted a stunning strike into the corner from 25 yards with seemingly little room to get his strike away.

Selles’ men almost doubled their advantage with what would have put the game to bed when Azeez hit the crossbar.

The points were sealed when Knibbs made it 2-0 in the 84th minute, slamming the ball into the roof of the net from the aftermath of Elliott’s shot being blocked on the line.

Next up for Reading, they host Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.

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

Subs: Pereira, Monlouis, Mukairu, Elliott, Savage, Wareham, Abrefa

Port Vale: Ripley, Jones, Sang, Smith, Loft, Chislett, Mighten, Ojo, Lowe, Weir, Debrah

Subs: Leutwiler, Garrity, Grant, Iacovitti, Massey, Dipepa, Wilson

Goals: Wing 76’, Knibbs 83’

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