Hotshot Roberts fires Royals to Clarets win
Published: 17 Feb 2012 21:590 comments
JASON Roberts' early goal edged Reading FC past a spirited Burnley and up to third in the Championship table.
Playing in front of new owner Anton Zingarevich for the first time, Royals were far from their flowing best and were perhaps fortunate to notch up a fourth straight victory.
Eddie Howe's side twice hit the woodwork through Jay Rodriguez and former Reading trainee Charlie Austin.
Austin, who had a spell with Hungerford Town, also saw a one-on-one chance superbly saved by Adam Federici.
Roberts had earlier shown the Burnley front men how it was done as he hit a looping shot over goalkeeper Lee Grant from Jobi McAnuff's cross in the 11th minute.
The home side created few chances of note aside from Roberts' effort, although Ben Mee did brilliantly to block a close-range Noel Hunt effort with his head while lying on the floor.
Jimmy Kebe also saw a header cleared off the line by Kieran Trippier and the Malian blasted over with nearly the last kick of the game from Hunt's pass.
But the miss did not matter as Reading racked up a fourth successive clean sheet and victory to further strengthen their push for promotion.
It also put the gloss on a superb week for Royals that saw them beat Coventry City, Derby County and Burnley in the matter of seven days.
Delighted Royals boss Brian McDermott said: ""They're a good side Burnley, so that's a really big win.
"They're as good a side as I've seen come to Madejski this season but we've got a team who knows how to win games.
"That's three games in a week and we've got three wins, nine points, three clean sheets. We have to be pleased with that."
Royals, with fit-again skipper Jobi McAnuff back in the side, had to be strong at the back to cope with a lively Burnley attack.
McDermott admitted: "We had chances, they had chances. I think the team earned some good fortune with the effort they put in tonight, from back to front. And we got the goal - it was a fabulous finish from Jason Roberts."
No-one looked more pleased with the result than Zingarevich, and McDermott stated: "It was good for him to watch the game, have a look at the stadium and the training ground and see what we're about. He enjoyed the victory, that was the most important thing. Burnley were a decent team, there's no doubt about that, so we have to be very pleased."
Reading (4-4-2): Federici - Connolly, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte - Kebe, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff (Robson-Kanu 80) - Hunt, Roberts (Le Fondre 76). Subs not used: Andersen, Tabb, Cywka. Booked: Roberts (dissent 40), Gorkss (foul 65), Hunt (dissent 84).
Burnley (4-4-2): Grant - Trippier, Duff, Edgar, Mee - McQuoid (Ings 68), Marney (Bartley 79), McCann, Wallace - Austin (Paterson 68), Rodriguez. Subs not used: Jensen, Easton. Booked: Wallace (foul 40), Duff (foul 44), Rodriguez (foul 49), Marney (foul 65), Ings (foul 87).
Attendance: 17,185 (Burnley 476).
Referee: Darren Deadman (Cambridgeshire).