Reading ended their 2021/22 home season with a whimper, going down 1-0 to mid-table West Brom. Neither side impressed, but a late Karlan Grant strike meant the Royals ended their home campaign in disappointing fashion.

Paul Ince made two changes, with Terell Thomas making his club debut for the missing Andy Yiadom and Ovie Ejaria replacing the injured Tom Ince.

Despite the game having nothing but personal pride on the line, it began with a quick tempo and both sides competed throughout. It took 10 minutes for the opening attempt when Matt Phillips, who made his 200th appearance for the Baggies at the SCL Stadium, struck his long-range strike well wide of the goal. Central defender Kyle Bartley went close shortly after, hitting the base of the post after touch from Orjan Nyland in goal from a recycled corner.

The Royals’ first real chance to score came midway through the half when Danny Drinkwater, Josh Laurent, Junior Hoilett and debutant Thomas combined in the corner, working their way toward the box until Laurent’s heavy touch saw the ball into touch and the attack come to an end. The second period of the opening half saw strong defending from Reading, who restricted the Baggies to long distance strikes from Jayson Molumby and Karlan Grant, while Michael Morrison and Thomas both came close from cross, Morrison flicking a header wide from a corner and Thomas’ poor touch letting him down as he was unmarked from a Drinkwater free kick.


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Similar to the first half, the second was competitive throughout. However, there was much less in the way of goal mouth action as most of the game descended into a series of nearly moments. Phillips had the first effort which troubled Nyland, a cross which floated toward the back post and swerved, causing the keeper to put behind for a corner. Nothing came of the set piece and nothing came from Phillips’ next attempt, a cut-back cross which found the Scot in the centre of the box, but his strike could only be fired over the bar from close range.

Ejaria had the hosts best chance of the half when he got on the end of a Hoilett cross, only to put his header wide. Shortly after the midfielder had another chance, this time with his feet, but he powered his strike over the bar from the corner. The visitors went up the other end and broke the deadlock with less than 15 minutes remaining. Callum Robinson burst away on the right and cut the ball across the box for an unmarked Grant, who cut into the box and tapped the ball past a helpless Nyland. The Royals had chances to pull a goal back, most clearly through Tom McIntyre who flicked a header wide of the far post from a corner in the final five minutes.


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Ultimately it was not meant to be, and the Baggies walked away with all three points in a game neither sets of supporters will remember fondly.

Just one game remains in the 2021/22 campaign as Reading are backed by a sell-out away crowd at play-off side Luton Town.