SCOTT Marshall admitted Reading FC were punished once again for failing to take their chances as his last match as caretaker boss ended in defeat.

Sam Baldock and Tyler Blackett both wasted clear-cut opportunities near the beginning and end of Saturday’s clash that saw new boss Jose Gomes installed shortly after the final whistle.

Royals also had two penalty appeals turned down by referee Stephen Martin in the second half when effort from Leandro Bacuna and Garath McCleary appeared to strike the arms of Daniel Ayala and Aden Flint respectively.

Boro claimed the victory through skipper George Friend’s strike in the 77th minute to send them up to fourth in the Championship table and earn Tony Pulis his first win at Reading as a manager in 10 attempts.

Marshall said: “Middlesbrough have a great defensive record so the first goal was always going to be important.

“I thought we dominated the game for large periods and had some good moments and a couple of appeals for penalties with strikes on goal, maybe you get one of those.

“Our two best chances were the one in the first five minutes and the last couple of minutes. If we take them, you never know, it’s fine margins.

“I would have loved us to have gone in front as I’m sure it would have been an entirely different game and would have opened up some spaces, but it wasn’t meant to be.”

Reading Chronicle:

Scott Marshall looks on from the sidelines.

For the second week in a row Reading handed a Championship debut to one of their Academy centre-halves with Gabriel Osho, 20, following Tom McIntyre.

Osho was called up after McIntyre sustained an eye injury in the 1-1 draw at Rotherham and with Liam Moore, Paul McShane and Tiago Ilori sidelined and John O’Shea only fit enough for a place on the bench.

Osho put in a fine display alongside Blackett, and Marshall stated: “He was excellent and I’m really pleased for Gabe along with Tom McIntyre the week before.

“They were two excellent debuts from two young centre halves in a very tough league.

“They came up against some real physicality and quality and Gabe handled himself really well.

“The two of them have been working hard all year and they are focussed on what they do. It was so pleasing to see them out there.”

Reading Chronicle:

Gabriel Osho impressed on his Reading debut on Saturday.

Osho was one of four Academy players in the matchday squad on Saturday long with Andy Rinomhota, Danny Loader and Omar Richards.

“The young lads have done really well,” added Marshall. “They’ve been around the senior boys and there’s a good mix starting. They’re learning fast at the sharp end, but it’s not easy.

“They want to get some wins on the board as well as good performances and that’s the same for all the players.

“I think we did enough of the last two games that could have ended with two victories, but we didn’t and it’s all about getting results.”