Sam Walker: 7

Reading’s second choice keeper got off to a nervy start; there wasn’t much he could do about the opener but shortly after, some confusion at the back allowed Glatzel in behind - luckily for Walker he couldn’t put the ball in to the open net. 

With the Royals down to 10 men, Walker produced a cracking save in the dying minutes to deny Glatzel again from point blank range; a save that could be considered the only reason Reading are still in the hat.

Teddy Howe: 7

Howe put in a solid performance, one of his best yet. The right-back caused issues for Cardiff on the right flank and was composed in possession. 

In terms of his defensive role, the youngster dealt with Murphy with ease, keeping him quiet for the majority of the game; An assured performance from Howe. 

Matt Miazga: 6

Miazga didn’t perform particularly well nor poorly against Cardiff; He conducted himself well and acted as a leader for the rest of his backline.

Unfortunately for the American, his game was brought to a stop by a serious injury around the hour mark.

Tom McIntyre: 6

Prior to his unfortunate sending off, McIntyre’s quality shone through today. He showed experience beyond his years, knowing exactly when to play safe and when to play the pass. McIntyre’s composure makes him a leader, he is consistently comfortable in possession and knows exactly what is required of him; 

Reading have a real gem on their hands. He will undoubtedly bounce back from his slip-up today.

Omar Richards: 6

Omar Richards failed to make much of an impact on the game today. He showed he is more than capable of beating his man and displayed some lovely one-two’s, but ultimately never punished Cardiff or caused them any real problems.

Andy Rinomhota: 5

Much like Omar Richards, Andy Rinomhota showed what he can do in certain positions but lacked any real end product and misplaced one too many passes. Rinomhota will be disappointed to have not made the most of his opportunity, with Pele performing particularly well as of late.

Charlie Adam: 7

The Royals played through Adam today, with the experienced Scotsman acting as a pivot to almost all of Reading’s attacks.

Adam has spoken in the past about his tendency to always play the risky pass, always looking forward; inevitably he misplaced the occasional pass but cannot be criticised for his positivity. Alongside Alike, I felt Adam ran the show for Reading today.

Yakou Meite: 7

A great moment for Yakou Meite who scored Reading’s only goal of the game. His emotional celebration comes just one week after a family bereavement. 

Later in the first half, Meite was played in by McIntyre but tried to do too much and eventually Smithies smothered the ball. 

The Ivorian managed to get another goal, poking home from close range, following in on an Aluko effort. The goal, however, was disallowed for being offside, despite replays showing Meite was on.

Other than his goal, Meite failed to make many more inroads in the game. The forward didn’t receive any great service from his team mates in the second half.

Sone Aluko: 8

Aluko was Reading’s stand out player; the Nigerian international showed silky footwork to beat his man on multiple occasions, as well as displaying a brilliant range of passing including a 50-yard pin-point spray to Danny Loader in the first half. He forced Smithies in more than one save with some fierce efforts at goal. 

Aluko’s performance was very promising, and he showed what is capable of given the opportunity.

Has Aluko given Bowen something to think about?

Garath McCleary: 6

McCleary took a while to come in to the game; following a sub-par opening 20 minutes, the experienced winger begun to play his part defensively with interceptions and tackles that allowed the Royals to break on more than one occasion. 

The winger never had a chance to dribble today and as a result, didn’t cause Cardiff’s backline any issues.

Danny Loader: 4

Loader put in another poor performance against Cardiff. The hype around the young forward is beginning to fade but it doesn’t appear to have done him any favours. Loader struggled to bring the ball in to his stride time and time again, and therefore never created any chances. 

He made way Ben House shortly after a failed overhead kick.


Andre Burley: 6

Burley didn’t have a huge amount of time to impact the game but helped the Royals see out a draw with two vital touches to put out for a corner in added time. He showed signs of improvement following his slightly nervy debut against Blackpool.

Gabriel Osho: 6

Osho put in a decent performance and took charge of his backline following McIntyre’s dismissal. However, his inexperience showed when he attempted to slide the ball through the Cardiff forward’s legs in the 90th minute; luckily for him, nothing came of the chance.