Royals fan Oli Bryant gives his take on Reading's 1-1 draw with Cardiff City on Friday evening.

After 4 games without a win, Bowen decided to change our shape and so we adopted a 3-5-2 formation, rather than the normal and preferred 4-2-3-1. I thought we played better as a result as the 2 up front were able to support each other well, the defence was fairly solid throughout and Obita and Gunter were effective in providing the width. 

We didn’t really offer much up top in the first 5 minutes or so and didn’t threaten that much, which is why the travelling cohort all seemed quite surprised when Swift’s ariel cut-back was headed goal-wards by Meite and then ended up in the back of the net. The majority of our fans didn’t even realise that we had scored, including myself at first. 

Neither team created many chances during the remainder of the first half and we sat back for most of it and cleared a few crosses and set pieces. A solid 45 minutes saw us go in 1-0 up at the break. 

We continued to soak up considerable pressure in the second half, but we couldn’t withstand for much longer. We conceded as a result of failing to defend the second ball after the ball was launched into the box from a long throw on the 70th minute mark. 

Charlie Adam came on for Swift with 15 minutes to go and had quite an impact on the game, despite being a bit indecisive. He tried to up the tempo as he usually does and he prevented a very near goal after some composed defending in the box, before playing it out to Ejaria who was able to break.

We began to attack with more intent in the last 10 minutes, just like we did against Bristol. We could have scored, had the final ball been better on a couple of occasions in the closing moments. 

My man of the match was probably Pele after another impressive and solid performance. He protected the back 3 well, made lots of challenges and played the ball about well. It’s great to see how much Pele has improved since we signed him on loan at the start of the season. 

Overall, we offered very little threat and a draw was probably a fair result. The atmosphere was great throughout and a point away from home is good, but it’s now five games without a win for us.