Lucas Joao effort enough as Reading edge Wycombe to move to Championship summit

Posted Wednesday, October 21, 2020 by PA

Lucas Joao effort enough as Reading edge Wycombe to move to Championship summit

Reading moved to the top of the Sky Bet Championship and extended their unbeaten start to six matches with a hard-earned 1-0 victory over lowly Wycombe at Madejski Stadium.

Winless yet energetic Wycombe dominated the first period but failed to create many clear-cut chances.

Reading almost went ahead on the stroke of half-time but Yakou Meite made a mess of his attempted close-range header.

Improving after the break, Reading broke the deadlock just past the hour mark when top scorer Lucas Joao thundered in his sixth goal of the season in all competitions.

Reading had won their first four matches – their best start to a league campaign for 35 years – but they lost their 100 per cent record when having to settle for a goalless draw at Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Wycombe’s maiden term in the second tier had opened miserably with five successive defeats.

They did at least score their first league goal of the season – through Scott Kashket – in the 2-1 home loss to Millwall on Saturday.

Neither side threatened in the early exchanges with both teams content to move the ball slowly as they looked for space.

It was Wycombe, though, who showed the greater urgency and could have gone in front after just seven minutes.

Full-back Jack Grimmer escaped along the right flank and crossed cleverly into the home box.

Unmarked Alex Samuel met the ball first time on the volley but his tame effort was comfortably gathered by Reading goalkeeper Rafael.

Samuel’s team-mates Matt Bloomfield and Dennis Adeniran should also have done better but failed to trouble Rafael from long range.

Reading were poor going forward, laboured in their approach play and unable to break down the rigid away defence.

Ovie Ejaria fell in the Wycombe area after a good run from the left wing but referee Andy Davies deemed the challenge from Grimmer to be fair.

Ejaria then crossed well from the same flank but Meite mistimed his dive at the far post and barely connected with his head.

Wycombe again played positively after the interval with a dangerous Grimmer centre hastily cleared by the home defence.

Reading gradually began to make headway and – after Ejaria had driven an effort wide – they took the lead in the 64th minute.

Skipper Liam Moore launched a long pass upfield and Joao collected it, turned superbly and lashed a fierce shot past Wycombe goalkeeper Ryan Allsop.

The visitors replied quickly but, when Adeniran found himself free on the edge of the Reading box, he drove his effort wastefully wide.

Substitute Fred Onyedinma forced a fine sprawling save from Rafael in stoppage time but, after Bristol City’s 1-0 home loss to Middlesbrough, Reading climbed above City to the Championship summit.


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