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REPORT: Reading 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday

8 February 2014

Sheffield Wednesday’s unbeaten run in all competitions extended to 11 games on Saturday after an impressive 2-0 win over ten-man Reading at The Madejski.

Alex Pearce was issued a straight red card for a challenge in the area on Benik Afobe before Chris Maguire converted the spot kick in the eighth minute.

Wednesday made good use of their extra man and, following the resumption, Afobe made it 2-0, scoring his first goal for Wednesday which ensured the Owls returned to Sheffield with three points in the bag.

Stuart Gray was forced to ring the changes due to injuries and suspensions in the camp.

Jose Semedo lined up at centre half in the absence of Oguchi Onyewu, while midfielder Rhys McCabe made his first league start of the campaign.

International clearance did not land in time for Cardiff loanee Adedeji Oshilaja to make his debut in Berkshire.

The Royals went into the game in free-scoring form with 15 goals in their previous four games and gave the visitors early cause for concern.

Jobi McAnuff fed Adam Le Fondre inside two minutes but the Reading dangerman was denied by Chris Kirkland.

Miguel Llera then cleared off the line from Pavel Pogrebnyak before Reading were reduced to ten men and the Owls awarded a spot kick – their first of the season.

Afobe spun on the edge of the area leaving Pearce in his trail before the Royals defender clumsily brought down the Arsenal loanee and saw red for his troubles.

Up stepped Maguire from 12 yards to thump home his sixth goal in nine games. 

With an early numerical advantage, the Owls went in search of a quickfire second goal as Jacques Maghoma led the charge forward but the midfielder’s shot was comfortably saved by Alex McCarthy.

Wednesday, though, looked a constant threat on the attack and full of confidence as Kieran Lee saw his first time hit crucially blocked by Karspars Gorkss.

At the other McAnuff fired a half volley just wide on the half hour as Reading searched for a route back into the game before the break.

Ex-Reading man Michail Antonio was introduced to the action for the start of the second half and almost came back to haunt the Royals in the first minute.

Maghoma advanced down the left and sidefooted into the path of Antonio but the winger could not find a way past McCarthy, who was down quickly to save at the expense of a corner.

But Reading could not contain the Owls for much longer as Afobe gave Wednesday a cushion in the 58th minute, scoring his first goal for the club.

Maguire cut inside from the left and fired a low strike on target that McCarthy spilled and Afobe was lurking in the danger zone to lift the ball into the net in front of the jubilant Owls fans behind the goal.

It was all action at The Madejski as Wednesday went for the kill but Jeremy Helan blasted his strike from inside the area against the upright and Atdhe Nuhiu dragged wide on the counter.

But it was a thoroughly professional performance from Wednesday, who saw out the remainder of the game untroubled to complete a league double over the Royals.

Reading: McCarthy, Gunter, Pearce(S/O 8), Pogrebnyak, Le Fondre, McAnuff (Robson-Kanu 72), McCleary, Akpan (Blackman 72), Gorkss, Williams(Guthrie 65), Obita 

Owls: Kirkland, Palmer, Mattock, Llera, Helan, Lee, Semedo, Maghoma, McCabe (Antonio 46), Maguire (Nuhiu 78), Afobe (Lavery 73)

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