ROYALS ON THE ROAD TO TOP SIX
MOMENTUM is becoming a Championship buzzword as the race for promotion begins to reach a climax and, away from home, Reading have bundles of it according to manager Nigel Adkins.
The Royals boss saw his side secure their fifth victory from their last six away games when Danny Williams hammered home 17 minutes from time.
The victory gives them a fivepoint cushion on seventh-placed Nottingham Forest as they look for an immediate return to the Premier League.
And Adkins, who guided Southampton to promotion in 2012, believes his side’s form on the road gives them a great chance of joining Leicester in the top flight.
“We are a massive threat with the pace that we have got in our team,” said the Royals chief.
“Danny Williams, I thought was excellent and he scored the goal by driving on from midfield.
“We had a good defensive shape about ourselves and away from home we score some fantastic counter attacking goals.
“That is five wins in our last six on the road which is important.
“Charlton played some good football but we had good shape and, initially, we had to grind the game.
“In the second half we had the momentum and I always felt the goal was coming.
“We were on the front foot and created several opportunities. It is an important three points at this stage of the season, and a clean sheet.
“Our preparation going into the game was not to use the surface, which has been a long standing problem here, as an excuse and we have managed to find a way to win the game.”
Charlton threatened first in an almost chance-less first half, and on 21 minutes Jordan Cousins dragged a shot straight at Alex McCarthy having skipped past Kaspars Gorkss.
Williams wasted Reading’s first two opportunities of the match on 47 and 52 minutes when he twice scuffed wide from the edge of the box.
On 55 minutes Adam Le Fondre turned inside the box and sent a snapshot just wide after collecting Jobi McAnuff’s cutback.
It was starting to become oneway traffic and former Royal, and current Charlton goalkeeper, Ben Hamer flung to his right to keep out Danny Guthrie’s free-kick on 62 minutes
The keeper then had to be alert to deny Garath McCleary when the replacement eluded a challenge from Morrison on the edge of the box.
But the visitors won it on 73 minutes when Guthrie burst for- ward following a Charlton attack and, after Le Fondre had made the space with an intelligent run, he teed up Williams who smashed beyond Hamer.
Charlton were unable to find a level but Charlton head coach Jose Riga, whose side have failed to score in five of their last eight games, felt they deserved a point.
He said: “We knew how difficult it would be to play against a side that hadn’t played in midweek like we did.
“Before the game it was not an easy mission for us but we did it well for an hour and we had good control of the game.
“I did not see the difference between a team fighting for the play-offs and one who is fighting to avoid relegation.
“We did not create a lot of chances but I don’t think they did either.
“We made one mistake and we were punished but that is football. It is difficult to take but that is the reality.
“We have only been beaten by teams from the top and even today we deserved at least one point, but now we have to focus on the next game.”
LOVE IN: Danny Williams celebrates with the Reading fans after his winning goal
CLINCHER: Danny Williams scores for Reading
STAR MAN DANNY GUTHR