ROY­ALS ON THE ROAD TO TOP SIX

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Ge­orge Jones To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

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.”

PIC­TURES: TGS

LOVE IN: Danny Wil­liams cel­e­brates with the Read­ing fans af­ter his win­ning goal

ALEX McCARTHY

JOBI McANUFF

CLINCHER: Danny Wil­liams scores for Read­ing

STAR MAN DANNY GUTHR

IE Readin

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