Hal and Ali leave Dy­che fu­ri­ous

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Alex Smith

BURN­LEY boss Sean Dy­che was left apoplec­tic af­ter Hal Rob­sonKanu scuffed up the penalty spot – mo­ments be­fore An­dre Gray had his kick saved in a stale­mate at the Made­jski Sta­dium.

Ref­eree James Ad­cock awarded the Clarets a golden chance to jump back into the au­to­matic places when Gray was tripped by Ali AlHabsi.

But the striker saw his ef­fort de­nied by the Oman in­ter­na­tional mo­ments af­ter Rob­son-Kanu had tam­pered with the white dot.

“What I did see was their player kick­ing the spot up,” fumed Dy­che. “I cer­tainly hope my play­ers never con­duct them­selves in that man­ner.

“It was bizarre be­hav­iour and there is no place for it in the mod­ern game. I would be sur­prised if any of their play­ers were OK with him do­ing that. I also saw the keeper come off the line be­fore he hit it – I thought you have to stay on your line.

“You’d put a fair chance on An­dre scor­ing, the rest of it is just games­man­ship. I just wouldn’t ex­pect one of my play­ers to kick the ball and scuff up the spot as he’s ready to take it. It is re­ally poor.”

Cham­pi­onship top scorer Gray had an af­ter­noon of mis­ery, which be­gan with an aw­ful miss, some­how ping­ing over from six yards af­ter good wide play from Ge­orge Boyd.

Boyd was then al­lowed to run at the Roy­als de­fence but his strike from the edge of the area drifted over, be­fore Gray glanced a header well wide.

The best chance of the first half fell to Read­ing’s Jan­uary sign­ing from Bournemouth, Yann Ker­mor­gant – his qual­ity down­ward header from Rob­son-Kanu’s cross won­der­fully kept out by Tom Heaton.

Cen­tre back Paul McShane al­most steered in a back-post header but nifty foot­work on the line man­aged to scram­ble away the dan­ger and mo­ments later Lu­cas Pi­a­zon failed to send his free header on tar­get.

Hap­less Gray was back to his old tricks when he failed to di­vert Matt Low­ton’s de­li­cious de­liv­ery from five yards out – again an open goal.

Then it be­came the Al-Habsi show, firstly par­ry­ing David Jones’ cheeky free-kick against the post, as the mid­fielder spot­ted a gap in­side the post.

He quickly re­deemed him­self af­ter tak­ing down Gray, al­though his fu­ri­ous protes­ta­tions would sug­gest there was no con­tact, to save the spot kick.

The front­man had hit the penalty sweetly, but the Oman in­ter­na­tional flung him­self to his left to deny him – cue an­other an­gry con­fronta­tion with Gray.

The vis­i­tors had plenty of at­tacks to find the three points to send them into the au­to­matic places, but could not find the cut­ting edge.

And Read­ing boss Brian McDer­mott was happy with a point against a pro­mo­tion can­di­date.

“We are inch­ing to­wards where we want to get to,” he said.

“We are keep­ing clean sheets and have the FA Cup to look for­ward to. It is great to get a re­sult like that against a team I am sure will be in the Premier League next sea­son.

“They have great wingers and a top qual­ity striker in An­dre Gray – they have the for­mula to go up.

“For us, we are just try­ing to make the sea­son as ex­cit­ing as we can for the fans.”

On the penalty he added: “Ali says he didn’t touch him and I’ve seen it three or four times and I’m still not sure. They were in­censed for a rea­son, but it was the right out­come. It was a great save.”

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