JOSE HORROR AFTER ROYALS STRIKE LATE
LIKE A zombie film, Charlton Athletic wouldn’t stay down until the very end, as Reading toiled away and took the points.
Jose Riga bemoaned bad luck and mistakes after Yaya Sanogo’s hat-trick had given them hope – until Deniss Rakels’ injury-time winner snatched it away again.
“We had some control of the game but the most important thing is to be realistic and we were not,” said Riga. “As manager, the first thing I want to take from each game is points but I can’t.
“I’ve never spoken about being lucky until now. Everyone who saw the last game would say we have not been lucky. But I’m hoping maybe we can have this and get some luck we deserve.
“It’s about defending more effectively.”
A poor start from the home side allowed Ola John to pick a cross and find former Charlton icon Yann Kermorgant. He headed past Stephen Henderson, and the familiar antiboard chants started again.
Those boos turned to cheers when Marco Motta played in Sanogo, the Arsenal loanee taking an intelligent first touch before slamming the ball low to equalise on his full debut.
After the twogoal flurry, the game went into hibernation until the 35th minute when Kermorgant curled home a cultured effort. Up until then, Charlton had a few promising chances, the best of which was curling cross from Yun Suk-Young that evaded Simon Makienok by inches.
Kermorgant then repaid John, splitting the defence and giving the Dutchman almost unlimited time to slot in.
The game should have been over at half-time but Charlton restarted brightly. Substitute Zakarya Bergdich’s cross created chaos in the Reading box, and Sanogo’s effort bounced off the goalkeeper and over the line.
Riga was full of praise for his striker, saying: “I’m happy for Sanogo that he showed his value.
“Of course, he’ll have to do it for more than one game and his back problem was there in training, but I saw immediately he has a lot of quality.”
Reading did their best to put the resurrected Addicks away, with Hal Robson-Kanu forcing the spectacular from Henderson and Kermorgant almost tapping home his third as the Royals showed a real difference in class.
And as the game stretched, Sanogo got on the end of Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s parried shot to level the scores.
But like all zombie films, eventually they stay down. A long free-kick made its way to the back post and Rakels – on for only a few moments – slotted the ball home to the joy of the travelling support.
It was credit to Reading’s selfbelief, although Royals boss McDermott refused to get carried away.
“We were all over the place for half an hour and we’ve had a strong conversation about it because we want to be better and learn from our mistakes,” he said.
“It’s better to have those strong conversations when you’ve just won 4-3 in the last minute.
“Deniss got us out of trouble after a really attacking substitution right at the end.
“A great game of football and we came out on the right side of the result.”
Riga, meanwhile, wants his side to learn from the loss: “We did better in the second-half. I hope it’s a good lesson for some players in the Championship.”
But as the protests began up again it may already be too late, with the Addicks seven points adrift from safety.
ROYALS SALUTE: Reading striker Ola John celebrates scoring their third goal and Charlton Athletic’s Yaya Sanogo scores his hat-trick, inset