The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Hash Piperdy

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.

PIC­TURE: Pro Sport

ROY­ALS SALUTE: Read­ing striker Ola John cel­e­brates scor­ing their third goal and Charl­ton Ath­letic’s Yaya Sanogo scores his hat-trick, in­set

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