Red cards add to


Nottingham Post - - SPORT - By PAUL TAY­LOR

THE new era post-ai­tor Karanka be­gan with Not­ting­ham For­est pro­duc­ing their worst per­for­mance of the sea­son, as Read­ing ended a run of 11 games with­out a win with a 2-0 suc­cess at the Made­jski Sta­dium.

The Reds could hardly have en­dured a more mis­er­able af­ter­noon, as they capped off a truly dis­mal dis­play by fin­ish­ing the game with nine men, fol­low­ing red cards shown to Danny Fox and Ten­dayi Darikwa.

Si­mon Ire­land and Michael Daw­son were handed care­taker charge of the team, fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of Karanka on Fri­day, and this proved to be a bap­tism of fire for the duo, who saw John Swift put the home side ahead mid­way through the first half, be­fore a late own goal from Jack Robin­son made sure of vic­tory for the struggling Roy­als.

Ref­eree Oliver Lang­ford was poor. But so too were For­est - and there could be few com­plaints about ei­ther of the red cards, with Fox see­ing his sec­ond yel­low card in the 62nd minute, af­ter get­ting him­self in the cen­tre of an ugly melee, fol­low­ing a foul by Daryl Mur­phy, be­fore Darikwa got his march­ing or­ders for a lung­ing tackle six min­utes be­fore the end.

With both play­ers now fac­ing sus­pen­sion next week­end, for the game against Bris­tol City, if a new man­ager is ap­pointed next week, he will in­herit a de­fen­sive cri­sis for their first game.

There were three changes to the side that faced Chelsea in the FA Cup, in what proved to be Karanka’s fi­nal game in charge.

Joao Car­valho, a reg­u­lar un­der the pre­vi­ous man­ager, was rel­e­gated to the bench, as Ben Os­born slot­ted into a num­ber 10 role, just be­hind lone striker Mur­phy, with Matty Cash and the re­turn­ing Joe Lol­ley ei­ther side, within the at­tack­ing three in the usual 4-2-3-1 for­ma­tion.

Ad­lene Gue­dioura and Jack Col­back were again the two deep­er­ly­ing mid­field­ers. Robin­son was re­stored to the side at left-back, with Darikwa on the op­po­site flank, ei­ther side of Clau­dio Ya­cob and Fox.

Luke Steele had played well at Chelsea but was rel­e­gated back to the bench as Cos­tel Pan­til­imon who had him­self been in good form re­cently - was re­stored in goal.

Lewis Grab­ban was fit enough for a place on the bench fol­low­ing his re­cent Achilles prob­lems.

A poor pass from Os­born left Fox un­der early pres­sure and got Read- Swift 23, Robin­son og 87 At­ten­dance 15.034 (2,093) ing on the at­tack, but thank­fully for the Reds a header from Ovie Ejaria was badly off tar­get.

When Fox took a heavy touch as he car­ried the ball out from the back at pace, he had to lunge into a chal­lenge with Swift, in an at­tempt to keep pos­ses­sion. He did so with one foot, which did not ap­pear to be high, and the yel­low card shown by Lang­ford seemed a fair de­ci­sion, even as the home fans and play­ers howled for a red.

Os­born com­bined well with Mur­phy to de­liver a cross that ended with For­est win­ning a cor­ner down the left side. Os­born him­self de­liv­ered into the cen­tre and picked out the big striker but his header lacked the power to trou­ble the keeper.

For­est found their threat again when Lol­ley burst into the box down the right side, be­fore cut­ting the ball back for Cash, who was chal­lenged well, just as he was set to pull the trig­ger in the cen­tre.

In the space of a few sec­onds, both Fox and Robin­son had to make vi­tal chal­lenges as Read­ing pushed down the cen­tre and Fox picked up a knock in the process. But he was able to con­tinue af­ter treat­ment.

The Roy­als were to take the lead in the 23rd minute as for­mer Red Mo Bar­row weaved into space to de­liver a cross from the right, per­fectly pick­ing out Swift, who guided a first-time fin­ish be­yond Pan­til­imon from a few yards out.

Lol­ley took a whack from Andy Yiadom - who was sub­se­quently booked - to prod the ball into the path of Os­born on the right. Os­born cut back onto his left foot and curled a crisply-struck shot to­wards the far post. Keeper Anssi Jaakkola held the ball well, which was sig­nif­i­cant, with a cou­ple of For­est play­ers wait­ing to pounce on any loose ball.

Cash had a pop from the edge of the box fol­low­ing a de­cent move from For­est. But, for the sec­ond time in the game, he saw his ef­fort well charged down, al­most in the mo­ment it left his boot.

Col­back, who had been booked for his first foul com­mit­ted in the game, when he had tugged back Andy Rinomhota, lost his tem­per when he was fouled for the third

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Danny Fox earned a sec­ond yel­low card af­ter get­ting in­volved in a melee fol­low­ing a chal­lenge by Daryl Mur­phy

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