ROYALS GIVEN A ROASTING BY CLEMENT
PAUL Clement did not hold back in slamming his Reading players after an “embarrassing” late capitulation against Ipswich.
Reading would have secured their Championship safety with victory, but instead conceded four goals in the final 20 minutes to suffer their heaviest home defeat in almost 12 years.
Martyn Waghorn got the ball rolling, breaking the deadlock in the 71st minute, before further strikes from Jordan Spence, Freddie Sears and Callum Connolly sealed a memorable win for the visitors.
The loss means the Royals must now pick up a point at promotion-chasing Cardiff on the final day or risk falling through the trapdoor into League One.
“We got what we deserved at the end because we weren’t professional for the entire game,” said Clement.
“It was shameful and embarrassing from the point where they got their first goal to the end of the game, completely unacceptable.”
“The first three goals were terrible and for the fourth goal we were all over the place.
“This is going to hurt for a while.
“It’s a situation we didn’t want to have to be in, to have to go to Cardiff and get a positive result, but that’s down to us. We’ve had lots of opportunities to get the points that we needed.”
Ipswich winger Mustapha Carayol was the stand-out man of a drab first half, causing problems down both flanks and calling Vito Mannone into two good saves.
But the clearest opening before the break came for the hosts as Mo Barrow broke down the left and fired a low ball across the sixyard box, but Jon Dadi Bodvarsson completely missed his kick as he looked certain to tap Reading in front.
The Royals almost got in front with 20 minutes to play following a quick counter-attack which culminated in Bodvarsson teeing up John Swift, but Bartosz Bialkowski tipped over.
And soon after, Ipswich were in front. Reading’s defence stood waiting for an offside which never came, allowing wing-back Spence to roll the ball into Waghorn to fire high into the net from deep inside the penalty area.
And the lead was doubled on 79 minutes as Spence found space on the right again and lashed in through the legs of Mannone. And the afternoon turned into one of embarrassment for the hosts, who were booed off after conceding twice more in stoppage time.
The first came in comical fashion as Chris Gunter’s header back towards Mannone lacked power and although the goalkeeper got there first, he could only cannon his clearance into Sears. The forward chased down the loose ball and gleefully nodded into the empty net.
A fourth goal arrived when Connolly picked up the ball on the edge of the box, drove forwards and fired into the far corner.
“The players have responded well after the massive disappointment last weekend [a 4-0 loss to Aston Villa],” said Ipswich caretaker boss Bryan Klug. “We played well in the first half. We felt reasonably comfortable and created a few good opportunities.
“I feel for the opposition in many ways because I don’t think it was a 4-0 game. At 1-0 I still think the game could’ve gone either way and I think the two late goals probably flatter us.”
WHAT A WAG: Martyn Waghorn gets Ipswich’s first and, inset, Freddie Sears makes it 3-0
STAR MAN JORDAN SPENCE Ipswich