Dou­ble red rout – just a bad day

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Rus­sell Kemp­son

CARE­TAKER man­ager Si­mon Ire­land be­lieves that Not­ting­ham For­est can still reach the Cham­pi­onship play-offs de­spite los­ing – and fin­ish­ing with nine men – at strug­gling Read­ing.

For­est of­fered lit­tle go­ing for­ward in a scrappy first half and went be­hind in the 23rd minute, when Read­ing mid­fielder John Swift tucked home Mo Bar­row’s low cross.

Danny Fox, the For­est skip­per, was sent off in the 62nd minute after pick­ing up his sec­ond yel­low card dur­ing a melee in­volv­ing nu­mer­ous play­ers.

For­est’s mis­ery was com­pounded when de­fender Ten­dayi Darikwa also saw red, for a lunge at Danny Loader in the 83rd minute, and Jack Robin­son scored an own-goal three min­utes from time.

Ire­land, in tem­po­rary charge of For­est after Ai­tor Karanka left the club on Fri­day, said: “No one is go­ing to win all their games in the Cham­pi­onship. You have to keep your­selves in in that pack. It was im­pos­si­ble for the last 24 hours not to have had an ef­fect on the play­ers and we didn’t start the game as we wanted to.

“I was dis­ap­pointed to con­cede the first goal and also when we went down to 10 men and then nine men.

“For an ex­pe­ri­enced player like Danny [Fox] to get in­volved in an ar­gu­ment, when al­ready on a yel­low card, was dis­ap­point­ing. He was a bit naïve.

“Both Danny and Ten­dayi have apol­o­gised to both my­self and the other play­ers in the dress­ing-room. It was just a bad day to­day, but were are more than ca­pa­ble of get­ting back into the play-offs.”

It was a first win for new Read­ing man­ager Jose Gomes at the fifth at­tempt. “It was a very im­por­tant three points that we got to­day,” he said.

“We need now need to re­cap­ture the good things that we did to­day, the in­tel­li­gent way that we started play­ing this match.”

For­est be­gan slug­gishly and could have gone be­hind in only the sec­ond minute.

Jon Dadi Bod­vars­son crossed from the right but Ovie Ejaria, mak­ing his Read­ing de­but after a loan move from Liver­pool, failed to keep down his header.

For­est sur­vived the scare and built pa­tiently go­ing for­ward.

Read­ing re­sisted the grow­ing pres­sure and went ahead in the 23rd minute. Swift re­leased Bar­row on the right and quickly raced into the mid­dle of the For­est area to tuck home Bar­row’s sub­se­quent low cross.

For­est keeper Cos­tel Pan­tilithere, mon did well to tip over a fine 20-yard free kick from Swift in the early stages of the sec­ond pe­riod be­fore the ma­jor in­ci­dent of the game on the hour mark.

Mur­phy badly fouled Swift, for which he was booked. After the en­su­ing melee ref­eree Oliver Lang­ford is­sued four more cau­tions, in­clud­ing one to Fox who had re­ceived an ear­lier yel­low card and was sent off.

Ten-man For­est barely made any head­way af­ter­wards and were re­duced fur­ther when full back Darikwa was red-carded seven min­utes from time for a late lunge on home sub­sti­tute Danny Loader.

Robin­son then di­verted Andy Yi­adom’s low cross into his own net to gift Read­ing their much-needed vic­tory.

PIC­TURE: PA Images

HELP­FUL: Read­ing cel­e­brate For­est’s Jack Robin­son scored an own goal

SEE­ING RED: For­est’s Daniel Fox leaves the pitch

STAR MAN JOHN SWIFT Read­ing

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