Reading 3 Blackpool 0

Ishmael Miller
Ishmael Miller
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It was another poor afternoon for Blackpool who fell to defeat against struggling Reading.

The home side ended their six-match run without a Championship with a 3-0 victory.

But it was an unconvincing win achieved with a first-half goal from Glenn Murray, a second-half Peter Clarke own goal and a late Nick Blackman effort.

Reading’s promising start to the season had long since evaporated on the back of their winless sequence. They had conceded three goals in four of their previous five games.

Blackpool’s form was even worse, with just one win in 13 league outings prior to their visit to the Madejski Stadium. Starting pre-season with only eight contracted professionals had not helped their cause.

The first half typified the teams’ fortunes, with neither able to muster anything worthy of note in the opening stages. Confidence appeared low all round, with few players standing out or even appearing to want possession.

Reading did manage to gain some momentum through midfielder Oliver Norwood, who twice took aim at Blackpool goalkeeper Joe Lewis.

Norwood’s first attempt from distance was deflected behind for a corner, which came to nothing. His second effort from 25 yards was superbly saved by the diving Lewis.

It at least gave Reading encouragement, against a Blackpool side producing very little going forward, and they went in front in the 23rd minute.

Full-back Jordan Obita crossed from the left flank and Murray did well to guide home a header. Although Lewis got a hand to the ball, he could not stop it crossing the line for Murray’s fourth goal of the season.

Blackpool failed to respond, with home keeper Adam Federici a virtual bystander.

Reading almost increased their lead just before half-time, but Blackpool captain Clarke made a brave block from Jamie Mackie’s goalbound shot.

After the break Blackpool finally began to pose a threat. Clarke narrowly failed to get on the end of a John Lundstram free-kick after he had ghosted in at the far post and Ishmael Miller tested Federici with a deflected shot.

Miller’s effort was Blackpool’s first on target and, soon after, they twice went close to an equaliser. Edu Oriol drove wide and Clarke just missed with a far-post header from an Andrea Orlandi corner.

Reading appeared happy to hold on to their advantage, despite it being so slender, but gradually worked their way back into the game.

Hal Robson-Kanu chanced his arm from 20 yards, only to slice the shot wide, and then headed a cross from Chris Gunter high over the crossbar.

Reading’s jitters appeared to have been erased in the 70th minute when they went 2-0 in front.

A bout of head tennis in the Blackpool area ended with Taylor, a substitute, nodding toward goal from close range, although Clarke got the final touch for an own goal.

Blackman was then upended by Lundstram in the area and Blackman drove in the penalty in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Miller struck a post late on for Blackpool as they fell to their tenth league defeat of the season.