Reading 0-1 Leicester
The Madejski Stadium
26/10/09 - 8 p.m.
Martyn Waghorn's headed goal on the stroke of half-time handed a fortunate Leicester all three points at the Madejski Stadium on Monday evening.
Reading, beginning the game in the relegation zone, dominated proceedings throughout but failed to capitalise on their opportunities in front of goal and ultimately paid a harsh price as they left pointless.
Manager Nigel Pearson handed a first starting place to Waghorn up front for Steve Howard, with Paul Gallagher replacing Lloyd Dyer on the left wing after a match-winning performance against Crystal Palace.
The home side set out their intentions from kick-off, and it soon became clear that they were not here for an equal share of the spoils. What was also clear, however, was that Reading are in serious need of a new forward to bolster their failing strike force.
Chances for City were few and far between in the first half, as they allowed Brendan Rogers' Royals to totally dominate. Jobi McAnuff and Grzegorz Rasiak both carved out chances for Reading, but their attempts were thwarted by a mixture of bad luck and tidy goalkeeping.
Leicester were fortunate not to conceed from Rasiak's effort, as the ball flicked off left back Ryan McGivern to safety. The referee on the other hand failed to spot McGivern's blatant touch, and signalled a goal kick for Reading's troubles.
As football goes, anything can happen, and sure enough Leiceser scored against the run of play on the brink of half-time. Matt Oakley's corner found its way to Waghorn at the near post, who made no mistake in brilliantly directing his header to the far post.
In truth Leicester could and possibly should have doubled their lead immediately after, but Matty Fryatt wasted his one-on-one opportunity with Adam Federici.
Despite their frustrating first half setback, Reading began the second period brightly, without creating anything with a great deal of menace. The visitors however could have grabbed a second through Fryatt once again, but in similar circumstances the forward fired straight at Federici to keep the game in the balance.
Pearson made a double change on the hour mark, as Fryatt and goal-scorer Waghorn were replaced by Steve Howard and DJ Campbell, both searching for their first goals of the season for the club.
As it was, the second half deteriorated rapidly as neither side forced any real major goal threats. Reading's miserable season continued its steady demise, as Brendan Rogers' team petered out of the game without a whimper in the closing stages.
For Leicester the win sees them take their place in the play-off positions in 5th place, capping off a start that most fans of the club could only have dreamed of after promotion back to the Championship in May.