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Premier League: West Bromwich Albion 1 Reading 0
Sep 22, 2012 5:03 PM GMT
West Brom substitute Shane Long headed the ball in the area into the path of his strike partner Romelu Lukaku, who slammed the ball through a crowd of players on 71 minutes to give the Baggies a well deserved lead, as they had created several chances previously.
The result leaves Brian McDermott's Reading side still waiting for their first win of the season since their return to the Premier League after a four-year absence whilst Steve Clarke's impressive start in his debut season in charge at the Hawthorns continues to gather momentum.
WBA could have taken the lead a minute before half time when Jonas Olsson struck the crossbar with a header from a Chris Brunt cross, as the home side looked worthy of the lead at the break.
The deadlock could have been broken sooner when James Morrison, who was the main orchestrator of chances for the Midlanders, interplayed with Zoltan Gera inside the box but ended up skewing his effort wide on 28 minutes.
The Scotland international, who pulled the strings all afternoon, hit a 30-yard drive to force a brilliant save from keeper Alex McCarthy.
For all their opposition's chances, Reading struggled throughout the first half, yet two minutes after the restart Adam La Fondre forced keeper Ben Foster to produce a fine save.
McAnuff was himself frustrated at referee Chris Foy when he was the subject of two challenges that should have seen the Royals awarded on both occasions yet his appeals went wanting.
Morrison was replaced by former Reading striker Shane Long on 65 minutes, who plied his trade at the Madejski Stadium for six seasons.
The result leaves Reading languishing at the bottom of the Premier League table as they continue to search for that first elusive win while West Brom continue to soar under their new manager and sit pretty in third place just a point behind leaders Chelsea.