Football

Irish eyes smiling on Royals: Match Review

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Penalties in each half from Republic of Ireland duo Shane Long and Ian Harte sent Reading on their way to a comfortable 3-0 npower Championship win over Crystal Palace at the Madejski Stadium.

Debutant Harte wanted to take the first spot-kick but was denied by Long, before getting his chance after the break and copying his compatriot by smashing the ball home.

Jimmy Kebe then added a third in stoppage time as Brian McDermott's side looked lively throughout while Palace boss Craig Burley will be disappointed by his side's defending.

Reading sold top scorer Gylfi Sigurdsson to Bundesliga side Hoffenheim on transfer deadline day for a club record fee but McDermott did hand a debut to former Leeds left-back Harte.

Palace midfielder Edgar Davids was absent for personal reasons but Burley did have on-loan Everton forward James Vaughan in his side for the first time.

In a bright start, former Eagles winger Jobi McAnuff found space on the left before finding Long inside the area. He looped a ball to the far post where Kebe thrashed in a volley across the face of the goal but narrowly wide.

Palace captain Paddy McCarthy then had a decent sight of goal from a set-piece but shot wildly over the crossbar before McAnuff almost silenced the boo boys in the away end with a low shot which Julian Speroni gathered easily.

Royals captain Matt Mills then thought he had opened the scoring with a fine header from a Brian Howard corner but the ball struck the face of the crossbar.

Mills was unlucky but Reading did go ahead moments later in the 37th minute.

Long turned McCarthy far too easily and when he was tripped by the central defender, Republic of Ireland international Long kept his cool to score from the spot.

Sigurdsson was the regular penalty taker and Harte was keen to take the kick but Long made no mistake.

Jem Karacan then crashed a long-range shot just wide as the Royals ended the half on a high.

Burley brought on Ipswich loanee Pablo Counago at the break but it was Long who nearly found a second goal when he burst into the area and flashed a shot wide.

And Harte doubled the advantage in the 65th minute with another spot-kick.

Julian Bennett was the offender this time as he tripped the lively Long and this time Harte was allowed the chance to bury his effort and give the hosts all three points.

Kebe made it three in the final seconds when he ran on to Howard's pass and clinically finished from the edge of the area.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Julian Bennett
James Vaughan
Internationals
Football
Championship
Jimmy Kebe
Brian Howard
Edgar Davids
Ian Harte
Jem Karacan
Julian Speroni
Everton
Shane Long
Crystal Palace
Jobi McAnuff
Gylfi Sigurdsson
Pablo Counago
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