Championship
Fulham1Reading2

Fulham 1-2 Reading: John Swift sets Royals on way to victory

Reading's John Swift celebrates his first-half goal against Fulham
John Swift's goal was his third in three and fifth in 20 league games this season

John Swift's third goal in three games helped resurgent Reading see off high-flying Fulham to earn a fourth consecutive Championship win.

Swift found the corner with a low strike from Tyler Blackett's cross to put the Royals ahead against the run of play early on.

Charlie Adam went close to adding a second with a brilliant attempt from the halfway line but the veteran midfielder did find the net soon after the break with a simple close-range finish.

Substitute Ivan Cavaleiro's classy curled effort rewarded strong home pressure and set up a thrilling final 30 minutes, but Fulham, who drop to fifth, could not find the leveller in a frenetic finish.

Cavaleiro struck just four minutes after coming on and he hit the post late on and also set up a great chance for Aleksandar Mitrovic in injury time, but the striker was denied by a combination of keeper Rafael Cabral and the woodwork as Reading clung on to extend their unbeaten run to six games.

The visitors, who are now just five points adrift of the top six, also had to withstand strong early pressure.

Mitrovic had a header blocked and Anthony Knockaert shot over before Mitrovic and Bobby Decordova-Reid forced good saves from Rafael Cabral, with Decordova-Reid then hitting the post in the same breathless passage of play.

But Reading's first meaningful attack saw Swift strike the opener on 14 minutes, to follow up his outrageous winner against QPR and the first goal in the 2-0 success away against Preston last time out.

Lucas Joao then sent a header just wide as the visitors pressed for a second, which came three minutes after the restart when Ovie Ejaria weaved into a crossing position on then left and slid the ball to Adam who crashed the ball home from six yards with his left foot.

The lively Ejaria then set up a great chance for Joao, who prodded wide and that miss looked costly when Cavaleiro fired in the first goal Reading had conceded in five games to make it 2-1.

Fulham completely dominated possession thereafter and had chances to level, notably when Cavaleiro hit the post with a low 18-yard shot and Aboubakar Kamara fired over on the follow-up before Rafael's fine injury-time save ensured an away victory.

Fulham manager Scott Parker:

"I've stood in this position many a time with the same feeling, scratching your head to think how you're one down after the first time they enter our box.

"They score a goal, we put them under immense pressure and at both ends of the pitch again today we just weren't good enough.

"I think, ultimately, you need something more sometimes than flamboyant play, nice control of a football match, possession, chances, you need something more.

"If you want to be 14th, if you want to be 10th in this division, you go along the way and you win two, lose a couple. Win three, lose one.

"If you want to be successful in this division, or you want to be a successful team and a successful football club, there's something you can't measure and it comes from within."

Reading manager Mark Bowen:

"It's a difficult place to come. We knew the way the game was going to pan out, of being under a lot of pressure, which we were.

"Fulham are a very, very good side but we took our goals very well and then showed enormous character, which we've certainly been doing since I walked in the door.

"I'm actually disappointed we conceded a goal after the run we've been on (four consecutive clean sheets), but we're in a good place now in terms of the confidence of the group and the understanding that we've got with each other and how we want to go about our business."

Line-ups

Fulham

  • 12Rodák
  • 22Christie
  • 4Odoi
  • 13Ream
  • 23BryanBooked at 45minsSubstituted forCavaleiroat 57'minutesBooked at 62mins
  • 14De Cordova-Reid
  • 21ReedSubstituted forO'Rileyat 19'minutesSubstituted forDe La Torreat 83'minutes
  • 8Johansen
  • 24KnockaertBooked at 90mins
  • 9MitrovicBooked at 73mins
  • 47Kamara

Substitutes

  • 1Bettinelli
  • 5Mawson
  • 6McDonald
  • 19Cavaleiro
  • 33O'Riley
  • 36De La Torre
  • 46Harris

Reading

  • 33Cabral Barbosa
  • 2Gunter
  • 4MorrisonBooked at 90mins
  • 6Moore
  • 24Blackett
  • 29Tuncará GomesBooked at 68mins
  • 26AdamSubstituted forRinomhotaat 63'minutes
  • 19MeiteSubstituted forMiazgaat 68'minutes
  • 10Swift
  • 14Ejaria
  • 31Lucas JoãoBooked at 76minsSubstituted forBaldockat 84'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Walker
  • 5Miazga
  • 8Rinomhota
  • 9Baldock
  • 11Obita
  • 12McCleary
  • 18Boyé
Referee:
Geoff Eltringham
Attendance:
18,575

Match Stats

Home TeamFulhamAway TeamReading
Possession
Home72%
Away28%
Shots
Home20
Away11
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home9
Away2
Fouls
Home15
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Fulham 1, Reading 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Fulham 1, Reading 2.

Foul by Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham).

Michael Morrison (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Booking

Anthony Knockaert (Fulham) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Michael Morrison (Reading) is shown the yellow card.

Anthony Knockaert (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Tyler Blackett (Reading).

Attempt saved. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ivan Cavaleiro with a cross.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Tyler Blackett.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Liam Moore.

Denis Odoi (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sam Baldock (Reading).

Attempt missed. Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high following a corner.

Attempt saved. Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Liam Moore.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Sam Baldock replaces Lucas João because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Luca De La Torre replaces Matt O'Riley.

Anthony Knockaert (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Tyler Blackett (Reading).

Booking

Lucas João (Reading) is shown the yellow card.

Cyrus Christie (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lucas João (Reading).

Foul by Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham).

Chris Gunter (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Rafael Cabral.

Booking

Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) is shown the yellow card.

Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) has gone down, but the referee deems it simulation.

Attempt saved. John Swift (Reading) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Matt O'Riley with a cross.

Foul by Stefan Johansen (Fulham).

Lucas João (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Reading. Matt Miazga replaces Yakou Meite.

Booking

Pelé (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Pelé (Reading).

Attempt missed. Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Foul by Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham).

Michael Morrison (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leeds26157443212252
2West Brom261410248282052
3Brentford26134941202143
4Nottm Forest2512763425943
5Fulham26126840301042
6Millwall26101063432240
7Sheff Wed26116937261139
8Hull2611694034639
9Preston2611693632439
10Swansea2510873130138
11Bristol City2610883940-138
12Cardiff2691073840-237
13Blackburn26106103434036
14Reading25105103328535
15QPR26105114448-435
16Middlesbrough268992632-633
17Derby257992433-930
18Birmingham2685133143-1229
19Charlton2577113436-228
20Huddersfield2677123042-1228
21Stoke2673163342-924
22Wigan2658132439-1523
23Barnsley2549123247-1521
24Luton2663173256-2421
View full Championship table

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