Reading finally ended their long Championship losing run as they held Peterborough to a goalless draw at the Weston Homes Stadium on Wednesday night.
On a windy night in a game largely lacking in quality, it was eighth-time lucky for the Royals to end a dreadful spell of form, and it was a point that prevented Peterborough from leaping above them and out of the bottom three.
Posh remain 22nd and in the relegation zone, two points behind the Royals. They do have a game in hand, but four Championship games without a goal suggests they might not be in a position to take advantage.
All square in Peterborough
Reading had lost seven on the spin in the Championship heading into the game, and that showed little sign of changing in a drab first-half display.
Peterborough themselves hadn’t themselves scored in their last three league encounters, but that nearly changed as Michael Morrison’s sloppy moment at the back allowed Jonson Clarke-Harris in to shoot on 10 minutes, but his effort from 18 yards was well saved by Karl Hein.
Reading’s only real chance came with a free-kick on the edge of the box that Tom Ince hit well, but was a comfortable enough stop for Steven Benda. And five minutes later the Posh went close again as Kwame Poku crossed for Jeando Fuchs, but his header was kept out by Benda.
Posh stepped it up a little in the second half in search of a goal, but aside from some fantastic Joe Ward deliveries from set-pieces there was little sign of them finding a breakthrough. One great opportunity also fell to Ward late on, but he saw his effort cleared away from the line by Morrison.
Perhaps the best opening of the game fell Reading’s way on 85 minutes as Lucas Joao found his way in on goal after a jinking run, but he could only shoot straight at Benda.
In the end, it was a game that summed up both clubs’ plight this season.
What the managers said…
Peterborough’s Darren Ferguson: “Our performance deserved the points. It was a terrible result for us in a must-win game, but the performance gives us hope and belief. We were dominant. The wind played a part, but there was only one team trying to win that game, and we deserved to win it.
“We’re finding it hard to do the hardest thing in football, and score a goal. We’ve had 32 shots last two home games and not scored. That tells its own story.”
Reading’s Veljko Paunovic: “I think in very difficult conditions we managed the game. In the first half, we had difficulties to get out with the ball, but as soon as we adapted to the conditions we played a couple of very good balls in behind, and got into good positions where we could have scored. Second half now we had the advantage of the severe wind that was blowing, unfortunately maybe we sometimes rushed to get the ball into the final third and we could have linked up a little more.
“At the end of the game we had the chance of the match with a great opportunity for Joao, and he was unlucky with the finish. It wasn’t as clean as was needed. Overall the team is coming together and finally we stopped the long streak of defeats, and that’s a positive.”
Man of the Match – Karl Hein
Only 19 years old and making just his third start for Reading, Arsenal loanee Hein had a couple of shaky moments and certainly has things to work on, but overall did more than anyone to keep Peterborough at bay.
Both sides are back in Sky Bet Championship action at 3pm on Saturday. Peterborough head to Derby, while Reading visit Preston.