Skip to main content


16:57 26th December 2009

Honours even at the Madejski Stadium

Darren Pratley's third goal in two games wasn't enough for the Swans as they were held to a 1-1 draw by managerless Reading.

The midfielder completed a fine move nine minutes before the break - which included a fine dart forward by Angel Rangel - as he fired past Adam Federici with a sweet left-footed strike.

Their joy was short lived, however, as the Royals battled back to level deep into stoppage-time, Gylfi Sigurdsson slotting a free-kick past Dorus de Vries from 18-yards.

Despite the point the Swans still occupy fifth spot going into Monday's clash with Crystal Palace.

Leon Britton's inclusion in the side to face the Royals was the only change made by Swans boss Paulo Sousa.

The midfielder was omitted from the squad that beat Sheffield Wednesday last weekend but was back in the holding midfield role in place of Jordi Lopez.

Despite returning to full training before Christmas skipper Garry Monk wasn't included due to his lack of match practice.

For the home side Jay Tabb missed out through injury and replaced by Brynjar Gunnarsson, while Hal Robson-Kanu and Brian Howard were back on the bench following spells on the sidelines.

Reading:Adam Federici; Brynjar Gunnarsson, Ryan Bertrand, Ivar Ingimarsson (C), Alex Pearce, Kalifa Cisse, Marek Matejovsky (Jem Karacan, 76'), Jobi McAnuff, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Shane Long (Jimmy Kebe, 55'), Grzegorz Rasiak (Hal Robson-Kanu, 66').

Not Used: Ben Hamer (GK), Matt Mills, Brian Howard, Shaun Cummings.

Swans:Dorus de Vries; Angel Rangel, Ashley Williams, Alan Tate(C), Fede Bessone; Leon Britton, Andrea Orlandi (Joe Allen, 78'), Darren Pratley, Nathan Dyer, Cedric van der Gun (Tom Butler, 65'); Gorka Pintado (Lee Trundle, 82').

Not Used:David Cornell (GK), David Cotterill, Guillem Bauza, Albert Serran.

Attendance: 19,608 Away: 3,020


The evidence of a recent cold snap that had engulfed this part of the world could still be seen as the groundstaff attempted to clear the remaining snow that was still visible pitchside.

Rain started to fall as the game got underway but that past as the hosts put early pressure on the Swans' box.

The Royals, under the guidance of caretaker boss Brian McDermott, were awarded a corner within the opening few minutes, that was cleared but they were given new hope when Nathan Dyer failed to clear properly - forunately for the visitors the ball made its way out of their territory at the second time of asking.

Gorka Pintado was starting in attack for the second week running in place of the injured Craig Beattie and he came close with two opportunities; the Spanish front-man was inches away from connecting with Darren Pratley's cross, which was gathered by Adam Federici, and as the Australian stopper attempted to clear the ball downfield he somehow struck the back of Pintado, but the ball fell safely back in his possession.

Shane Long also had two chances, the first a shot wide of goal and the second a weak header punched clear by Dorus de Vries, while Nathan Dyer had the game's best chance so far as his close-range effort beat Federici but was cleared to safety.

The game was barely quarter-of-an-hour old yet both sides continued to press forward - Pintado had his first clean strike at goal, which flew high and wide, as did a similar attempt from Reading's Grzegorz Rasiak.

Andrea Orlandi has certainly impressed this term following his movement from the wing to the centre of midfield; his one and only Swansea goal came against Reading back in January and he almost added to his tally with 19 minutes played, the former Barcelona youngster cut inside from the right and drilled powerfully towards goal only for Federici to get down to his left and make the save,

The Swans, however, were handed a scare just before the half-hour when an error inside the six-yard box could have gifted Reading an opener.

A counter attacking move from the back ended with Jobi McAnuff winning a corner off the legs of Fede Bessone, the right-sided delivery was taken by on loan Chelsea youngster Ryan Bertrand and Dorus de Vries came to collect the ball dropped from his hands and dropped towards goal, but fortunately Angel Rangel was first on the scene to clear his lines.

Federici gathered an Orlandi free-kick moments before the 3,000-plus Jacks occupying the South Stand started to go ballistic nine minutes before the break.

A well worked move from the back saw Angel Rangel push forward in acres of space down the middle, the right-back played a neat one-two with Andrea Orlandi and Darren Pratley before the latter was slipped the ball into the area, the midfielder struck left footed past Federici to break the deadlock and score his third in two matches.

The Swans, however, were unable to keep a hold of their advantage at the break. The referee penalised Nathan Dyer for a foul on the edge of his area deep into stoppage-time; Gylfi Sigurdsson placed the ball, struck it over the wall and found the bottom corner with the final kick of the half.

Half-Time: Reading 1 Swans 1

The goal on the stroke of half-time revitalised the hosts and they came out for the second period with all guns blazing.

Brian McDermott's side showed great hunger and determination to fight for every ball and even orhcestrated a number of dangerous counter attacking moves inside the first five minutes.

Fortunately, Dorus de Vries wasn't troubled with Reading's only clear cut effort by goalscorer Sigurdsson ending up in the stand.

Reading introduced Jimmy Kebe 10 minutes into the half and he was using his strength to cause the Swans problems in midfield, a mazy run forward by the substitute also won his side a corner off the legs of Alan Tate.

The Swans struggled to gain momentum against a reformed Royals' side but shortly after the hour Adam Federici was tested, Gorka Pintado connecting with Andrea Orlandi's cross to force the 'keeper into saving from his header.

Paulo made his first change moments later with Tom Butler coming on in place of Cedric van der Gun out wide.

Kebe was proving to be a thorn in Swansea's side as he played his part in creating another goalscoring opportunity with just under 20 minutes remaining. The midfielder played the ball past Rangel with ease and picked out Marek Matejovsky on the edge of the area, the Czech Republic international struck at goal but de Vries was at hand to make the save.

Butler went flying into the area but failed to race onto the end of his own through ball while Orlandi fired a snap shot wide of Federici's near post during a mini spell of Swansea dominance.

Joe Allen was introduced 12 minutes from time just before a free-kick was delivered into the Reading box, the ball was claimed by Federici who picked out Kebe with his clearance - the midfielder carried the ball into the box, got himself out of the way of Fede Bessone's challenge before forcing an excellent save from Dorus de Vries.

The Swans hit back instantly with Allen finding himself in acres of space and shooting low towards goal where Federici did well to block his effort.

Lee Trundle was sent on in place of Pintado eight minutes from the end as Paulo looked for something different in attack.

And as the clock ticked down the on loan striker worked his magic which almost opened the door for a dramatic late second. Trundle rolled the challenges of two Reading defenders to the right of goal before crossing into the area with his weaker right foot, fellow sub Butler was placed at the back post but he saw the ball was taken off his foot at the last second.

The Swans did have the ball in the net 30 seconds from time, Pratley firing home after Trundle's initial effort was saved only for it to be ruled offside.

    Data provided by Press Association