Match Report: Reading 1-0 Barnsley 16/10/21
By William Carruthers
Super Swift strike moves the Royals within touching distance of the Playoffs.
John Swift superb solo goal helped move Reading into 7th in the Sky Bet Championship this afternoon. Scott Dann played a perfect long ball which Swift brought down excellently, he then drove into the Barnsley penalty area and sat down the Tykes goalkeeper Bradley Collins to slide the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of the goal.
This wasn't the first time the Berkshire boys had the ball in the back of the Barnsley net. In the first half Reading winger Ovie Ejaria played a lovely through ball to Watford loanee Tom Dele-Bashiru who finished the chance clinically, however the goal was disallowed due to offside. Reading manager Veljiko Paunovic didn't agree with the decision as he told me “me and my team had checked the call and Tom Dele was onside”
Although Barnsley started the afternoon in the bottom 3, they would have been disappointed not to have taken at least a point from the game as top striker Cauley Woodrow had good chances to score in both halves. The best coming in the first 45, as Woodrow hit a clever free kick heading into the bottom left-hand corner, but 23-year-old Reading Goalkeeper Luke Southwood matched the shot with an excellent save.
Late on in the first half there was a corner for Reading, and with inform playmaker John Swift taking the set piece he delivered a beautiful cross that debut Dann met with a solid header that needed to be well saved by Tyke's goalkeeper Collins.
The start of the 2nd half was all Barnsley as number 7 Callum Brittain hit the post 46 seconds into the 2nd half. However, that would be as close as Barnsley got to the Reading goal for the remainder of the game.
Reading started to find some form again in the second half as their engine in midfield Josh Laurent found himself high and wide up on the right wing and tried an audacious lob effort to catch Bradley Collins out, but the Tykes keeper saved it easily.
Femi Azeez made his first appearance since August after replacing Reading striker George Puscas. Azeez was instantly involved as Swift played a wonderful first time through ball to the attacker who was one on one with the Collins in goal but instead of pulling the trigger, he tried to shift it on to his left foot but the Barnsley defence recovered and got the ball out of danger.
With the momentum now in the Royals favour, a great long ball from Dann to Swift and an even better run and finish secured the 3 points for Reading. Paunovic credited Swift's goal “as one of the best he has seen in the last couple of games.”
After the goal, Barnsley had most of the ball as Reading sat back and defend their lead, but they didn't have any clear-cut chances to test Southwood in the last period of the game.
Reading now move up to 7th sitting one point behind Huddersfield Town and the Royals are at home to Blackpool on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile Barnsley remain in 22nd and are one point away from Hull City who are currently safe from relegation. Barnsley are away to mid table side Middlesbrough on Wednesday night.