Wolves 1 (Henry 18)
After a battling ‘backs to the wall’ performance in the second-half, Wolves held on to the 18th minute lead given to them by James Henry to record their first home win in seven games.
There were two changes to the home starting line-up. Jack Price was missing through illness and Nathan Byrne dropped down to the bench with Conor Coady and Dave Edwards taking their places. Bjorn Sigurdarson was named as a substitute two years after his last appearance for Wanderers.
There was an early chance for Wolves following Michael Hector’s foul on Jordan Graham. Edwards got a head to Henry’s free-kick but the ball was cleared.
Reading appeals for a penalty were ignored when Dominic Iorfa appeared to ‘lean’ into Garath McLeary’s cross with the ball striking the defender on the top of his arm.
In the 11th minute, Matej Vydra won a midfield challenge and took off towards goal. He looked odds on to score until Ethan Ebanks-Landell got back with a saving tackle. The ball broke to McCleary who had the goal at his mercy but Coady was perfectly placed to clear from in front of the line.
Wolves moved ahead in the 18th minute after McCleary had fouled Iorfa to the right of the Reading box. After the midfielder had been shown the yellow card, Graham floated over the free-kick and there was Henry to power a six-yard header into the roof of the net.
Danny Batth’s header was just over following a Matt Doherty cross before Wolves were denied a 28th minute penalty. Benik Afobe was through on goal when he was felled by Stephen Quinn who was the last man. Quinn clearly made contact with the player before the ball but the referee waved play on.
Seconds later Afobe was thwarted again, this time by the woodwork. The striker got a foot to Henry’s cross from the right but the ball struck the inside of the post and rebounded into the arms of keeper Jonathan Bond.
Hal Robson-Kanu then had an effort blocked in a crowded area and Norwood scooped wide of the far post before, for Wolves, Henry fired over after running into the Reading area.
In stoppage time, Edwards was booked for a foul on Vydra.
Half-Time: Wolves 1 Reading 0
Three minutes after the restart Reading were a whisker away from equalising as Norwood let fly from 25-yards with his effort swerving on to the post and away to safety.
Chris Gunter earned the displeasure of the fans in the South Bank when he threw himself on the floor with Henry making no contact with him.
Vydra’s long-range drive went straight to Ikeme and then Robson-Kanu headed over following a Nick Blackman corner.
The visitors then made a double switch with Vydra and McCleary making way for Ola John and Andrew Taylor.
Iorfa was booked for kicking the ball away after Reading had been awarded a free-kick.
Ebanks-Landell had to head John’s cross over his own bar as Reading continued to build up a head of steam, and there was a let off for the home team when Blackman’s well struck 20-yard drive bounced off Carl Ikeme’s arms and veered narrowly wide of the post.
Byrne went on for Henry for the final stages as the overworked home defence continued to repel a constant wave of Reading attacks.
In the 89th minute there was a break following a Reading corner with Edwards racing into the opposition half before passing to Afobe who was too high with his final shot.
Wolves: Ikeme, Iorfa, Doherty, Coady, Batth (capt), Ebanks-Landell, Henry (Byrne 74), Edwards, Afobe (Holt 90), McDonald, Graham.
Unused subs: McCarey, Golbourne, Wallace, Sigurdarson, Le Fondre.
Bookings: Edwards (45+1 – foul), Iorfa (62 – kicking the ball away)..
Reading: Bond, Gunter, McShane (capt), Norwood, Vydra (John 62), Hector, Robson-Kanu, McCleary (Taylor 62), Quinn (Sa 76), Blackman, Williams.
Unused subs: Al-Habsi, Piazon, Cooper, Liburd.
Booking: McCleary (17 – foul).
Referee: S. Hooper.