Three Well Merited Points
Wolves 2 (Doherty 41, Mason 47)
In their first home League fixture of the season an impressive Wolves side grabbed three well merited points as they put Reading to the sword at Molineux.
Dominic Iorfa returned from suspension to partner Danny Batth in central defence – one of five changes Walter Zenga made to his team from the midweek League Cup tie with Crawley Town.
Reading kicked-off attacking the South Bank end on an overcast but warm afternoon at Molineux. It was Wolves that enjoyed the best of the opening moments with the visitors looking a tad nervous at the back.
In the tenth minute it looked as if Joe Mason was going to make the breakthrough when he ran onto Joao Teixeira’s measured pass and cut inside a defender only for keeper Ali Al Habsi to make a point blank block.
When Reading did finally mount an attack of substance, Batth was booked for tripping Garath McCleary.
A fine piece of work by Teixeira saw the Portuguese midfielder bypass three defenders as he ran deep into the area before his short cross was scrambled clear.
Jon Dadi Bodvarsson hit an angled shot wide of the far post and then the striker went on a run down the right flank holding off the attentions of a defender before crossing for Teixeira who was well wide with a first time effort.
Batth’s well timed tackle on John Swift on the edge of the home area prevented the Reading man from having a clear sight of Carl Ikeme’s goal in a rare Reading attack.
In the 29th minute a Teixeira corner was headed out as far as Conor Coady who hooked a shot back into the box where Matt Doherty got in a glancing header that flew wide.
Al Habsi was then the villain and the hero for Reading after he had given the ball away to Teixeira on the edge of the six-yard box. The Wolves man played the ball sideways to George Saville who had the goal at his mercy and looked certain to score only for Al Habsi to pull off a stunning reflex save.
Seconds later, in the 41st minute, Wanderers took a deserved lead as Doherty ran into the box and switched the ball from his left foot to right before lashing a powerful shot into the Reading net.
Half-Time: Wolves 1 Reading 0
Just 90 seconds into the new half and it was two. Bodvarsson won a corner that was taken by Saville and from a couple of yards out Mason was there to head over the line.
The 50th minute saw Reading’s first on target goal attempt with Carl Ikeme easily dealing with Swift’s low drive.
More notice of Teixeira’s superb close control came when he jinked past two men on a run along the by-line before he lifted a shot from the tightest of angles narrowly over the bar.
More poor defensive work from the visitors then gave Teixeira the chance to set up Mason who forced a diving save from Al Habsi with a shot on the turn.
Teixeira was withdrawn in the 71st minute leaving the field to loud applause as he was replaced by Jed Wallace.
Bodvarsson was fouled by Joey van den Berg to the right of the Reading area. Saville lifted the free-kick to the far side of the six-yard box where Doherty got in a header that was taken by Al Habsi.
Lee Evans was booked for a late challenge on Reading substitute Yakou Meite shortly before Jack Price was sent on for Mason who also was cheered from the pitch.
Bodvarsson then won a ball he had little right to win. He somehow managed to get a shot away that forced an athletic diving save from Al Habsi.
Obita was next to see the yellow card – this after he had fouled Wallace. And after Al Habsi had somehow managed to smother a Bodvarsson header on the line, Yann Kermogant became the second Reading man to go into the book after he had upended Doherty.
Wolves: Ikeme, Doherty, Coady, Edwards, Batth (capt), Iorfa, Teixeira (Wallace 71), L. Evans, Bodvarsson, Mason (Price 84), Saville (Henry 88).
Unused subs: Lonergan, Costa, Deslandes, Hause.
Bookings: Batth (12 – foul), Evans (79 - foul).
Reading: Al Habsi, Gunter, Van den Berg, McShane (capt), G. Evans, Beerens (Meite 62), Swift (Rakels 77), Obita, McCleary (Harriott 71), Kermongant, Williams.
Unused subs: Jaakkola, Cooper, Watson, Kelly.
Bookings: Obita (87 – foul), Kermogant (90+3 – foul).
Referee: D. Bond.
Wolves Under 18s 5 (Carr 2, Tavares, Giles, Moan) Sunderland 2