skip to content
Chris Wood handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Noel Hunt restarts play with the free kick.
Jonathan Spector gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alex Pearce. Adam Federici restarts play with the free kick.
Joseph Mills fouled by Stephen Carr, the ref awards a free kick. Joseph Mills takes the free kick.
Jobi McAnuff takes a shot.
Stephen Carr gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Noel Hunt. Joseph Mills takes the direct free kick.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Marlon King. Direct free kick taken by Adam Federici. Nathan Redmond on for Wade Elliott. Marlon King leaves the field to be replaced by Nikola Zigic.
The ball is sent over by Adam Le Fondre.
Noel Hunt scores a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Reading 1-0 Birmingham.Assist on the goal came from Jobi McAnuff.
Noel Hunt comes on in place of Simon Church.
A cross is delivered by Wade Elliott, Header from deep inside the area by Chris Wood goes over the bar.
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Joseph Mills from the right by-line to the near post, Marlon King manages to make a clearance.
Jobi McAnuff takes a shot. Boaz Myhill makes a save.
Centre by Liam Ridgewell.
Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Jimmy Kebe.
Chris Burke takes a shot.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Curtis Davies on Simon Church. Curtis Davies is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour. Free kick crossed right-footed by Jobi McAnuff, Boaz Myhill makes a save.
Wade Elliott concedes a free kick for a foul on Jem Karacan. Free kick crossed by Joseph Mills.
Marlon King gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joseph Mills. Jobi McAnuff restarts play with the free kick.
Simon Church has a headed effort at goal from just inside the area that misses to the right of the target.
Adam Le Fondre challenges Chris Burke unfairly and gives away a free kick. Stephen Carr restarts play with the free kick.
Inswinging corner taken by Wade Elliott, Adam Federici makes a comfortable save.
Mikele Leigertwood gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Chris Wood. Direct free kick taken by Wade Elliott.
Liam Ridgewell produces a cross.
Jobi McAnuff produces a cross, save by Boaz Myhill.
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Wade Elliott, Jimmy Kebe manages to make a clearance.
Mikele Leigertwood fouled by Jonathan Spector, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Joseph Mills. Jonathan Spector is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
Wade Elliott takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Simon Church manages to make a clearance.
The ball is swung over by Jimmy Kebe, save by Boaz Myhill.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Marlon King. Free kick taken by Adam Federici.
Marlon King delivers the ball.
Jimmy Kebe produces a cross, Jobi McAnuff takes a shot.
Jobi McAnuff delivers the ball.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Adam Le Fondre. Boaz Myhill restarts play with the free kick.
Corner taken right-footed by Jobi McAnuff, save by Boaz Myhill.
Joseph Mills takes a shot. Save made by Boaz Myhill.
The referee blows for offside. Alex Pearce takes the free kick.
Adam Le Fondre produces a cross.
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Wade Elliott, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Chris Wood goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
The ball is swung over by Marlon King, Chris Wood takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.
Chris Wood takes a shot. Save made by Adam Federici.
The referee blows for offside against Jimmy Kebe. Boaz Myhill takes the free kick.
Jonathan Spector gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jobi McAnuff. Joseph Mills restarts play with the free kick.
The ball is delivered by Liam Ridgewell.
Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Chris Wood goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
Wade Elliott takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Kaspars Gorkss makes a clearance.
Shot by Chris Wood from a long way out goes over the net.
Simon Church concedes a free kick for a foul on Curtis Davies. Boaz Myhill takes the free kick.
Joseph Mills concedes a free kick for a foul on Keith Fahey. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Carr.
Stephen Carr gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jobi McAnuff. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Jobi McAnuff from left channel, Steven Caldwell makes a clearance.
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Jobi McAnuff.
Corner taken right-footed by Jobi McAnuff, Kaspars Gorkss produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.
Jobi McAnuff takes the inswinging corner, Marlon King manages to make a clearance.
No worries for Royals
Reading have no major injury worries as they prepare to face Birmingham on Sunday.
Midfielder Jay Tabb is still fighting to regain his spot in the matchday squad following a head injury.
Tabb missed two matches in October and has not been selected by boss Brian McDermott since his return to full fitness a week ago.
Striker Simon Church was dropped for their 1-0 midweek defeat at Nottingham Forest and will be looking to regain his place up front from Mathieu Manset while Jimmy Kebe could be in line for a start instead of Wales winger Hal Robson-Kanu.
Full-back Joseph Mills thinks Birmingham, who drew 2-2 with Club Brugge in the Europa League in midweek, may have a slight European hangover at the Madejski this weekend and wants his team-mates to take advantage.
"We've had a few days' rest and will be fresh and it's never great after a defeat, but we're even more determined as a squad to win our next game now as a result of that," he told the Reading Post.
Birmingham will be without influential playmaker Jean Beausejour when they return to domestic action.
The Chilean international will serve a one-match suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Brighton.
His absence will be a big blow for Blues manager Chris Hughton as he scored and won a penalty in their 2-2 draw with Club Brugge in the Europa League.
Hughton, who won the npower Championship manager of the month award for October, made eight changes to his starting XI against Brugge on Thursday night and is likely to welcome back a host of players.
Winger Chris Burke and strikers Chris Wood and Marlon King all came off the bench and should be among those who return to the starting line-up.
Midfielders Morgaro Gomis (groin) and Jordon Mutch (ankle) remain sidelined.
Hunt sniffs out Royals' winner
Noel Hunt came off the bench to score the winner for Reading as they beat in-form Birmingham 1-0 at the Madejski Stadium.
Hunt was only on the pitch for a matter of seconds when he beat Blues goalkeeper Boaz Myhill with a near-post tap-in to inflict on the visitors their first defeat since September 18.
In a lively and entertaining contest, both goalkeepers were in sensational form.
A first half filled with chances and half-chances saw Myhill deny Kaspars Gorkss and Joseph Mills, while Adam Federici in the hosts' goal continuously frustrated Birmingham striker Chris Wood.
After half time Reading winger Jobi McAnuff was superbly foiled by Myhill and the Royals' centre-back Alex Pearce saw a clearing header come back off his own post, before Hunt popped up to steal all three points for the home side.
Reading were the faster out of the traps, and Myhill in the Birmingham goal did well to tip centre-back Gorkss' goalbound header over the crossbar.
Moments later, the Latvian had another glorious chance to hand the Royals the early lead, but he could only stab the ball back across goal at the back post rather than working Myhill.
As if jolted into action by their hosts' early chances, Birmingham responded in kind on the quarter-hour.
Wood, on loan from West Brom, saw his fizzing shot kept out of the back of the net by the fingertips of Federici.
The breathless first half continued with home winger Jimmy Kebe breaking beyond the Blues' backline, only to see his pull-back from the byline fail to find a single Royals shirt in the six-yard box.
Wood nodded over for Birmingham at the other end, while the New Zealander then saw another shot stopped by Australian Federici low down before the home keeper continued his personal battle with the visiting centre-forward with a superb save to deny Wood's header.
After 20 minutes without a chance of any real significance, Reading were within inches of opening the scoring with 15 minutes left before the break.
Full-back Mills bombed forward out of defence and unleashed a curling, dipping effort from 20 yards which was turned over by Myhill.
And Reading captain McAnuff went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock in the run-up to half time, narrowly missing the target with a header from Kebe's teasing cross with Myhill well and truly beaten.
But the Berkshire outfit had played out 14 goalless first halves prior to this fixture, and therefore it came as little surprise that the two teams went into the break level at 0-0.
When the game resumed the action was still being played out at breakneck speed, although chances were more scarce in the first 20 minutes of the second period.
Simon Church, restored to the Reading side in the place of Mathieu Manset, failed to test Myhill with a header before Chris Burke sent a savage 30-yard attempt over the crossbar for the visitors.
McAnuff had a huge opportunity to hand the Royals the lead when he seized on a weak Birmingham back-pass and bore down on goal, only for the inspired Myhill to parry his effort.
And the home skipper was almost made to rue the miss, as Birmingham struck the woodwork seconds later.
Reading defender Pearce miscued a clearing header which cannoned back off his own post.
After surviving that brief scare, however, the home side finally found a way past Myhill.
Noel Hunt, who had only been on the pitch a matter of seconds a substitute for Simon Church, tapped McAnuff's cross home at the near post.
It was the first goal Birmingham had conceded for exactly 500 minutes, and it left Reading with 15 more to hold on.
And that is exactly what they did.
"WBA v Man Utd"
© 2004 - 2014 football.co.uk