THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Reading, Ipswich, Stevenage and Northampton

icon weekendPremier League ~ Reading rescue another point
Hal Robson-Kanu scored a last-minute goal to earn Reading their third draw in four matches. The Royals, who are still without a win the league this season, went in to half time 1-0 up at home to Fulham thanks for a Mikele Leigertwood goal. The visitors turned the game around after the break with goals from Bryan Ruiz and Chris Baird. With five minutes to go Garath McCleary levelled for the home side, three minutes later Dimitar Berbatov seemingly won it for Fulham before Robson-Kanu made it 3-3.

Reading remain in the relegation zone with four points, two behind Aston Villa. Reading manager Brian McDermott said: "At 3-2 my weekend was absolutely miserable, but at 3-3 we were trying to kick on and win. It was a strange game - that's the fourth time we've taken the lead in this league and we need to finish the job off. All we can do is talk about the game and playing our football, doing what we have to do and if we do that the win will come. We try to win games and that's what we've done here for two or three years. The players deserve an awful lot of respect for getting back into that."

Championship ~ Terrible Town lose battle at the bottom
Ipswich Town are now four points adrift at the bottom if the league and without a win in 12 games after losing 3-0 at home to fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday. Paul Jewell resigned as Ipswich manager after their defeat to Derby on Tuesday night so Chris Hutchings took charge for the weekend. Within a minute Ipswich were behind, Everton loanee Ross Barkley scoring for Wednesday – themselves without a win in ten. Barkley made it 2-0 early in the second half before Michail Antonio rounded off the scoring with ten minutes to go.

Richie Wellens, Ipswich's on-loan midfielder, said: β€œThe new manager needs to come in and put a rocket up a few backsides. There is not enough people here, for me, that care about losing a game of football, their careers and care about football in general. One of the coaches said the manager [Jewell] got a bit of stick for bringing in so many loan players. But it is actually loan players who care – which is a sad indictment of the players that are already here, if that is the case.”

League One ~ Swindon make Stevenage suffer
Stevenage had to endure their largest ever Football League defeat on Saturday as Swindon Town won 4-0  at Broadhall Way. It was only the home side's second league defeat of the season, the other coming at Colchester United earlier this month. They were 3-0 down at half time, goals from Raffaele de Vita, Matt Ritchie and Miles Storey putting the visitors in a commanding position.

Adam Rooney scored the fourth on 62 minutes to move Swindon level on points with Notts County and the play-offs. Stevenage slipped out of the automatic promotion spots as a result of their first home league defeat of the season and now lie in third.

League Two ~ Northampton's Nicholls breaks leg
Alex Nicholls broke his leg while scoring Northampton Town's opening goal against Port Vale on Saturday. The game was stopped for 11 minutes while Nicholls received treatment after being caught by John McCombe as he put the ball into the net for his eight goal of the season. Northampton went on to win the game 2-0, the second coming from Louis Moult just before half time. The win keeps the Cobblers firmly mid-table, five points from the play-offs and seven from the relegation zone.

Aidy Boothroyd, the Northampton manager, said: "They've taken Alex Nicholls straight into an operation. He's got a compound fracture of his tibia and fibula. His mum, dad and his little girl and wife are all up at the hospital and that's where I'll be going. We're absolutely gutted for him. It's a goal scorer's goal and a brave goal. But I know that John McCombe didn't mean to cause the damage that he did. These things happen. It takes the edge off a fantastic victory." Tom Hocking

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