Reading manager Ruben Selles praised Portuguese goalkeeper Joel Pereira for his superb first-half display in the 1-0 Sky Bet League One victory over mid-table Northampton.

Pereira, formerly deputy to David Button in the Reading goal, kept his side in contention in the opening period with a series of fine saves to thwart the lively Cobblers attackers.

It set up the platform for home substitute Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan to secure the victory in the 65th minute with a superb curling shot from the edge of the penalty area.

“We made a change and Joel is fighting for that position [in goal] with everything he has,” Selles said.

“He was really good today, he kept us in the game in those [first half] moments.

“But I still don’t really think I got a big performance out of the team today, I just got a massive result.

“We did not get a massive performance, it was not our best game – nowhere near to being good enough from any of us.

“It was an equal game, both teams had chances. Northampton are a good team, a very solid team, but I expected a little bit more from us. I think that we can do better.

“Don’t misunderstand me, I will take a victory any day. The thing is that, in some games in the season, we played much better than we did today – and we didn’t get anything at all.

“Today was not our best – as a team, as a collective. But at least we were consistent enough to get the three points.”

Northampton have won only once in their past seven outings and boss Jon Brady said: “I’m quite pleased with the performance but the result is the disappointing thing today.

“In all our pre-game prep, I haven’t seen a team come here like we have and press Reading from the front. And the success we got from it.

“We had some really got chances in that first half. Sam [Hoskins] has two great efforts and their keeper makes two excellent saves. It’s fine margins today, isn’t it?

“We defended well, we pressed really well and we probably created more chances than we have in any game for a long while. Unfortunately, (we) just haven’t put the ball in the back of the net.

“And their goal was a little easy. We had worked so well all day, then they score.

“And the boys all know it. They’re just really disappointed about the result because of the way that we played.

“When Louis [Appere] went in one on one in the first half, he’s hit the target.

“But, again, their keeper has done really well. On other occasions, those sort of chances go in.”

Portsmouth boss John Mousinho had mixed emotions after his side beat Reading 4-1 at Fratton Park.

Colby Bishop scored his 16th goal of the season to help Pompey maintain their six-point lead at the top of League One.

Mousinho said: “I am very pleased with the win, but obviously disappointed to concede as well.

“I thought Reading were excellent in the early stages and were causing us problems, and we were fortunate not to have conceded during that spell. They showed a lot of energy and a lot of purpose.

“We changed a couple of things after the first half-hour, which seemed to make them more open and direct. That helped us obviously as we have hit the back of the net four times.

“We weren’t organised behind the ball enough and lost too many challenges and second balls in the first half, but I thought we were excellent in the second half.”

The Royals dominated the first 25 minutes and had several chances of opening the scoring with efforts from Andy Yiadom on 11 minutes and Lewis Wing a minute later.

Paul Mukairu put the simplest chance over the bar from inside the six-yard box and the league leaders instead took the lead on 36 minutes as Abu Kamara broke down the middle and passed to Paddy Lane, who rifled the ball home off David Button’s body.

Marlon Pack and Callum Lang drove home and Pompey made it four thanks to Bishop’s strike, but the Royals got a consolation late on from Charlie Savage.

Reading manager Ruben Selles said: “I think we dominated the first half, and I think they were lucky not to be 2-0 down.

“We came here to defend higher up the pitch and to play well, and I think we did that very well.

“I think we continued to do well even after going a goal down, but the second knocked us back a bit and we lost our composure.

“There are areas we could do better but overall, I was very pleased with the performance, and showed we can compete with the top teams.

“It is hard to take that we have played that well but conceded four goals.

“There is nothing major in terms of injuries. Sam Smith was able to travel and got some valuable minutes under his belt.

“We have two home games now on Tuesday and Saturday and we need to build on how we’ve performed today.”

Colby Bishop’s 16th goal of the season helped Portsmouth complete a 4-1 rout of hapless Reading at Fratton Park.

The Royals dominated the first 25 minutes and had several chances to open the scoring, with efforts from Andy Yiadom on 11 minutes and Lewis Wing a minute later.

But it was Paul Mukairu who had the simplest chance, putting the ball over the bar from inside the six-yard box.

The league leaders took the lead on 36 minutes as Abu Kamara broke down the middle and passed to Paddy Lane, who rifled the ball home off keeper David Button’s body.

Pompey doubled their lead four minutes into the second half when Marlon Pack drove home, and it soon became 3-0 on 58 minutes with an identical strike from Callum Lang.

Pompey made it four thanks to Bishop’s strike but the Royals got a consolation late on from Charlie Savage.

Fleetwood scored a last-gasp equaliser to earn a 1-1 home draw with Reading.

Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu tapped home on the goal line deep in added time after the Royals had taken the lead through Lewis Wing’s stunning opener.

After 15 minutes, a Fleetwood ball into the box was nodded on by Jayden Stockley to Promise Omochere whose header was tipped over by Royals goalkeeper David Button.

Reading’s Femi Azeez was sent down the right flank after 30 minutes. The winger’s cross was too vicious for Harvey Knibbs who headed over from underneath the crossbar.

Fleetwood felt aggrieved after a deep ball to the back post was scrambled goalwards by Omochere. Button lifted the ball from under his body with Town claiming it had crossed the line. Neither the referee nor the assistant thought it was a goal.

Reading opened the scoring when Wing was set up 25 yards out, before curling into the top right corner.

With one more throw of the dice, Sarpong-Wiredu tapped home unmarked at the far post to nick a point for Fleetwood.

Reading’s woeful away form continued after Jason Sraha snatched a late winner for Shrewsbury in a dramatic 3-2 victory.

The Royals opened the scoring in the 12th minute.

David Button’s goal-kick was brought down by Sam Smith inside the area and he powered it into the back of the net off a post.

Reading doubled their advantage inside 15 minutes as Andy Yiadom stood up a floated cross into the box. Goalkeeper Marko Marosi attempted to catch, but Dominic Ballard won the aerial duel and headed it home.

Shrewsbury pulled a goal back in the 33rd minute. Max Mata dispossessed a defender and the New Zealand international laid the ball off to Tom Bayliss, who converted from a tight angle.

The Shrews, in time added on, grabbed an equaliser through a corner routine which concluded with Chey Dunkley bundling home inside the box.

But with virtually the last kick of the game, Sraha stabbed home to win it for Matt Taylor’s side.

Reading manager Ruben Selles urged his team to be more ruthless in front of goal after a scrappy 1-1 home draw with Bristol Rovers in League One.

Bottom-of-the-table Reading went ahead five minutes before the interval when striker Sam Smith rifled in his first goal of the season.

But Rovers levelled in the 57th minute when former Reading loanee Chris Martin lofted a fine shot over home keeper David Button.

Reading are now winless in eight league matches.

“Football is all about moments and we had a moment to make it 2-0 [Harvey Knibbs’ chance shortly before half-time],” Selles said.

“Then, in the second half, they scored their goal. But we had many situations to score our second one and we didn’t do it.

“When we did make that pressure with that action from Sam, it was good that he got his goal.

“But we can be better in this area, with our finishing. We had a lot of ball in the opposition half but in those situations, we need to get in more shots and more shots on target.

“We made a lot of turnarounds, when we won the ball, but we made some mistakes after that.

“If we want to be competitive, we have to take advantage of these good positions.

“It is not about individual players missing these chances, it is about all of us. We have been in these situations before. It is as a team that we need to take these chances.

”We have been making a rotation in our League One squad. And I have been trying to be consistent with 80 per cent of the team.

“When we make our selections, we always try to have some options.”

Rovers caretaker manager Andy Mangan is now unbeaten in three league and FA Cup matches in charge since replacing the sacked Joey Barton last month.

“The feeling in the dressing room, it’s really frustrated,” Mangan said. “I feel like the result has cost us three points.

“We’ve created several chances, going right through to the very end.

“We felt like we played well throughout and we had the better chances over the 90 minutes. We all know that.

“We cost ourselves on the first goal. And it’s always hard when you’re 1-0 down.

“But we showed a lot of guts in the team to come back. We were really positive at half-time.

“We came out firing in the second half. The first 20 minutes, we managed to get that goal.

“And although we might have dropped off a bit after that, I still thought we should have won the game in the end.”

Reading remain rooted to the bottom of League One and are now winless in eight matches after they were held to a scrappy 1-1 draw by Bristol Rovers at the SCL Stadium.

After a disjointed first half, Reading went in front in the 40th minute when Sam Smith drove home his first goal of the season.

Chris Martin levelled for Rovers in the 57th minute, but the game drifted towards a stalemate long before the end.

Rovers had made the first impression with a good run and shot from Aaron Collins that home goalkeeper David Button had to push away.

Reading barely threatened going forward and there was a three-minute delay after tennis balls were thrown on to the pitch as part of the ongoing home protests against Reading owner Dai Yongge.

On the resumption, Reading grew into the game and went ahead five minutes before the break when striker Smith rifled in a fine angled drive after Harvey Knibbs had dispossessed Ryan Woods.

Button saved smartly from Jevani Brown and Collins early in the second period, but Martin, a former Reading loanee, equalised with a well-struck rising effort past the keeper.

Neither side showed much creativity in going for the winner as the game petered out into a tame draw.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.