Cats suffer Royals defeat.
Sunderland were unlucky not to get all three points at the Madejski and now become closer to lower teams because of a Jimmy Kebe double.
The Frenchman scored with the first chance of the match. In front of the 2,000 away fans, Jobi McAnuff managed to get in behind the SAFC back line and pulled the ball back to Kebe. Unmarked, the winger took the ball away from the on rushing O’Shea and left Mignolet helpless by producing a powerful 10 yard effort into the top corner.
Down through an early goal again, Sunderland had to respond but it took them 23 minutes to respond to Kebe’s 6th minute goal. Alfred N’Diaye hit a fairly weak shot which was thumbled by Federici in the Reading goal. Larsson then tried to get on the end of the loose ball but was possibly fouled by ex Black Cat Ian Harte. The Swede still managed to get a shot away but it was well saved by the Reading ‘keeper.
As Sunderland managed to get a foothold in the game, the pressure grew on the Reading goal. A Sunderland corner was cleared only to the edge of the box where Pavel Porgrebnyak made a ‘striker’s tackle’ on John O’Shea and the ref rightly pointed to the spot. Gardner took on the responsibility for the Lads’ second spot kick of the season and tucked the ball into the corner, inches away from a diving Federici. The Black Cats were level.
The home side could have got back in front shortly before half time. A long free kick into the box was met by Porgrebnyak and, trying to make amends, headered the ball but saw it well saved by Simon Mignolet.
The second half was a chanceless affair until the 73rd minute. Adrian Mariappa met the ball from a corner, only to see Mignolet get a slight touch and tip the ball onto the bar. At the other end, N’Diaye was put through on goal by some smart play by Johnson but spurned his opportunity, hitting wide from 8 yards.
Danny Graham’s introduction almost saw him make an immediate impact. A corner swung his way and he headed the ball. However, Australian Adam Federici palmed the ball over the bar. This 79th minute chance to win was SAFC’s last.
Six minutes later, Titus Bramble’s foul allowed Harte to deliver an excellent free kick and, after some weak marking, Jimmy Kebe headed the ball home.
Sunderland now sit 12th and have a home match against Arsenal on Saturday. Hopefully the Lads can re-do their FA cup heroics of last season and record a win over the Gunners.
Adam Federici, Stephen Kelly, Adrian Mariappa, Alex Pearce, Ian Harte, Mikel Legerwood, Hope Akpan, Jimmy Kebe, Jobi McAnuff ©, Gareth McClearly and Pavel Porgrebnyak.
Simon Mignolet, Craig Gardner, Jack Colback, Titus Bramble, John O’Shea ©, Adam Johnson, Stephane Sessegnon, Seb Larsson, Alfred N’Diaye, David Vaughan and Steven Fletcher.