With eight minutes left West Brom were cruising up 2-0...then the wheels fell off. Reading scored three times in final minutes of the match to steal an incredible comeback victory
Two moments of excellent inter-play between Romelu Lukaku and James Morrison had West Brom up 2-0 with eight minutes to play and the match all but won. Then Reading awoke like Smaug under a pile of gold scoring three goals in eight minutes to steal a completely undeserved victory and leave Steve Clarke wondering what bus just ran him and his team over.
Reading struggled from the opening whistle to deal with Morrison and after some close calls through the first 20 minutes of the match, he finally made them pay for the inability to deal with him.
In the 19th minute Morrison worked his way down the left wing, tying up defenders as he waited for a teammates to work his way in to space in front of the Reading Goal. Lukaku obliged, setting up shop six yards out from the goal and receiving Morrison's pass and putting it past Adam Federici with a left-footed shot.
The remainder of the half, and really off it honestly, was defined by West Brom's defense who didn't allow Reading any space to operate and effectively dealt with their occasional attempts to attack.
A moment in the 42nd minute just about summed up Reading's first half. Jobi McAnuff received a long pass in space with a genuine chance to challenge Ben Foster. Instead McAnuff uncorked a harmless shot right in to Foster's arms for an easy catch save.
Lukaku put the ball in the net for the second time in the 49th minute, again thanks to a great pass from Morrison. Unfortunately for the on loan striker, he was offside and the goal was disallowed.
It was Morrison and Lukaku again in the 69th minute (are you sensing a theme yet?) putting the nail in Reading's coffin for the day. Morrison again set-up the Belgian striker who hit a cannon shot that rattled off the underside of the crossbar and in to the net, giving West Brom a 2-0 lead.
With the match all but in the bag, West Brom took their foot on the gas and allowed Reading to pull a goal back with eight minute left to play. Garath McCleary was given far too much time and space on the left wing before sending a well placed ball in to the Baggies box where Jimmy Kébé was making a run at the far post. Kébé laid out and headed the ball past Foster to give Reading a glimmer of hope.
Never give anyone a glimmer of hope.
They weren't done.
A late free kick opportunity for Reading proved fatal to West Brom as the initial kick in was headed down by Alex Pearce to Pavel Pogrebnyak who flicked a shot past Foster to complete the unfathomable comeback. Just a stunning finish at the Madejski Stadium.