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Three off for Yeovil, but they hold on for a draw

Shane Duffy gave Yeovil the lead at Reading. Photo: Dave Howarth/EMPICS Sport

CHAMPIONSHIP

  • READING 1 - 1 YEOVIL TOWN

Reading's chances of securing a play-off place took a battering when they failed to beat a Yeovil team reduced to eight men in a crazy second half at the Madejski Stadium.

Yeovil went ahead in the first half through a Shane Duffy header but they lost the plot in the second half when three players - Byron Webster, Joe Ralls and Kieffer Moore - were all sent off in the 1-1 draw.

Webster went first, for conceding a penalty, but Adam Le Fondre missed the spot-kick. Goalkeeper Marek Stech saved it but was then credited with an own goal in the goalmouth scramble.

Ralls and Moore also saw red but Yeovil somehow held on for a point, with Stech making a series of fine saves near the end.

Reading's inconsistency has proved worrying as they aim to cement a place in the play-offs. They had won five and lost three of their previous eight matches.

They had also lost their two previous home games, without scoring a goal. And yet in the two home games prior to that, they had scored 12 goals in wins over Bolton and Blackpool.

Yeovil, though bottom of the table at kick-off and three points off safety, had put together an unbeaten run of three matches. However, they had won only two of their past 15 away fixtures in all competitions.

Reading might have been overwhelming favourites but they were given an early warning sign when Yeovil midfielder Joe Edwards burst through only to shoot wide.

In response, Hal Robson-Kanu ran down the left flank and crossed low into the Yeovil area. Le Fondre looked handily placed to convert the chance but was denied by superb last-ditch tackle from centre-half Duffy, who is on loan from Everton.

Duffy again played a key role when Yeovil went ahead in the 20th minute. Luke Ayling slung over a free-kick from the right and, with Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy off his line and nowhere near to reaching the ball, Duffy easily headed into the empty net.

Yeovil could have increased their lead only for McCarthy to atone for his earlier error with flying save to keep out a fierce shot from Tom Lawrence.

Reading improved marginally before the interval but when Pavel Pogrebnyak thought he had equalised, after nodding in a Jordan Obita cross, the effort was swiftly disallowed for offside.

Marek Stech saved Adam Le Fondre's penalty. Credit: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

Deservedly jeered off by their fans at half-time, Reading upped the tempo in the second period. But Yeovil defended stubbornly during a barrage of six corners in the opening eight minutes of the half.

Ayling blocked a goalbound shot from Garath McCleary as did Kieffer Moore from Danny Williams. Pogrebnyak should also have done better than head an Obita cross straight at Yeovil keeper Stech.

The game exploded into life in the 66th minute, when Yeovil centre-back Webster was sent off for pulling back Reading substitute Royston Drenthe as he bore down on goal.

Le Fondre fluffed the resultant penalty, Stech saving well, but Reading equalised from the ensuing goalmouth scramble when Lawrence's attempted clearance went over the line off the back of the grounded Stech.

Two minutes later, Yeovil were reduced to nine men when midfielder Joe Ralls saw red for a scything challenge on McCleary. And then they were down to eight in the 88th minute when Moore went for a second bookable offence, a foul on Gunter, but they held on superbly for a draw.

I've no complaints on the day. The sendings off were not for viciousness.

The first [Webster] was just misjudgement and the second and third were two young lads who were a bit overzealous in the tackle. If you do that, you're going to get a red card.

It's a lesson learnt for all three of them. They put their team in trouble but they didn't mean to. It was more a question of mis-timing.

With only eight players, I was very proud the way we defended. There is a passion among all the players and they want to do all they can to keep Yeovil Town in the Championship.

We'd like to stay there as long as we can and if we survive, it will be the club's biggest ever achievement.

– Gary Johnson, Yeovil Town manager

We started the game very well but yet again conceded a poor goal and gave our opponents something to cling on to.

Then we just started lumping the ball forward.

When they were down to eight, we got in a lot of crosses and created a lot of chances. We only got one point, when we should have had three, but credit to Yeovil.

We've got to pick ourselves up and go again. We're still in the mix.

– Nigel Adkins, Reading manager

LEAGUE ONE

  • BRISTOL CITY 2 - 1 GILLINGHAM
Bristol City's Bobby Reid runs with the ball at Gillingham's Leon Legge (right) and Adam Barrett. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Bristol City have moved out of the relegation zone on goal difference after earning a vital three points against Gillingham.

Sam Baldock gave City a 27th minute lead with a shot from the edge of the area.

Gillingham substitute Charlie Lee equalised in the 65th minute from close range, but Simon Gillett secured the win with a 25 yard screamer with seven minutes left on the clock.

Bristol City's Simon Gillett (left) celebrates scoring his sides second goal against Gillingham with Wes Burns and Sam Baldock (right). Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire
  • CREWE ALEXANDRA 1 - 1 SWINDON TOWN
Ryan Harley gave Swindon the lead at Crewe. Credit: David Davies/PA Archive

Swindon Town couldn't hold on to a second half lead given to them by Ryan Harley.

The hosts missed a first half penalty, awarded after Cameron Park's cross deflected off Harley's arm. Chuks Aneke blazed the spot-kick over the bar.

Harley broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half with a shot into the top corner following a mazy run by Nathan Byrne.

But substitute Vadaine Oliver rescued a point with a 25 yard volley 13 minutes from time.

LEAGUE TWO

  • CHELTENHAM TOWN 2 - 1 BURY
Cheltenham substitute Byron Harrison scored the winning goal in the 82nd minute. Credit: Dave Howarth/PA Archive

Cheltenham came from behind to beat Bury at Whaddon Road.

Clive Platt had given the visitors a 16th minute lead. Ashley Vincent's second goal in three matches levelled the scores two minutes later, when he raced onto Jamie Cureton's through ball.

And sub Byron Harrison hit the winner from close range eight minutes from the end.

  • NORTHAMPTON TOWN 0 - 0 BRISTOL ROVERS
Tom Parkes almost broke the deadlock at Sixfields. Credit: Nick Potts /PA Archive

Bristol Rovers extended their unbeaten run to five games after a goal-less draw at in-form Northampton.

The home side may be in the relegation zone, but they had won three out of their last four games.

Rovers' best chance in a game of few clear-cut chances fell to David Clarkson, but his shot was superbly saved by Matt Duke. And from the resulting corner, Tom Parkes’ header was cleared off the line by Leon McSweeney.

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