Ipswich 2-1 Reading: Late Brett Pitman strike secures hosts' victory
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 03/02/16 2:33am
Ipswich continued their amazing Tuesday night form at Portman Road thanks to a dramatic 89th-minute goal from substitute Brett Pitman which secured a 2-1 win over luckless Reading.
The striker slid in to brilliantly convert Luke Varney's cross to give Ipswich victory - and make it an incredible 16 consecutive home wins on a Tuesday night.
A dismal game was lit up in the 57th minute when man of the match Ryan Fraser found the bottom corner after a neat turn.
Ipswich were pegged back by Garath McCleary's penalty before Pitman's late, late show.
It was a rare moment of drama in what was largely a forgettable encounter.
Half chances were the order of the day in a poor first half with Reading midfielder Oliver Norwood attempting to catch Ipswich keeper Bartosz Bialkowski out with a free-kick out wide which curled wide of the near post.
The game showed signs of life in the 25th minute when Ainsley Maitland-Niles' goalbound shot was cleared by Jordan Obita while at the other end, Reading striker Matej Vydra tested Bialkowski from distance.
However, the closest anyone came in the first half was a minute from the interval when Maitland-Niles fed Freddie Sears down the right and his cross was neatly controlled by Fraser whose volley was well saved at the near post by Ali Al-Habsi.
The start of the second half was little better with Vydra getting a sighter at the Ipswich goal 10 minutes after the restart but his shot was blocked by the sliding Tommy Smith.
In the 57th minute, and almost out of nothing, Ipswich took the lead. Luke Chambers played a brilliant ball down the right flank to release Sears whose low cross was controlled by Fraser who then showed great composure to coolly find the net off the inside of the post.
Sears almost grabbed a second five minutes later when his deflected 20-yard effort went just wide of the post as the match finally sprung into life.
Smith's flying header was too close to the grateful Al-Habsi before Reading should have equalised 60 seconds later when substitute McCleary broke but he delayed his pass to Vydra, with the goal gaping, and Cole Skuse got across the block well.
But midway through the second half, the impressive Town midfielder had a moment of madness after a mindless trip on Hal Robson-Kanu in the area with the ball going away from danger. McCleary made no mistake from 12 yards, striking the ball hard down the centre of the goal.
Ipswich left-back Jonas Knudsen went close to opening his Ipswich account before the dramatic winner, Pitman sliding in to perfectly meet Varney's cross as the substitutes combined brilliantly to net all three points.