Reading 1-2 Aston Villa: Steve Bruce claims first win
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 18/10/16 11:30pm
Aston Villa won for the first time under new manager Steve Bruce - and the first time since August - as a late penalty from Jordan Ayew gave them a 2-1 victory at Reading.
Villa took the lead towards the end of the first half through Jonathan Kodjia's deflected effort but Reading equalised early in the second half when Yann Kermorgant headed in the rebound after Danny Williams' penalty had been saved by Pierluigi Gollini.
But substitute Ayew was fouled by Liam Moore in the penalty area in the 90th minute and then slotted in the spot kick to end Villa's run of 10 Sky Bet Championship matches without a win.
Bruce's first game in charge, after he replaced the sacked Roberto Di Matteo, saw his side scrape a 1-1 home draw with Wolves on Saturday.
And the former Hull manager headed to Berkshire without injured defenders Micah Richards and Tommy Elphick while winger Jack Grealish started a three-match ban.
Villa gradually grew in confidence but failed to seriously test Ali Al-Habsi in the home goal. Kodjia saw an ambitious shot blocked and Al-Habsi saved comfortably from Gary Gardner's long-range effort.
Villa's travelling army of 4,000 fans tried to inspire their team with raucous vocal support and they were rewarded in the 38th minute. Albert Adomah crossed from the left and Kodjia's well-struck effort might have been saved by Al-Habsi had it not taken a deflection off Royals defender Tyler Blackett.
Villa pressed hard at the start of the second half, working tirelessly to deny Reading possession, and it worked for a while.
But the home side drew level in the 54th minute after Aly Cissokho had fouled McCleary in the Villa area.
Gollini made a fine save to keep out Williams' spot kick but Kermorgant was on hand to nod in the rebound.
Both sides had chances as the game opened up but Ayew's late intervention sealed a dramatic and much-needed win for Villa.
Reading manager Jaap Stam:
"Which team tried to play football?" Only one team was trying to play football and that was us. Villa were just sitting in front of their box and just waiting for the moment to get out. That can make it difficult for you.
"We didn't create many chances in the first half but that was because Villa were just sitting and waiting. They were just waiting for us to lose the ball and then counter-attack. You need to be patient in how you play."
Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce:
"You have to make a special mention of the supporters. They've travelled down here in their thousands, they've got behind their team in the last 10 minutes and breathed life into the lads.
"The players have had a tough time so you've just got to try to restore a little bit of belief. We haven't done a lot but we'll get stuck into them over the next few weeks and months.
"I've got to try to get a bit of belief back into the whole club. They've had it tough but it shows you the magnitude of the club when they bring 4,000 fans to Reading on a Tuesday night."