Birmingham 0-2 Reading: Bodvarsson scores in Royals win
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 26/08/17 8:23pm
Reading striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson rescued the game from the doldrums with the opening goal to set up a 2-0 Championship success at Birmingham.
St. Andrew's is obviously a ground which appeals to Bodvarsson as he scored one of only three goals in his 42 Wolves appearances last season in the match at Birmingham.
Birmingham only surged back to life after the Iceland international notched his first goal for Reading on the hour, but they left themselves open for substitute George Evans to seal the game with an 85th-minute strike.
The result was a disappointment for manager Harry Redknapp, who is still busy restructuring his Birmingham side and drafted in another two newcomers in Carl Jenkinson and Sam Gallagher.
Unfortunately Jenkinson, on loan from Arsenal, sustained a wrist injury in the 31st minute and took no further part in the game.
Gallagher, another temporary recruit from Southampton, demonstrated his threat early in the game when he cleverly chested down a long pass from Michael Morrison only to see his shot on the turn blocked by Joey van den Berg.
Following a slow build-up, Reading posed the most danger when Tyler Blackett fired in a low shot through a packed defence only to see David Stockdale dive low to his left to push the ball away.
A dour stalemate remained goalless at half-time, with both teams lacking individual sparkle.
Gallagher lacked the service to shine while Reading were guilty of wasting a good opportunity to go ahead from an accurate Liam Kelly free-kick. Liam Moore out-jumped the unlucky Jenkinson but his misdirected header went wide of the far post.
Kelly had a wonderful chance two minutes into the second half. A low cross from Chris Gunter found the unmarked playmaker, who, with only Stockdale to beat, shot straight at the 'keeper.
The diminutive Kelly, always a livewire, then turned creator with a low cross from the left. The unmarked Modou Barrow bumbled his shot wide of an open goal in the 60th minute but Reading quickly made amends from their next attack. Blackett produced the cross from the left which Bodvarsson was on hand to head into the roof of the net.
Birmingham belatedly showed signs of life and Gallagher and David Davis had efforts blocked, but they were condemned to defeat as Evans was set up by Garath McCleary to make it 2-0 five minutes from time.
Birmingham boss Harry Redknapp: "We have struggled to bring in players in certain areas of the side. To be honest we have been outplayed in every game.
"I've asked for certain people who would have brought in the experience and quality we require. Unfortunately we have not been able to get them over the line. It doesn't help when you lose young Carl Jenkinson, who has dislocated his shoulder and will be out for a long time."
Reading boss Jaap Stam: "You know the opposition will be looking to put more pressure on us and this enables us to come out on the break. The substitutions paid off with us scoring the second goal which was a relief. We defended very well. Everyone was together, very committed and determined.
"I was very happy with the way we played in possession and the big contribution made by the substitutes, in particular Evans in scoring the second goal."