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Brentford vs Reading. Sky Bet Championship.

Griffin ParkAttendance10,206.

Brentford 1

  • L Vibe (67th minute)

Reading 3

  • O Sa (17th minute)
  • N Blackman (32nd minute, 99th minute pen)

Brentford 1-3 Reading: Blackman helps Royals to comfortable win

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One from Orlando Sa and a brace from Nick Blackman were enough to see Reading through to a 3-1 win over Brentford.

Reading cruised to a comfortable 3-1 win at Brentford, who had keeper David Button to thank for keeping the scoreline down on Saturday.

Nick Blackman struck twice to add to Orlando Sa's 17th-minute opener as the Royals ran riot in a one-sided first half in this Sky Bet Championship encounter.

Bees winger Lasse Vibe hit a superb consolation to give the home fans hope at 2-1, but anything other than a win for Steve Clarke's side would have been a travesty.

Sa gave his side the lead when he rose unmarked to power home a pinpoint Blackman cross at the near post.

And Blackman made it two on the half hour when he curled home a free-kick from 25 yards after James Tarkowski was penalised for a shirt pull.

Vibe gave the hosts hope midway through a niggly second half marred by a string of strange refereeing decisions, when he turned Paul McShane and curled home in of the far post.

Brentford, far more potent after the break, pressed for the equaliser until deep into injury time when Danny Williams broke free down the right and squared for Blackman who was brought down by keeper Button who was lucky to escape with a yellow card.

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Nick Blackman, Reading
Image: Nick Blackman (left) scored twice in Reading's win

Blackman dusted himself down to convert from the spot to give the scoreline a more realistic gloss for the visitors.

Brentford's experiment with statistics-led signings looked in tatters after a dreadful first half that saw them lucky to go in only two down.

Button was their saviour with a string of superb saves to deny Reading's marauding strikers, who were given acres of space around the edge of the box by a leaden-footed Bees back four.

Blackman went close after 14 minutes, cutting inside from the right and firing a rising drive which bounced off the bar to safety.

Stephen Quinn's deflected shot was sneaking in at the near post before Button tipped it wide before he also parried Hal Robson-Kanu's header to safety from the corner that followed.

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A brilliant double save from Quinn's volley and then a close range block to deny Blackman saw him lauded by the Brentford fans, who were growing increasingly unsettled at the lack of potency at the other end.

Referee Andrew Madley booked five Brentford players and four from the visitors in an ill-tempered game that was never dirty.

Brentford looked far more lively after the break, with substitutes Alan McCormack and Josh Clarke asking questions of the home defence.

But the Bees, who desperately lacked leadership in the midfield and organisation in the heart of defence, rarely looked like clawing their way back into the game.

Reading, well led by McShane and Oliver Norwood, looked comfortable throughout and were always in command during a one-sided first half.

Brentford head coach Marinus Dijkhuizen:

"We were very poor in the first half and to be honest I didn't recognise some of my players. We were not good on the ball and struggled to keep hold of it."

Reading manager Steve Clarke:

 "I keep talking about performances and that first half was excellent. If we play like that then the results will follow and if they don't I'll still be happy. I thought we could have been out of sight by half-time but their keeper has kept them in it. I was out of my seat getting ready to celebrate when he stopped one shot."

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