Rams fightback against Royals
Rob Hulse bagged his sixth of the season as Derby came from a goal behind to secure a 2-1 win over Reading.
Last Updated: 28/11/09 5:40pm
Rob Hulse bagged his sixth of the season as Derby came from a goal behind to secure a priceless 2-1 success over Reading.
The Royals actually took the lead at Pride Park through Gylfi Sigurdsson, but it proved a false dawn for Brendan Rodgers' men.
Paul Green restored parity within a few minutes before Hulse handed Derby the three points with a 73rd minute goal.
Shane Long was sent off with ten minutes to cap a miserable afternoon, although Jobi McAnuff still came close to equalising.
A fiery game was largely devoid of goalmouth action in the first half as both sides were restricted to long range efforts.
Sigurdsson and McAnuff fired wide in quick succession early on before Hulse headed straight at Adam Federici after eight minutes.
Jay McEveley then shot wide midway through the first half and Ryan Bertrand did likewise at the opposite end just before the half-hour mark.
The game sprung to life soon after the break when Sigurdsson put Reading in front.
Jay Tabb was the instigator, setting up the Icelander who beat Stephen Bywater with a low shot that went in off the post.
But the lead lasted just four minutes. Gary Teale did well down the left and squeezed in a cross to leave Green with the simple task of just steering the ball home from six yards out.
Derby were in the ascendancy and Green came close to a second goal soon afterwards before Hulse worked Federici with an angled drive midway through the second half.
Reading substitute Grzegorz Rasiak, who scored 19 goals during his only season at Derby in 2004/05, went close against his former club with a header.
But it was a current Derby striker Hulse who won the points for the Rams. A clever backheel by Teale released McEveley who crossed for Hulse to net from close range.
Shane Long saw red in the 80th minute but Reading still almost snatched a draw when McAnuff was denied by Bywater in the final minute.
The Derby keeper then tipped Alex Pearce's 25-yard drive round a post deep into injury time.