Reading vs Blackpool. Sky Bet Championship.
Select Car Leasing StadiumAttendance10,587.
Report and highlights from the Sky Bet Championship clash between Reading and Blackpool at the Select Car Leasing Stadium as Owen Dale and a Jerry Yates double sealed a stunning comeback win for the Tangerines.
Wednesday 20 October 2021 23:36, UK
Reading squandered a 2-0 lead as Blackpool staged a thrilling second-half comeback to win 3-2 in the Sky Bet Championship.
Defender Scott Dann nodded Reading in front in the 11th minute and Tom Dele-Bashiru added a second 10 minutes later.
But Blackpool dominated the second half and deservedly made it 2-2 with quickfire efforts from substitute Owen Dale and Jerry Yates.
Yates then grabbed the winner from the penalty spot in the 85th minute.
Reading had beaten Barnsley 1-0 at home on Saturday, securing a third clean sheet in their past four outings, while Blackpool's four-match unbeaten run had been ended at Nottingham Forest.
Neither side impressed in a low-key opening 10 minutes, though Blackpool were the more positive going forward.
But as the rain lashed down in Berkshire, and from the first opportunity of the game, Reading went ahead.
John Swift curled over a free-kick from the left and Dann rose well to guide a header past Blackpool goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw.
It was Dann's first goal since the 34-year-old centre-back joined Reading following his release by Crystal Palace in the summer.
The visitors replied strongly, with Jordan Gabriel's low 20-yard drive forcing a fine stop from home keeper Luke Southwood, who denied Yates from the rebound.
The double save proved vital, with Reading extending their lead in the 21st minute.
George Puscas gathered a loose ball on the edge of the area and fed Josh Laurent, who released a quick pass to Dele-Bashiru. The Watford loanee then struck a crisp shot past the helpless Grimshaw.
Blackpool tried to reduce the deficit before the break but Keshi Anderson was thwarted by a superb last-ditch tackle from Reading captain Liam Moore and Demetri Mitchell fired narrowly over from a free-kick.
Reading could have put the game out of Blackpool's reach early in the second half when Puscas scampered on to a through pass from Danny Drinkwater, but the Romania strike drove straight at Grimshaw and the chance went begging.
Blackpool pressed forward with urgency and were finally rewarded for their hard-working efforts when they drew level with goals in the 69th and 73rd minutes.
Sub Dale snatched the first, five minutes after coming on, with a powerful effort from 25 yards.
Dale then turned provider, crossing from the left for the unmarked Yates to head in his third goal in as many games.
And Yates completed the remarkable comeback five minutes from the end, thundering in a spot-kick after Andy Yiadom had brought down Sonny Carey.
Although Southwood got a hand to it, he could not prevent it from entering the net and salvaging a draw for Reading.
Reading's Veljko Paunovic: "Definitely, in the second half, we failed as a team. We have to acknowledge that we didn't do a good job. We didn't confront our opponent properly, especially when we conceded the first goal. We crumbled, we lost composure and we couldn't come back. That's something that is disappointing to see but we all acknowledge this mistake and accept our responsibility for this as a whole team. On and off the pitch, everyone who was involved, and I include myself in that.
"But we are a good team, we have a very good group, and I am 100 per cent we are going to fix this. The good thing is that we have a game on Saturday. We need to recompose, regroup again, and this team can do great things when we are all on the same page. The Championship, once again, showed how difficult it is and how everyone can beat everyone. That's why it is so exciting. Everyone can come back at you, especially when you are not at your best."
Blackpool's Neil Critchley: "It's hard to predict that you're going to come back from 2-0 down against a team in such good form. But if we carried on performing how we did in the first half, then we knew
we'd have a chance of creating an opportunity or two. I thought that we were excellent in the first half. We played some really good football and most of our play was in Reading's half of the pitch.
"We just failed with our execution in the final third. And the goals that we gave away were really poor. There were no Churchillian speeches at half-time, it was just a case of reinforcing what we had been doing and giving the players some belief to carry on the way we had been playing. I thought our spirit wore Reading down in the end. They were tired, dead on their feet, and we contributed to that."