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Romaine Sawyers’ late strikes sees Cardiff snatch win over Reading

17 Feb 2023 3 minute read
Cardiff City’s Callum O’Dowda battles with Reading’s Junior Hoilett. Photo Nick Potts. PA Images

Romaine Sawyers scored the goal that earned Cardiff their first home win for 111 days as they beat Reading 1-0 at Cardiff City Stadium.

The Bluebirds fans had to wait until the 91st minute for their team’s 19th shot of the night to break the deadlock and it pushed new boss Sabri Lamouchi’s men five points clear of the relegation zone.

Their last triumph in the Welsh capital had been 10 matches ago – nine in the league and one FA Cup tie – on October 29 against Rotherham.

For Lamouchi, the third manager at the club this season, his first away win at Birmingham on Tuesday night was quickly followed by his first at home.

As for Paul Ince’s Reading side, they will feel hard done by having survived for 90 minutes at a time of suffering so many injuries. Having ended a run of five games without a win with a 2-1 home triumph over Rotherham earlier in the week, which took them 11 points clear of the drop zone, this was a point lost at the death.

Reading’s only real attack in the first half came in the 23rd minute when Andy Carroll flicked on a ball to put fellow front runner Femi Azeez into space on the right side of the Bluebirds box. His cross was aimed at Carroll, but Tom McIntyre got in front of him and headed over.

Flooded forward

Scott Dann picked up a yellow card for pulling back Kion Etete as Cardiff flooded forward. That gave Perry Ng a chance to emulate his sensational free-kick from the Birmingham game and he almost did it again. He got the ball over the wall from 25 yards out but saw his shot hit the side netting having just missed the top right corner of Joe Lumley’s goal.

Reading started the second half more brightly and pushed Cardiff deeper into their half.

They won a couple of corners and free-kicks and almost took advantage of a slip by Ryan Allsop as he attempted to clear a back pass in the 67th minute. The Cardiff keeper’s air shot gave Yakou Meite the chance to dive in at the loose ball, but even though he got to it Allsop was able to save his blushes.

Cardiff got their second wind late on and twice hit the woodwork in the 74th and 77th minutes. Top scorer Callum Robinson curled a right-footed shot from inside the ‘D’ onto the crossbar and then Sheyi Ojo bounced a shot on top of the bar and away.

They kept going and got their reward in stoppage time when Amadou Mbengue’s clearance dropped to Sawyers, whose bouncing half-volley from 20 yards through a crowd of players left Lumley wrong-footed and helpless.

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