Rovers beaten by Reading

Bristol Rovers 0-2 Reading
Sky Bet League One, The Memorial Stadium, Tuesday 9 April 2024


Bristol Rovers fell to a 2-0 defeat at home to Reading in Tuesday’s Sky Bet League One outing. 

Goals in the first half gave the Gas a mountain to climb in the second as Sam Smith headed home early on before Lewis Wing fired home a free-kick on the stroke of the interval. 

A trio of substitutions gave Rovers a much-needed impetus for the second half, with Chris Martin going close with a headed effort, while Scott Sinclair and Brandon Aguilera both saw attempts cleared off the Reading goal-line. 

But the home side could not turn chances into finishes, meaning a second consecutive loss at The Mem.

Manager Matt Taylor made four changes to the starting XI from the side who were narrowly beaten by Bolton Wanderers last time out, but it was a forward who retained his place in the side - Jevani Brown - who went closest early on, seeing a looping effort deflected just over for a corner. 

The Royals found the net with their first goalscoring opportunity of the match, on eight minutes, when Smith met a loose ball at the second time of asking. The No10 turned his header past Jed Ward and into the net.

In truth, the visitors merited their advantage in the following spell, although clear-cut chances were at a premium for both sides in the first half. 

Ward was again called into action, turning away a well-worked set-piece and denying Femi Azeez’s strike, while Luca Hoole went closest for the Gas as his header from Antony Evans’ free-kick went wide of the far post.

On the stroke of half-time, Reading doubled their lead. A free-kick awarded on the edge of the penalty area was taken by Wing, who fired a rocket of an effort across goal and into the far corner.

A trio of substitutions entered the fray for the second half, with James Wilson, Martin and Sinclair coming on for James Connolly, Luke McCormick and Brown.

It was Martin who went closest early in the second half, turning a Luke Thomas cross narrowly wide, before Sinclair struck a volley that looked destined to find the goal only for Tyler Bindon to somehow head away on the line.

Playmaker Aguilera was introduced just after the hour and the Costa Rican tested Joel Pereira from six yards. The No10’s low effort looked destined for the net but was tipped away.

Despite the hosts’ best efforts, Reading held on to their first-half advantage to leave The Memorial Stadium with all three points.


Bristol Rovers: Ward; Hoole (Hunt 70), C. Taylor, Connolly (Wilson 46), Gordon, McCormick (Sinclair 46), Evans ©, Conteh, Ward (Aguilera 62), L. Taylor, Brown (Martin 46)

Subs not used: Cox, Rossiter

Booked: Hunt


Reading:  Pereria, Mola, Elliott (Craig 71), Knibbs, Smith, Azeez, Ehibhatiomhan (Mukairu 71), Yiadom © (Abrefa 79), Bindon, MBengue, Wing
Subs not used: Button, Savage, Wareham, Dorsett

Goals: Smith 8, Wing 45


Referee: Will Finnie
Attendance: 7,951

Read Time: 3 mins