Reading’s Championship status secured despite comprehensive defeat at Hull

A Keane Lewis-Potter brace and an Alfie Jones tap-in secured victory for the home side.

By Press Association Published: 23 April 2022 - 4.31pm

Reading were assured of Sky Bet Championship football for next season despite suffering a comprehensive 3-0 defeat at Hull.

With Peterborough losing at home to Nottingham Forest, Tom Ince’s side are now guaranteed second-tier football for another campaign.

Celebrations from Royals fans were tempered, though, as two goals from Keane Lewis-Potter and an Alfie Jones tap-in consigned the visitors to a humbling defeat.

Reading have had an awful season, with a six-point reduction not helping their cause.

But this performance at the MKM Stadium, against a club with nothing to play for and marking time ahead of a reported big summer spending splurge, further highlighted the demanding job of rebuilding an ineffectual squad.

In keeping with the rest of the game, the hosts had a lot more of the football early on, but they created very few chances during a pedestrian start from both sides.

Richie Smallwood’s header over the crossbar off George Honeyman’s free-kick was as good as it got before the half-hour mark.

Honeyman’s reliable set-pieces, this time from a corner, also partially threatened Reading’s defence, but Hull centre-back Jacob Greaves misjudged the flight of the ball with a wayward header.

Reading had their moments, especially on Hull’s right flank, but they lacked the nous to give goalkeeper Nathan Baxter any semblance of a fright.

That was evidenced after 35 minutes when Josh Laurent, afforded too much space off Junior Hoilett’s smart cross, tamely headed into Baxter’s hands from the edge of the six-yard box.

Just when Ince might have expected his players to have gained motivation from that neat piece of play, Hull scored five minutes later.

Honeyman nicked the ball off Tom Dele-Bashiru in a central area, yet his pass towards Lewis-Potter on the left should, at the very least, have been intercepted.

An unmarked Lewis-Potter instead charged into the penalty area and smashed into the roof of the net with his left foot from a difficult angle.

Perhaps distracted by the news Peterborough were losing at half-time, Reading conceded again after 53 minutes.

Honeyman was again the provider with a searching free-kick into the middle of the penalty box.

The visitors made an awful mess of the set-piece, with the scruffy rebound offering Jones an unmissable chance from six yards.

Reading at least responded, and nearly equalised on the hour when former Hull midfielder Tom Ince sent over a teasing ball from the left side.

Lucas Joao did well to latch on to the chance, but Baxter stood tall and strong to palm away for a corner.

Hull defended too deeply thereafter, but they were a continual threat on the break and scored a third when Lewis-Potter coolly slotted home a long ball in injury time.

Reading will, however, be back in the Championship next season – but a big summer of change will be needed to prevent another campaign of struggle on this evidence.

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