Relegation rivals Peterborough and Reading settle for draw

Peterborough United v Reading – Sky Bet Championship – Weston Homes Stadium
(Image credit: Joe Giddens)

Peterborough and Reading battled out a 0-0 draw in a crucial Championship relegation clash at the Weston Homes Stadium.

Posh kicked off two points behind the visitors but in possession of a game in hand – and that was exactly how it stayed on a night when the only winner was Storm Dudley.

Gale force winds were the last thing needed by the two worst defences in the Championship, but two sides who have both leaked 60 goals this term dealt with the challenge admirably to enjoy rare clean sheets.

But a point apiece did little to boost either side’s hopes of avoiding the drop into League One or relieving the pressure on rival bosses Darren Ferguson and Veljko Paunovic.

It was no surprise in such treacherous conditions – in addition to the considerable tension already created by a crucial game – notable chances were in short supply.

Reading goalkeeper Karl Hein reacted well to deny Posh leading scorer Jonson Clarke-Harris a 10th-minute opener before flying across his goal to parry the ball clear following a burst and blast from Nathan Thompson.

Opposite number Steven Benda was just as impressive when keeping out a Tom Ince free-kick just after the half-hour as Reading provided a rare threat while attacking into the teeth of the wind.

Hein was beaten six minutes before the break when Jeando Fuchs headed a swirling Hayden Coulson delivery back across the face of goal, but Royals captain Michael Morrison was on hand to head over his own bar with Clarke-Harris waiting to pounce.

Reading were first to threaten after the interval as Tom Holmes headed an Ince cross just wide before Lucas Joao’s shot was bravely blocked by Frankie Kent after the Royals frontman wriggled free in the box.

Benda then prevented Yakou Meite from marking his first start of the season with a goal before Posh began to apply the pressure.

Joe Ward saw a weak shot cleared off the line by Morrison before Josh Knight headed a Ward free-kick over from close range.

Benda then produced a vital stop to keep out Joao at the other end as both sides tried to no avail to break the deadlock in a frantic finale.

It meant Reading kept their heads above water as they snapped a run of seven successive league defeats, but it was not enough to prevent their fans from calling for the head of boss Paunovic following the final whistle.

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