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Royals end the away campaign with a relegation defeat against Brewers – Wokingham.Today

Reading FC ended their away League One fixture with a relegation defeat against Burton Albion.

A slow start saw the Royals concede twice in the opening eleven minutes, before a brilliant free-kick from Lewis Wing got Ruben Selles’ side back into the game.

Bobby Kamwa’s bicycle kick made it 3-1 before Sam Smith’s penalty reduced the deficit in the second half, but Burton held on to take the points.

There were two changes to the Reading squad that secured League One safety at Barnsley last week, as Jeriel Dorsett and Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan replaced Clinton Mola and Paul Mukairu in the starting XI.

Against the side that came into the match just two points above the drop zone, it was the hosts who came out with more intent, reflecting their desperate need for points.

Burton looked the more motivated side and made that happen within the opening five minutes when an initial aerial kick might have resulted in a missed opportunity, but Mason Bennet then smashed the ball past Joel Pereira.

The Royals’ sloppy start continued and the Brewers were two up in the 11th minute when Mustapha Carayol was given space to shoot from the edge of the box and curled an effort past the keeper.

Reading could have fallen even further behind, much to the anger of manager Ruben Selles, but Pereira produced a crucial stop to keep out Bobby Kamwa.

Sam Smith had half a view of goal when he stuck out a leg to cross an effort towards goal that ended up on the roof of the net.

Reading fans have been used to moments of individual brilliance from Lewis Wing all season and were treated to another spectacular strike that helped the Royals get back into the game.

With a free kick at very close range, Wing punched the ball over the wall into the corner, leaving goalkeeper Max Crocombe hopelessly hanging on his line.

But another defensive calamity allowed Burton to restore their two-goal buffer as the Royals failed to clear their lines and were punished when Kamwa connected with a stunning overhead kick to make it 3-1.

Looking to put in a much better game in the second half, Reading started well as they created a chance for Ben Elliott, who could not keep his shot from the edge of the box down.

Femi Azeez then tried his luck from outside the penalty area, forcing Crocombe to tap the ball over the top for a corner.

Reading’s stronger start paid off when Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan was brought down in the penalty area and the visitors were awarded what was only their second penalty of the entire campaign.

Smith stepped up and converted into the bottom right corner to score his 14th League One goal of the season.

With twenty minutes of the match remaining, Clinton Mola and Michael Craig came on for Harvey Knibbs and Kelvin Abrefa.

On another roll of the dice, with time running out, forward Jayden Wareham replaced Elliott.

However, Reading could not find an equalizer and had to settle for defeat in their final game of the 2023/24 season.

Reading went into the final day at home to Blackpool in 17th place with 50 points.

Burton Albion: Crocombe, Seddon, Hughes, Sweeney, Powell, Harper, Bennett, Maan, Helm Kamwa, Carayol

subtitles: Blackman, Oshilaja, Ola-Adebomi, Gilligan, Scott, Hugill, Nsiala

Reading: Pereira, Abrefa, Bindon, Mbengue, Dorsett, Elliott, Wing, Knibbs, Ehibhatiomhan, Azeez, Smith

subtitles: Button, Mola, Savage, Mukairu, Wareham, Craig, Rushesha

Goals: Bennett 5′, Carayol 11′, Wing 34′, Kamwa 42′, Smith 59′ (pen)