By Steven Woodgate
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Substitute Brynjar Gunnarsson scored the only goal of the game to give Reading a deserved win over Barnsley.
Reading played much of the game with ten men as Jimmy Kebe was given a straight red card for lashing out at Barnsley’s defender Dennis Souza.
Ironically, it was Souza’s error that allowed the Royals in. An attempted back pass went straight to Kevin Doyle, who squared to Gunnarsson to slide home.
Barnsley’s goalkeeper Heinze Muller provided heroics as he kept the score line modest.
The game was delayed by 15 minutes after Reading’s team bus broke down on the M1. Fortunately, Steve Coppell was able to agree the delay with Tykes manager Simon Davey and the referee Chris Oliver to allow his player to warm up.
This did not affect Reading as they produced a fine display with Stephen Hunt and Kebe both hitting the post early on.
Later on, Kebe was sent off ten minutes before half time for violent conduct. The Malian and Souza were nudging each other before tempers overflowed and the referee intervened. After the initial talk, Kebe still insisted in shoving the Barnsley defender in front of the referee, leaving him with no choice but to send Kebe off.
After the interval, Ivar Ingamarsson was denied a rare goal as his point blank header was saved from an inspired Muller.
Frustration soon kicked in as Gunnarsson emerged from the bench for striker Noel Hunt.
Coppell decision soon paid off as the Icelander burst through the middle and received a tidy pass from Doyle. Still with plenty to do, he cut inside onto his left foot before driving a shot in after a deflection took it pass Muller.
James Harper looked destined to score late on but his failure to get contact on a Chris Armstrong driven cross left the score 1-0.
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