- West Brom vs Reading

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Saturday 22 September 2012 | The Hawthorns | Referee: Chris Foy | Attendance 23,854

West Brom
  • Romelu Lukaku (71)
West Brom
1 - 0

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Match report

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West Bromwich Albion coach Steve Clarke replaced Shane Long with Romelu Lukaku to lead his attack and was rewarded when the Belgium striker struck a second-half winner in a 1-0 victory against Reading at The Hawthorns.

But it needed the second-half introduction of Long against his former side to tee up the winner for on-loan Chelsea striker Lukaku in his first Barclays Premier League start for the Baggies. Victory enabled Albion to complete a trio of wins in their opening three home fixtures of a top-flight campaign for the first time in 58 years.

It leaves Reading still searching for their first win since returning to the Barclays Premier League and West Brom keeper Ben Foster was largely untroubled throughout the 90 minutes.

Albion started brightly and Reading defender Chris Gunter had to react quickly to cut out a Lukaku flick-on intended for Chris Brunt. Lukaku skipped past the challenge of Kaspars Gorkss and drilled a dangerous low ball across the box but Danny Guthrie was alert to the situation.

Brunt produced the first serious attempt on goal with Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy turning his low 25-yard drive around a post at full stretch.

Reading threatened when Gareth McCleary’s powerful overhead kick flew straight at Foster. Lukaku continued to pose problems and McCarthy tipped away a floated cross at full stretch aimed at Brunt at the far post.

Albion looked the more likely to score and Morrison found space in the area after exchanging passes with Zoltan Gera but he scuffed his shot across the face of goal. The Scotland winger seemed in two minds whether to shoot or pass when he got in behind the Reading defence and his chip was too high for Lukaku.

The nearest either side came to scoring in that period came at the end of the first half when Albion defender Jonas Olsson’s header hit the angle of bar and post from a Brunt corner.

Albion continued on the offensive after the break with Gera having a shot charged down. McCarthy had to be alert to push aside a fierce dipping volley from Morrison as West Brom looked the more likely to break the deadlock.

Former Albion defender Nicky Shorey floated a free-kick wide in his first start since rejoining Reading during the summer.

Long was introduced after 65 minutes and six minutes later he had played his part in the winner against a side he spent six seasons with. Another substitute, Graham Dorrans, floated a ball into the area that was knocked by back by Long to Lukaku who steadied himself before driving a low shot past the dive of McCarthy.

Reading tried to respond and substitute Hal Robson-Kanu peeled off at the far post and got on the end of a McCleary cross, but his header landed on the roof of the net and the home side saw out time in the closing stages.

Fan Rating

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Line-up All Fans BFR
1. Ben Foster - -
28. Billy Jones - -
6. Liam Ridgewell - -
23. Gareth McAuley - -
3. Jonas Olsson - -
22. Zoltán Gera - -
7. James Morrison - -
5. Claudio Yacob - -
21. Youssuf Mulumbu - -
11. Chris Brunt - -
20. Romelu Lukaku - -
Substitutes All Fans BFR
8. Markus Rosenberg - -
25. Craig Dawson - -
9. Shane Long - -
32. Marc-Antoine Fortuné - -
17. Graham Dorrans - -
13. Boaz Myhill - -
18. Gonzalo Jara - -
Line-up All Fans BFR
21. Alex McCarthy - -
3. Nicky Shorey - -
5. Alex Pearce - -
17. Kaspars Gorkss - -
2. Chris Gunter - -
12. Garath McCleary - -
8. Mikele Leigertwood - -
11. Jobi McAnuff - -
20. Danny Guthrie - -
9. Adam Le Fondre - -
7. Pavel Pogrebnyak - -
Substitutes All Fans BFR
6. Adrian Mariappa - -
24. Shaun Cummings - -
41. Stuart Taylor - -
10. Noel Hunt - -
19. Hal Robson-Kanu - -
4. Jem Karacan - -
18. Simon Church - -

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