Veljko Paunovic’s Reading strengthened their grip on fifth place in the Sky Bet Championship table as they defeated Blackburn Rovers 1-0 at the Madejski Stadium.
A goal from George Puscas in the 23rd minute following a spell out on the sidelines was enough for the Berkshire outfit to secure a vital three points in the race for promotion, whilst further extending Blackburn’s winless run to seven games.
It was far from a vintage display from the Royals who for a large part of the match had to contend with wave after wave of Blackburn attacks.
The Royals nearly made the perfect start with just two minutes on the clock after some great work from Andy Yiadom down the right saw him whip in a pin-point cross straight onto the head of Puscas, but his header was saved smartly by Kaminksi.
Following that early opportunity for the hosts it was Blackburn who enjoyed more of the ball and they were patient in their build-up play but despite dominating the possession, they struggled to muster up any clear-cut chances.
Roves were nearly made to pay for not making the most of the possession as just after 15 minutes, the lively Puscas span on the half-way line and spotted Kaminski off his line – the Romanian shot first time and was only half a yard over the bar, with the Rovers goalkeeper scrambling back into position.
The deadlock was broken by the home side though in the 23rd minute and it was Puscas who opened the scoring.
Liverpool loanee Harvey Elliott lost possession on the edge of the Rovers box and was intercepted by Lucas Joao who had a clear run on goal, but unselfishly, he played in strike partner Puscas who slammed it beyond Kaminski.
Blackburn’s first real attempt on goal came ten minutes before half-time as Brereton wriggled past a couple of less-than-convincing challenges down the left before shooting wide of the mark.
The second half was not jam-packed with chances but it was the away side who enjoyed more possession of the ball, and Ben Brereton looked like the man who could muster up a goal for Rovers.
Tony Mowbray’s side had a chance to level proceedings ten minutes from time as the aforementioned Brereton cut inside and unleashed a shot but Rafael saved well to his right, and Ryan Nyambe couldn’t capitalise as he sliced the follow-up wide.
The Royals sat deep as Rovers continued to launch attack after attack, but the Royals’ rearguard stood firm.
Adam Armstrong had a good chance at the end to level the scoreline but he could only hook his effort on goal from a Barry Douglas cross wide.
The Royals now sit on 57 points, four points clear of Cardiff City in sixth.