3,900 Aston Villa supporters made the trip down the M40 for tonight’s Championship fixture against Reading despite the 3-0 drumming the weekend.
Steve Bruce made four changes from the side that started the weekend with Richie De Laet, Birkir Bjarnason, Conor Hourihane and Andre Green all coming into the starting line up.
It was the away side who come close first when Green was denied on 5 minutes when his shot from outside the box was saved by Reading keeper Vito Mannone.
After 14 minutes the Royals finally conjured up a chance of their own when Modou Barrow finds Tyler Blackett on the outside of the box but his left footed shot goes wide to the right.
A few minutes later the home side comes close again. Once again Barrow assists but this time it’s former Chelsea midfielder John Swift who sees his right footed shot went wide to the left.
Reading began to dominate possession but most of it was in their own half not causing much threat to Bruce’s men.
On the half hour mark, Scott Hogan went off with an injury and was replaced by Gabriel Agbonlahor who was originally dropped from the weekend.
Villa had a penalty shout just before half time when Hourihane swung in a free-kick from just inside the Reading half and Green appeared to have been brought down by Paul McShane but the referee awarded a free kick to the home side.
A pretty dull half which would have no doubt seen Steve Bruce be reasonably happy but the travelling Villa supporters would have wanted to see more in the second half.
A disastrous start to the second half as Reading took the lead almost straight away from kick off. De Laet give the ball away on the half way line which allowed Popa to break down the left and when he shoots, his shot deflects off Glenn Whelan who has come over to cover and the ball loops over Johnstone in the Villa goal.
Reading doubled their lead throw Barrow after 55 minutes. Liam Kelly fires a corner to the edge of the box where Swift was waiting, who passes to Moore who then steers the ball towards goal for Barrow to score from two yards out.
Villa tries to come back through Green who wiggles his way down the left and tries to curl one into the top corner but his effort goes wide.
The travelling faithful began to make their feelings known as they begin to chant ‘Sacked in the morning’ towards Bruce.
With 15 minutes left to play, Villa finally woke up and enjoyed a spell of pressure ending in Bjarnason shooting from inside the box but he sees it go wide. He claims for a corner but the referee was having none of it.
With 3 minutes left to play Villa get one foot back in the game. Bjarnason plays Albert Adomah down the line, he crosses and finds Agbonlahor who in turn chests it down for Hourihane to smash into the back of the net.
On the 90th minute, Villa is awarded a free kick. Hourihane crosses it into the box but Bjarnason can only head it to the left side of the post.
Villa’s run of failing to win in 2017 without Mile Jedinak continues.