Fulham and Reading play out fiery playoff draw

Fulham and Reading play out fiery playoff draw

Fulham and Reading play out fiery playoff draw

But they had skipper Paul McShane sent off - meaning the Republic of Ireland global will miss the second leg and the final should Reading get there - while goalscorer Jordan Obita left the field on a stretcher.

The first half was played at a surprisingly hectic pace. "I've seen plenty today to say we can still do it". Reading boss Jaap Stam: "I'm not talking about "advantage Reading". After losing 5-0 at Craven Cottage in December, Reading might have expected to approach this game with caution but instead they pressed Fulham high up the pitch and looked to exploit space behind the defence.

The Whites felt hard done by, claiming McShane had fouled Stefan Johansen in the build-up, but there was no denying the quality of the finish.

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The hosts then created the best chance of the opening period when Scott Malone and Floyd Ayite combined impressively down the left to set up Sone Aluko, who could only drag wide a great opportunity from 10 yards.

The full back was not closed down quickly enough by Ryan Fredericks and drilled a low, angled drive in off the far post. However, Fulham's pressure told 11 minutes later when Cairney headed home a deflected save from Ali Al-Habsi.

That decision became even more crucial when Fulham drew level with 25 minutes remaining.

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The game resumed its pattern of fierce midfield collisions and home protests at some over-zealous defending from the visitors until the moment when McShane lunged at McDonald near the halfway line to gift the Whites an extra man advantage for the final knockings.

Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic also took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the game. That is often the nature of the play-offs, and we may be in for more of the same when the sides contest the return leg in a few days.

"We know what we can do, we are confident in our squad, and Fulham are a very talented team".

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