Reading 2 Middlesbrough 0: Karanka frustrated in defeat

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Reading manager Steve Clarke warned his players not to get carried away after their comfortable 2-0 Sky Bet Championship win over Middlesbrough.

A header from Danny Williams, after just 15 seconds, and an 88th-minute penalty from Nick Blackman moved Reading back into third place.

After five wins in six league matches, they are now one position and two points behind the Teessiders in the table.

“That doesn’t really say anything at this stage of the season,” Clarke said. “We’re only just into October and there’s a hell of a long way to go.

“Eighteen points from 10 games is a good return, it’s quite healthy. But there’s no way you can get too carried away in this division because every game is difficult.”

“It was a great start to score in 15 seconds and we’ve made a habit of starting games quickly in recent weeks and getting in front.

“Today was exceptionally quick but it was good for us because it changes the dynamic of the game.”

Reading faced a Boro side on a run of seven successive wins in all competitions - but the hosts were ahead with only 15 seconds on the clock.

Hal Robson-Kanu dazzled on the left flank before crossing deep into the area, Danny Williams timed his run to perfection and powered a header past goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos.

It was the third fastest goal in the Royals’ history - winger Jimmy Kebe scored after nine seconds against West Brom in 2010 and left-back Mark White netted after 12 seconds against York in 1984.

Although Boro quickly recovered their composure, Reading should have 2-0 ahead.

Blackman’s cross was punched weakly by Konstantopoulos and Orlando Sa’s goalbound volley was nodded off the goalline by Daniel Ayala.

Boro responded with a low, well struck free-kick from Stewart Downing before half-time but home goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi, despite being unsighted, made a sprawling save.

Reading controlled most of the second half and missed a series of chances.

Lucas Piazon had a shot blocked, after a smart touch from Blackman, before Blackman nodded wide from an Oliver Norwood corner.

Boro replied with a 30-yard Grant Leadbitter drive, which flew narrowly wide, and a misdirected header from Kike.

However, their fate was sealed two minutes from time when Fernando Amorebieta clumsily felled Blackman in the area, who got up to coolly beat Konstantopoulos for his ninth goal of the season.

Boro boss Aitor Karanka said: “The main thing we had to do was not concede a goal in the first minute but we did - within 20 seconds.

“Reading are a very organised team and we knew that if we conceded a goal, it would be difficult to equalise.

“We have still had a good run but we are disappointed because we wanted to win the eighth, ninth and 10th games in a row.

“I know it is impossible to win every match but’s still frustrating. I don’t know why we started so badly.”

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