Reading 1 Hull City 1: Slutsky struggles to analyse Tigers' away form

Reading escaped with a 1-1 Championship draw from a dour contest with Hull thanks to an 87th-minute equaliser from Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.
ON TARGET: Fraizer Campbell grabbed a first-half goal for Hull City. Picture Tony Johnson.ON TARGET: Fraizer Campbell grabbed a first-half goal for Hull City. Picture Tony Johnson.
ON TARGET: Fraizer Campbell grabbed a first-half goal for Hull City. Picture Tony Johnson.

Hull appeared on course for their first away league win in 13 months when Fraizer Campbell put them ahead shortly before the half-hour mark, until substitute Bodvarsson drilled home a fierce late leveller.

Sebastian Larsson had nearly extended Hull’s 1-0 lead earlier at Madejski Stadium when he struck the crossbar from a free-kick.

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Hull have endured a frustrating spell on their travels and are still without an away league win for 13 months.

“It is very difficult to analyse,” Hull head coach Leonid Slutsky said. “We were very close to winning this match and we need a win [away from home] like fresh air.

“Everybody is very disappointed because we had more chances to win and we controlled the match.

“We had clear chances, we hit the bar from a free-kick and it is really difficult to take.

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“We worked very hard and we had patience as well. We just need to win and we will wait for that win to come.

“We conceded the goal after we had gone on the attack and we lost the ball.

“Is not winning away a mental problem? Yes, maybe. But a mental problem is difficult to research or change.”

After 15 matches unbeaten at home in all competitions, Reading had lost two in a row - 1-0 against Bristol City in the league and 2-0 against Swansea in the Carabao Cup third round on Tuesday.

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Hull, after relegation from the Premier League and a summer of extensive squad rebuilding, have struggled to adapt to life in the second tier.

They went into the match without a win in three outings but made an encouraging start, with midfielder Jackson Irvine to the fore, as they pushed the home side back into their own half.

Reading gradually eased their way into the game, mainly through the lively threat of Sone Aluko on the right flank.

A deep cross from Aluko caused problems for the Hull defence but there was no team-mate at the far post to take advantage.

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Reading continued to press and, from a Liam Kelly corner, fashioned the first real chance of the match. Unmarked centre-back Liam Moore rose high to nod goalwards but his attempt was held comfortably by Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

Hull resumed control, with Jarrod Bowen going close with a cross-cum-shot from wide out on the right.

But the visitors went in front in the 28th minute, when Campbell ran on to Larsson’s fine through-ball and calmly placed his shot past home goalkeeper Vito Mannone.

Reading responded swiftly with a piercing run from Roy Beerens but Aluko was unable to make telling contact on his cross and the opportunity went begging.

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Jeered at half-time by sections of their fans, Reading showed more intent in the early stages of the second period - but they could find no way through.

Hull almost increased their lead on two occasions. First, Larsson struck the bar with a superb 20-yard free kick that Mannone barely saw, then - from another Larsson free kick, this time wildly deflected - Mannone had to scurry across his line to make a scrambling stop.

Hull retreated thereafter, content to hang on to their slender lead, but Reading snatched a point three minutes from the end.

Aluko fed Bodvarsson and the Iceland striker finished from an acute angle with an excellent drive past McGregor.