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Penalty woes for Reading

Despite Reading scoring 63 league goals this season, the Royals are yet to score from the penalty spot. Selles’ side has been awarded just one penalty this season, whether that is down to decisions going against them or a lack of adventurous dribbles in the penalty area is up for interpretation.


The only penalty that the Royals have won this League One campaign came in mid-August against Port Vale. Nesta Guinness-Walker drove into the box, nutmegging Nathan Smith, before cutting in on his weaker right foot just level with the penalty spot. A lazy challenge Dan Jones tripped Guinness-Walker, leaving referee Peter Wright with the easy decision of pointing to the spot.


Experienced striker, Andy Carroll stepped up to take the spot kick having scored five out of the six he had taken in his career, including three from three for Reading. The Englishmen placed his penalty out into Connor Ripley’s bottom right corner; however, his shot was at a comfortable height for the keeper who was able to palm it around the post. Reading went on to lose that game 1-0, with Ben Garrity scoring the game’s only goal.


Coincidence or not, both Guinness-Walker and Carroll have now left the club and no penalty has been awarded since.


Unsurprisingly, that leaves Reading joint-bottom in terms of penalties awarded in League One, level with Shrewsbury. The Shrews also failed to convert their only penalty; it came against Derby in October and Tom Bayliss sent it over the bar.


As the situation has not yet arisen, we are not to know who is currently Reading’s first-choice penalty taker. Sam Smith seems the obvious choice as the Royals leading scorer with 13 league goals this season. The striker boasts a 100% penalty record so far in his career, scoring four out of four – all coming for Cambridge United.


However, the Royals have twice been awarded penalties in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy, one against Arsenal U21s and one against Swindon Town. Harvey Knibbs stepped for the one against Swindon, scoring into the bottom left corner. However, Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan had his spot kick saved by Arsenal U21 keeper Ovie Ejeheri, low to his left.

 With just two games remaining of the season it is unlikely we see the Royals awarded another penalty this season, however, weirder things have happened!

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