Huddersfield Town 2-0 Reading: Royals bow out of Championship with defeat to Warnock’s Terriers
READING FC made their final bow in the Championship for at least one season with a defeat to Huddersfield Town on the last day of the season.
A dreadful campaign on the road concluded with a 17th away defeat in 23 games as goals from Josh Koroma and Joseph Hungbo goal gave Huddersfield the points.
With both sides locked in a relegation battle, it could have been a winner takes all affair, however Neil Warnock’s side secured safety last Thursday by beating Sheffield United.
The result means that Reading finish in 22nd, five points away from safety.
On what was a weekend of celebration for one set of Royals, there was nothing to celebrate for Reading FC with their impending relegation to League One, which was confirmed last week.
20-year-old goalkeeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke was handed his first-team debut by interim manager Noel Hunt, while there was a youthful approach on the bench as academy players Mamadi Camara, Kelvin Abrefa, Nelson Abbey and Jack Senga-Ngoyi all took their place in the squad.
Young midfielder Cesare Casadei, on loan from Chelsea, had two early sights of goal.
His first attempt came when a deflected Shane Long shot fell into his path and his header bounced off the post.
He then took aim for around 25 yards with a wild effort that flew over the top.
Boyce-Clarke was called into action for the first time in the match with nearly 30 minutes on the clock when Josh Ruffles glanced a header goalwards that was comfortably taken by the keeper.
In a game that had nothing riding on the result, it looked apparent in the action with neither side doing much to create any clear cut chances.
Boyce-Clarke did well to prevent Huddersfield from snatching the lead when he denied Jordan Rhodes after he almost profited from Naby Sarr’s weak back pass.
The hosts came close to finding a breakthrough just a minute after the restart when Ben Jackson connected sweetly with a strike that went inches wide.
Just moments later, Huddersfield did take the lead through Josh Koroma. Reading got caught trying to play the ball out the back, lost possession and Koroma tucked the ball into the corner with a smart finish.
Former Huddersfield man Naby Sarr picked up the first card of the day when he flew in recklessly on Brahima Diarra and as a result was cautioned.
Tom Lees came a whisker away from doubling Huddersfield’s lead, but Sarr made a miraculous recovery to hook the ball off the line.
A double change from Hunt saw Senga and Abrefa replace Casadei and Junior Hoilett for the final 25 minutes.
Another change saw Scott Dann appear for what could be a final game of his career as he replaced Tom McIntye.
The hosts wrapped up the points with a stunning goal as Joseph Hungbo unleashed an unstoppable strike that flew into the top corner.
Two more changes came as Shane Long departed for what was likely to be his final appearance for the club. He was replaced by Camara, while Nesta Guinness-Walker came on for Andy Yiadom.
A dreadful campaign, particularly away from home, concludes with 44 points from 46 games.
Just 12 of those points were earned away from home in what was a dismal campaign on the road for the Royals who will now be playing in League One in the 2023/24 season.
Huddersfield Town: Nicholls, Pearson, Lees, Helik, Ruffles, Headley, Rudoni, Kasumu, Rhodes, Koroma, Diarra
Subs: Vaclik, Hogg, Hungbo, Edmonds-Green, Jackson, Harratt, Waghorn
Reading: Boyce-Clarke, Mbengue, Holmes, Sarr, Yiadom, McIntyre, Hendrick, Casadei, Hoilett, Azeez, Long
Subs: Lumley, Dann, Guinness-Walker, Camara, Abrefa, Abbey, Senga-Ngoyi
Goals: Koroma 49’, Hungbo 84’