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5 May 2017

IN a game that didn't mean much to either team it was Reading who came out on top to secure a third-placed finish.

Nigel Clough made two changes to the team that drew 1-1 with Barnsley last Saturday. Will Miller and Cauley Woodrow were called up as Tom Flanagan dropped to the bench and Lasse Christensen dropped out of the squad.

Stephen Bywater has been in fine form since replacing Jon McLaughlin after Albion's number one picked up an injury, and he did well to tip over Joseph Mendes' header early on - but Reading capitalised from the corner that was won as a result of the save. Albion failed to deal with a bouncing ball inside the area and Mendes was alive to it to get the ball over the line.

Despite Albion being much the better side in the first half it was Reading who took their chances and a second goal came from Jordan Obita 21 minutes in. The winger picked up the ball in a wide position and curled the ball towards goal which evaded everybody and crossed the line via the help of Bywater's right-hand post.

With one minute added onto the first 45 Reading tried to make the most of it as Mendes went clear through on goal but his shot was dragged wide.

HT: Burton Albion FC 0-2 Reading FC

No changes at half time for the Brewers, but a second goal for Will Miller this season was the depth of the crossbar away as he curled a shot at Ali Al-Habsi but the Reading stopper pulled off a brilliant save to tip his effort onto the bar.

Michael Kightly joined the Brewers in January and has certainly contributed to important results this season. He was replaced by Lloyd Dyer just after the hour mark.

The visitors added a third goal 19 minutes into the second half as Yann Kermogrant fired home from inside the box after the ball was pulled back from the byline by Roy Beerens.

Joe Sbarra has had a wonderful season with the youth team which earned him his Brewers debut on the final day of the season. He replaced Luke Murphy.

Ben Turner has waited all season to score his first goal in a Brewers shirt, and he hasn't come closer than he did on the opening day of the season, but his patience paid off and on 69 minutes the central defender tapped home Lloyd Dyer's cross.

The Brewers fight-back was on, with just under 20 minutes to play. Joe Sbarra drove into the box and was brought down for what looked like a penalty which wasn't given but Will Miller picked up the stray ball before crossing into the box where Cauley Woodrow was waiting to head home.

Reading killed the game off with six minutes to play as Kermogrant's header rattled the bar before Lewis Grabban fired into the top corner from inside the box.

FT: Burton Albion FC 2-4 Reading FC

Attendance: 6,264

Ash's man of the match: Will Miller

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