Simon Cox’s brace helped Reading on their way to a comfortable 3-0 win over Rotherham United at the Madjeski tonight.
Jamie Mackie, who scored the first, created the second with a direct run before sliding in Cox, who finished well past Adam Collin.
And Cox made it 3-0 with a neat turn and finish after Mackie’s strike just before the half-hour mark gave Reading the lead. A low cross into the Millers area was blocked by Kari Arnason but only as far as Mackie, who picked up on the rebound and finished into the corner past Collin.
Collin then redeemed himself with a superb one-handed save to deny Mackie, but he was powerless to stop Oliver Norwood’s free-kick - luckily for the Millers, though, it crashed back off the crossbar.
The Millers had made a decent start to the clash at the Madjeski and Ben Pringle, in particular, was in fine form for the visitors. One of his teasing crosses caused an early problem for Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici, who dropped the ball but recovered to save Paul Green’s shot.
Millers boss Steve Evans handed striker Matt Derbyshire the chance to open his Championship account by naming him in the starting XI at Reading.
Derbyshire, without a league goal since signing for the Millers in the summer, was selected in place of Jonson Clarke-Harris and partnered Alex Revell who played despite sustaining a jaw injury from a high kick against Middlesbrough.
Richard Smallwood came back into midfield, with Paul Taylor the man to make way.
Joe Skarz, available again after a one-match ban, replaced Kirk Broadfoot at left-back while Jordan Bowery, after the club’s appeal against his red card against Boro was successful today, was on the bench.
Reading included striker Glenn Murray, on loan from Premier League Crystal Palace, and former West Ham and QPR centre-half Anton Ferdinand, who was taken off at half time.
The home side went into the match having lost four of their last five games.
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Kelly, Ferdinand, Pearce, Norwood, Cox, Obita, Mackie, Murray, Williams. Subs: Robson-Kanu, Hector, Akpan, Blackman, Taylor, Anderson, Cooper.
Rotherham United: Collin, Richardson, Morgan, Arnason, Skarz, Frecklington, Smallwood, Green, Pringle, Revell, Derbyshire. Subs: Loach, Broadfoot, Bowery, Milsom, Swift, Taylor, Clarke-Harris.