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Brentford came away from the Madejski Stadium with all three points thanks to a couple of stunning goals from Sergi Canos and Ryan Woods and a solid defensive performance against a decent Reading side who pushed the Bees all the way in a pulsating game.

Reading, who were unlucky to lose at Wolves on Boxing Day, came at Brentford from the start, and it was clear we’d have to take whatever chances came our way, so when Ryan Woods smashed home his first goal since joining the club, the hosts were reminded that we hadn’t come down the M4 to just make up the numbers.

Playing on the counter attack suits the Bees, but ball retention at critical phases, and holding the ball up at the sharp end, needs to improve if a serious play-off push is to be successful. Woods, Swift and McEachran were all guilty of stray passes at times, but all three are still learning, or gaining full match fitness, and the flip side is the trio are all a genuine threat coming forwards. It was from Swift’s excellent pass that Canos weaved his magic to seal the victory.

I also think it is unfair to say that Vibe is ineffective playing solo up front, we are top scorers in this division for a reason, and that is because our style of play allows chances to be created from one of any number of players, all of whom contribute massively and all are giving their all right now.

Reading’s equalizer came just before the hour mark thanks to lovely build-up play and a neat one-two on the edge of the area that played Gareth McClearly through – credit where credit’s due – it was the kind of goal we score, and David Button was given no chance.

The goal woke Reading fans from their slumber and the small band of singers close to the away end gave it their best for a while, before Canos’ wonder-goal had them heading for the exits – there seemed to be a lot of extra blue seats dotted around all of a sudden, despite the home team pushing for an equalizer deep into the five minutes of added time.

Reading’s Michael Hector was shown a red card for an obvious dive in the area as the home side became desperate to draw level for the second time.

But it was The Bees who should have wrapped the game up with a third goal when Hofmann surged into the area, before teeing up Alan Judge, whose goal-bound shot was blocked by a great tackle.

But make no mistake, Reading gave Brentford a very stern test, one that we thankfully came through thanks to a couple moments of absolute class and some backs-to-the-wall defending at times… qualities that bode well for the sequence of testing fixtures that are waiting for Dean Smith’s side early in the New Year.

Dave Lane