Football

Baba Rahman sees yellow again as Reading floor Middlesbrough in close battle

The 27-year-old Black Star pulled off another solid display alongside Nigeria’s Tom Dele-Bashiru and help the Royals past Boro

Ghana international Abdul Baba Rahman produced another impressive display as Reading needed a second-half goal to sink Middlesbrough 1-0 in an EFL Championship fixture on Saturday.

The 27-year-old left-back, who joined the Royals on loan from Chelsea during transfer deadline day, put up a solid display at the back alongside Nigeria’s Tom Dele-Bashiru as they scored through Alen Halilovic in the 56th minute to carry the day at Madejski Stadium.

This was a fourth appearance for Rahman since he had also featured in matches against Queens Park Rangers, Petersborough, Fulham, and now Middlesbrough.

It was Reading, who started the game on a high note, and in the 14th minute, a sweeping move initiated by Dele-Bashiru found the in-form John Swift free in the box but his final effort did not trouble Middlesbrough goalkeeper Joe Lumley.

Reading went closer once again in the 24th minute as former Chelsea defender Danny Drinkwater threaded passes with Dele-Bashiru but keeper Lumley came out quickly to take the ball away.

With four minutes left to the half-time break, Rahman started a move from the left side and set up Swift, whose thunderous effort was stopped by the post for a goal-kick.

Reading were forced to wait until the 55th minute when Swift reacted quickly to move the ball into the danger zone and then spotted Halilovic, who was unmarked, and then set up him for the goal.

However, in the 80th minute, Rahman was yellow carded after he bundled down Toyosi Olusanya in an effort to stop Middlesbrough’s quick counter-attack.

Three minutes later, Rahman linked up well with Junior Hoilett but the latter’s effort from the edge of the box went inches wide.

In the 86th minute, Boro were reduced to 10-men after Matt Crooks made a needlessly late lunge at Royals goalie Luke Southwood as he smothered the ball, and the tackle forced the referee to reach to his pocket and send him for an early shower.

During Reading’s 2-1 win against Fulham, Rahman was also yellow-carded after his shoulder-to-shoulder challenge with Nathaniel Chalobah.

Meanwhile, Kenya international defender Clarke Oduor came on as a second-half substitute as Barnsley suffered a 1-0 defeat against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.

Oduor came on for Dominik Frieser in the 46th minute and at that time Blackpool had scored what turned out to be the winner courtesy of Shayne Lavery in the 32nd minute.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Republic of Congo goalkeeper Brice Samba failed to keep a clean sheet as Nottingham Forest were held to a 1-1 draw by Millwall at City Ground.

The 27-year-old was beaten by Matt Smith in the 32nd minute before Max Lowe levelled for his side in the 52nd minute.

Another DR Congo player Benik Afobe was introduced by Millwall in the 69th minute for Connor Mahoney and ended up being booked for a foul.

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