Keen: Pompey taunts upset Royals striker

Reading's Nick Blackman celebrates his goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
Reading's Nick Blackman celebrates his goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
Chesterfield's Dion Donuhue Picture: Jason Chadwick

Pompey closing in on Chesterfield ace

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Kevin Keen praised the Fratton Park atmosphere – yet revealed striker Nick Blackman was upset at some of the taunts in his direction.

Reading saw off Paul Cook’s side 2-1 to progress in the Capital One Cup last night.

It was something which was said from within the crowd. I don’t know officially speaking but something was said

Kevin Keen

But Pompey had earlier provided a scare after a stunning first-half goal from Conor Chaplin.

It took Blackman’s 64th-minute finish to level the scores before Garath McCleary’s winner six minutes from full-time.

However, it emerged Blackman spoke to referee Gavin Ward in the first half over comments made from the South Stand.

It prompted the Surrey-based official to talk to several stadium stewards before restarting the match.

Although, afterwards Keen didn’t confirm the exact nature of the comments.

Reading’s assistant manager said: ‘It was a fantastic spectacle for our fans, who were magnificent.

‘There was good banter in the crowd.

‘You know their fans can sing and I thought our supporters put up a really good fight and were magnificent.

‘It is important the supporters get the credit.

‘Nick is slowly looking to be a really good player.

‘We’re doing lots of work with him on his finishing, on his team play and full credit to him.

‘He’s got good skill and he’s a danger whenever there is anything in and around the area on his left foot.

‘Special credit as well because there were a couple of incidents in the first half with the crowd.

‘For that to happen to Nick and for him to come through and respond in the right manner by scoring a goal that put us on the way to a good win, shows you what sort a person he is. So massive credit to him.

‘Something was said from within the crowd. I don’t know officially speaking but something was said.

‘The referee acted really quickly and it was put to bed but the most important thing was Nick reacted in the perfect way by scoring a goal.

‘We take this fantastic competition seriously – and you could see it. It is a difficult place to come and was a great spectacle.

‘Portsmouth made a good contribution to it and our supporters were brilliant.’

For Cook, it represented a first defeat as Pompey boss in his sixth match in charge – in addition to six pre-season first-team friendlies.

Championship-side Reading will now play the winners of Everton and Barnsley at home in the next round of the competition.