Match Report: 2009/2010 Season

27 March 2010: CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: Sigurdsson (6 mins).
West Brom: Tamas (86 mins).
Half Time: 1-0
Attendance: 20,515

Pos Team P Pts GD
10 Sheff Utd 40 54 +2
11 READING 38 52 -2
12 Coventry 40 52 -8
Reading: Federici, Mills, Griffin, Bertrand, Khizanishvili, McAnuff, Howard, Kebe, Sigurdsson, Gunnarsson (Rasiak, 88), Long (Church, 65). Subs not used: Hamer, Pearce, Henry, Karacan, Robson-Kanu.
West Brom: Carson, Tamas, Olsson, Mattock, Thomas, Watson, Morrison (Cox, 77), Dorrans, Reid, Mulumbu ( Miller, 62), Wood (Barnes, 62). Subs not used: Kiely, Moore, Zuiverloon, Meite.
Reading: Bertrand, Griffin, Mills, Sigurdsson.
West Brom: Reid, Watson.
Ref: A P D'Urso (Essex)
Reading fans left the Madejski slightly disappointed, but far from despondent, after seeing their team concede a late equaliser to an Albion side also on top form and destined for another season in the Premiership. Reading took an early lead in a rousing first half in which both sides played open attacking football although Reading created the better scoring opportunities. Albion took control of the second half but again Reading had better scoring opportunities. Poor finishing cost them two points in the end but overall it was another fine performance from the Royals as their unbeaten run now extends to seven games.

The first half was fast and flowing with both sides looking likely to score. Reading took the lead after only six minutes when a McAnuff shot was parried by Carson, Kebe followed up and his shot was again blocked before Sigurdsson tucked it away from close range. It is worth noting that when the goal was scored Reading had at least five players in the box queuing up to score. The work ethic of the team was an outstanding feature of the first half. When they broke forward players were making runs and swarming all over their opponents, and when they lost the ball Albion were stifled as Reading chased and closed them down all over the pitch. A lesser side than Albion would have crumbled. Albion were also looking dangerous and Federici had to make a couple of very good saves. Sigurdsson should have doubled the lead when a Howard shot was well saved and the ball popped up on the edge of the goal area, but with the goal at his mercy Gylfi headed the ball straight at the defender on the line. Thomas was giving Griffin a torrid time with his pace and skipped past him on at least three occasions in the opening fifteen minutes. The full back eventually decided enough was enough and clattered him a couple of times before settling down and keeping him quiet legally by getting much tighter, having realised that once he had turned, Thomas was going to leave him for dead with his pace. A goal up and playing bright inventive football, and not for the first time since Christmas, Reading left the field at half time to a standing ovation.

The second half was much more subdued as Albion took control and Reading had to work hard to keep them at bay. As the game wore on Reading fans seemed to sense a victory but in truth the game was on a knife edge throughout and it felt as if either side were likely to score at any moment. Midway through the half Church replaced Long presumably to freshen up the attack, not that Long had played badly, and he should have scored almost immediately when he beat the offside trap, but his first touch was poor and although he reached the ball before Carson he was only able to prod it wide. This was followed by a string of dubious decisions by the referee's assistant given in Albion's favour for offside and an absolute howler of a decision over a clear foul throw which lead unfortunately to the equaliser. From the throw Albion attacked and won a corner. Olsson headed the corner against the post and Tamas smashed in the rebound. There were only six minutes left and the Baggies fans celebrated as if they had just won promotion. They were soon silenced as Kebe burst through rounded and Carson but had his shot blocked by the 'keeper who recovered well. The drama was not over as Dorrans broke through and had sight of goal before Sigurdsson cynically brought him down on the edge of the box. He received a yellow card as the Albion players sportingly hounded Andy D'Urso demanding a red card, which some referee's might have given but not the incompetent Mr D'Urso. I am in no way condoning foul play but another important feature of the McDermott era is the determination to win which today was evident in the number of yellow cards dished out to Reading players for what are euphemistically known as 'professional fouls'. Not only are Reading entertaining to watch now - they are also hard to beat.
John Wells

Not quite robbed , but almost . A referee and a linesman so bad they should be struck off somehow manged to miss a foul throw as the West Brom player vaulted the ad hoarding and while in the air throw the ball , unbelievable and that led to the corner and their goal , just four minutes from time , gutted , but , Reading should have been at least three up by then after the wonderful Siggy missed a header from one yard and Church missed a golden one on one . However as the tease of the play offs continue , let's just take a breath and look how far we've come in such a short time since January . West Brom won't have a harder game all season to see them celebrate at the end as thought they'd drawn with the top club not Reading shows how far we have come . To be fair to West Brob they helped make this a wonderful advert for football and both teams gave all and produced a great game , though Feds was not really troubled apart from a couple of great saves early on. We played really really well and every man in a hooped shirt gave his all , 110 % , you cannot as a fan ask anymore . Well played Reading , Kebe , Siggy , Mills , Borat , McAnuff and Bertrand had great games and the club must start looking to sign some of these loanees . The buzz is back at the Mad Stad , the good times are back , if we keep the squad next season the future bodes very well and very exciting , I've not given up on the play offs miracle but do feel we're all dreaming and will wake up soon , probably just a tad short , but who knows .....we're back UURRRZZZ
Nick Newbury

Talk about a one sided report! No mention of the TWO stone wall penalties not given in Albion's favour and the fact that Reading should have been down to 10 men when Dorrans was chopped down. Yes it was a good game and Reading did have the better chances but to suggest Albion did not deserve a draw is wide of the mark. To complain we got a throw in when we should not have is laughable. Griffin kicked Thomas off the park and the challenges on Dorrans and Giles belong in a pub league. Yes we did celebrate with the equalizer and at the end.....but we had been passionately supporting our team all match. We don't just watch, we participate and are passionate fans, always have been always will be.
Baggie Dave Kingswinford

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A late leveller from Gabriel Tamas salvaged a point for promotion-chasing West Brom as Reading maintained their impressive home form. Gylfi Sigurdsson converted a Ryan Bertrand pass to give Reading a sixth-minute lead, putting the Royals on course for a seventh home win in a row. But with four minutes left, Tamas found the top left-hand corner with an effort from the edge of the penalty box.

Reading boss Brian McDermott:
"We needed to get the second goal and we couldn't quite, but they are a class outfit and will be in the Premier League next season. They will be delighted to get a point. Anybody who comes to the Madejski has got to do well to get anything. In 2010 we have not been beaten here in the league and we are really enjoying playing here. I don't see the point in talking about the play-offs. The only thing we can do now is see what happens against Ipswich."

BBC Sport