News and Views

Leeds Cruise To Straight Forward Win

12 March 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Taking on Leeds looking for three points to go top of the league with a team significantly weakened by injuries presented a severe test of character and resilience for The Royals, and although losing by three goals at home is never a good thing, with so many key players missing, and teams around Reading also losing, it made little difference to the relegation battle. In fact to get this fixture out of the way without losing ground on their immediate rivals was not a bad outcome for The Royals. Leeds had the game won by half time with three well taken goals and for a while it looked like Reading were heading for an even bigger defeat than Theresa May. United however could afford to keep something back for their bigger battle against third placed Sheffield United on Saturday, and with a better second half performance Reading limited the damage to their goal difference.
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Royals Climb Table With Dramatic Late Win

09 March 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

The course of a game, or even a season, can often hinge on a single moment, and in the sixty-ninth minute of this dramatic home win for Reading, we witnessed one of those moments. An astonishing save from Martinez prevented Powell from scoring from close range when the Wigan forward met a perfect low cross from Massey. Had he converted the chance it would have given Wigan a two goal lead and put the result beyond doubt. Having been guilty of careless distribution which led to Wigan's second goal, Martinez made amends with his outstanding save which arguably gave a Reading a lift, at a crucial point in the game sparking a revival which turned the game in their favour. Whether or not that was the case we can't be sure, but it certainly kept Reading in the game.

Encouraged by some extremely weak refereeing by Andy Davies, Wigan attempted to bully Reading, disrupt play, and waste time at every opportunity but ultimately justice was served in a fitting manner. With a couple of minutes of normal time remaining Reece James went down and lay motionless as if suffering a serious head injury. Judging by the way he miraculously 'recovered' so quickly his reaction was somewhat exaggerated. His intention was clearly to run down the clock. The fact that it also halted a promising attack for Reading was, from Wigan's point of view, a bonus. It backfired horribly for them when, from the resulting drop ball, Barrow received the ball some thirty yards out and drilled a magnificent equaliser past Jones. Reading now had the upper hand and in the seventh minute of stoppage time (mainly accumulated through Wigan's time wasting) Meite headed home powerfully from a corner to complete an exhilarating comeback. The Madjeski Stadium was in a state of euphoria the like of which had not been experienced for very long time. Jose Gomes and Meite were booked for their celebrations, but I don't think anyone cared at that point.
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Reading Fail To Hold On Against Rotherham

23 February 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading paid the price for their over cautious approach to this crucial match against fellow strugglers Rotherham. A golden opportunity to move three points clear of the drop zone was squandered in attempting to hold on to a narrow one goal lead, as once again the Royals failed to hold on to a lead and conceded late in the game. United rely almost exclusively on set plays from free-kicks, corners, and long throw-ins to create scoring opportunities. Reading's second half tactics played right into their hands. Sitting back simply provided Rotherham with more opportunities to launch more high balls into the Reading box and almost predictably a chance fell to Ajayi eleven minutes from the end, who scored from close range when the ball dropped to him from a Robertson header at the far post. It could have got even worse for Reading when Newell shot narrowly wide in stoppage time after a late flurry of chances were wasted by the Royals. This was not a disastrous result for Reading but a worrying performance nonetheless.
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Reading Out Of Bottom Three With Dramatic Win

13 February 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

An outstanding finish from Nelson Oliveira gave Reading the win they desperately needed as they climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time since Boxing Day. Rovers dominated possession in the first half, flooding the midfield and stifling any attempts by the Royals to play their passing game. Then in stoppage time a penetrative run and pass by Yiadom found Swift in the box, who shifted the ball out of his feet and squeezed the ball past 'keeper Raya inside the far post.

Reading came out for the second half on the front foot and, with Meite replacing Aluko, looked a far more potent attacking force. Inside the last ten minutes Bell broke through on the left and levelled the scores giving Reading fans that familiar sinking feeling. Rovers were in the ascendency and sensed they might even push on to take all three points. Oliveira had other ideas, and when Swift's excellent long ball found him deep in the Rovers half he ran at the visitors defence, cut inside the centre back, and hammered the ball past Raya. The Madejski Stadium erupted as the home fans acclaimed what proved to be the winning goal.
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