Reading FC Latest News And Rumours

Hob Nob Anyone? News
January 2003 - March 2003

Royals Sign Little On Loan
Added by HNA? on 27/03/03
Reading have confirmed the signing of Burnley's winger Glen Little on loan until the end of the season. Little signs today and will be available to the Royals for the remainder of the season - including any play-off games Reading feature in. Little signed for Burnley in November 1996 for 100,000 from Glentoran and has stayed at the club ever since. During his time at Burnley he has made well over 200 appearances including 178 league starts and scored 33 goals in competitive fixtures. Little started his professional career at Crystal Palace in 1994 but failed to make a first team start before his move to Glentoran a year later.
Rumour Rating: Definite

Ten Man Royals Earn Away Win
Added by HNA? on 23/03/03
Reading made it eleven away league wins in the season so far - the best performance of any side in the Division - with a 1-0 victory at Bradford City on Saturday. Reading were reduced to ten men just before the half time break when Nathan Tyson was sent off for his second bookable offence, but Nicky Forster secured the win midway through the second half with the only goal of the game. Tyson had a big involvement in the first half as Reading enjoyed the best of the game by looking far the most dangerous side. Tyson forced a couple of good saves out of the City goalkeeper and put a shot just over the crossbar before he received his marching orders from the referee. Reading were putting togther some decent football which allowed Forster to nearly put Reading ahead before half time with a shot that hit the crossbar. After the half-time break Bradford City threatened to get into the game against ten man Reading but after a couple of shots it was Reading that looked the most likely. John Salako had a chance to put Reading ahead before Nicky Forster was gifted a goal just after the hour mark. A poor back pass from the home side saw the defence fail to deal with it and the ball was put into the path of Nicky Forster who raced into the box to take full advantage and drive it past the keeper. Reading's win saw them pull back to nine points clear within the play-off positions and go another massive leap in confirming a play-off finish to the season.

  • Bradford City 0 Reading 1
  • Latest Division One Table
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Preston Game Postponed
    Added by HNA? on 19/03/03
    Reading's home game against Preston North End, scheduled to take place on Saturday 29 March 2003 has been postponed due to Preston's international call-ups. Four of Preston's side are expected to feature in the International games taking place that weekend, which has led to the visitors requesting the game to be moved. A new date has already been agreed - the game will now kick-off at 20:00 at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday 15 April. The fixture change leaves Reading with just one fixture remaining for the rest of March - Saturday's away trip to Bradford City. April will see six matches for the Royals, including four home fixtures.

  • Updated Fixture List
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Ipswich Close In On Reading
    Added by HNA? on 18/03/03
    Reading were defeated 1-3 by play-off rivals Ipswich Town tonight at Portman Road. The defeat saw the gap between Reading and the edge of the play-off positions reduced to seven points, with Ipswich moving to just two points behind Nottingham Forest who currently hold sixth place in the table. Other results saw Sheffield United win at home against Brighton to move above the Royals and push Reading back down into fourth place. Norwich City also picked up three points in the group of teams attempting to close in on the play-off places as the season approaches its final run in. Leicester City moved clear of Reading with another win, which effectively ended Reading's outside hopes of an automatic play-off place - it's now time to concentrate on finishing in sixth position or above. Reading's disappointing night got off to the worst possible start against Ipswich when they went a goal behind inside the opening thirty seconds when a free-kick was headed home. The Royals started to get right back into the game and could have pulled level when Hughes hit the crossbar, but a few minutes later and Nicky Forster did make it 1-1 from his second attempt at beating the keeper. The home side regained the lead before the break from another free-kick, and there was no way back into the game when Viveash was sent off into the second half for reacting when the ball was kicked away. Ipswich sealed their win with twenty minutes left to play, making it 1-3 and three defeats from five games for the Royals.

  • Ipswich Town 3 Reading 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Williams To Miss Ipswich Trip
    Added by HNA? on 17/03/03
    Reading central defender Adrian Williams looks set to miss the trip to play-off contenders Ipswich Town tomorrow night due to injury. Williams was expected to be fit for the tie but hasn't travelled up to Ipswich with the squad according to reports from the club. He'll be expected back when the Royals visit Bradford City on Saturday. Meanwhile John Mackie starts his three match ban and will be unavailable to face Ipswich, Bradford or Preston (should the game take place as scheduled). The Preston game could still be moved due to international call-ups, but this is yet to be confirmed.

  • Ipswich Town -v- Reading - Match Preview
    Rumour Rating: Likely

    New Watford Game Date Confirmed
    Added by HNA? on 17/03/03
    The new date for the away fixture at Watford has been confirmed as Wednesday 30 April, with a 7:45pm kick-off. The game was moved from it's original date of 12 April due to Watford's continued involvement in the FA Cup. The game will now be the penultimate game of the league campaign with the Royals ending the regular league season with the visit to Stoke City on the final Saturday. Reading have just nine league games remaining - starting with the trip to Ipswich Town tomorrow night. This is followed by the trip to Bradford City on Saturday before a run of three straight league fixtures as Reading look to confirm their position in the play-offs before the end of the season.

  • Updated Fixture List

    Rumour Rating: Definite

    West Ham Turn Down Di Canio Bid
    Added by HNA? on 17/03/03
    West Ham United have turned down Reading's approach to sign Di Canio on a short-term loan. Alan Pardew approached the Premiership side after the player had reported differences with the management at the Hammers. Di Canio is reported to be unhappy about his exclusion from the starting line-up after being substituted just after half-time during the visit to West Bromwich Albion three weeks ago. Reading hoped to secure Di Canio's services this week but West Ham have turned down the bid saying that Di Canio still has a part to play at West Ham this season as they battle against relegation.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Royals To Sign Di Canio
    Added by HNA? on 17/03/03
    The BBC are reporting that Reading are set to secure the loan signing of Italian superstar Paolo Di Canio from Premiership West Ham United. The player, who has attracted nearly 6 million pounds worth of transfer fees after moving from Milan to West Ham via Celtic and Sheffied Wednesday, could be set to join this week after returning from injury treatment in Italy. The player has reported to have fallen out with the management at West Ham United after being dropped from the side and having disagreements over injury treatment. Di Canio was quoted in the press about being unhappy with his position at West Ham before departing to Italy to recover from a virus. The problems have caused Di Canio to look for possibilities outside West Ham as the season draws towards an end. Di Canio signed for Sheffield Wednesday in the summer of 1997 for 3 million pounds from Celtic and made 39 starts before moving to West Ham for nearly 2 million in January 1999. His West Ham United career has seen him make well over 100 starts for the side and score exactly 50 goals.The loan could be for just a month and Reading FC are prepared to pay his massive wages in order to pull in some capacity crowds as Reading continue their run into the play-offs. West Ham United and Di Canio himself are yet to comment on the possibility of the loan move going ahead.
    Rumour Rating: Likely

    Late Goal Seals Win Over Palace
    Added by HNA? on 15/03/03
    A goal deep into injury time gave Reading a deserved victory over Crystal Palace at the Madejski Stadium this afternoon. Despite an excellent second half performance from the Royals the points looked set to be shared after Palace had earlier come from behind to pull level. After a goalless first half, Reading took the lead with less than half an hour left to play when a free-kick was won right on the edge of the Palace area. Forster nudged the ball back to Steve Brown who drove it in past the wall and low into the back of the net for his first Reading goal since signing from Charlton earlier this season. Reading then looked well in control of the game with Andy Hughes shining in midfield as Reading looked comfortable in possession. However, with fifteen minutes left to play the visitors won a free-kick, worked the ball down the right and scored from the edge of the box, against the run of play, to make it 1-1. Salako nearly got on the scoresheet after being setup by Nicky Forster but put his shot wide when he should have found the net. Reading looked to have gone ahead when Andy Hughes made an excellent run and put the ball into the back of the net - only for it to be ruled out for a previous handball. Reading's persistance was rewarded in the dying minutes of the game when Chadwick broke down the left and put over an excellent ball for James Harper to drive it in from the right side of the area. The goal made it 2-1 to the Royals and sealed the three points amid huge celebrations within the Reading fans. The win was enough to pull Reading back into third place in the table with Sheffield United only managing to draw. Meanwhile both Wolves and Nottingham Forest, the other teams in the play-off positions, both lost away from home.

  • Reading 2 Crystal Palace 1 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Whitehead Fails To Impress
    Added by HNA? on 13/03/03
    Phil Whitehead, Reading's out of favour goalkeeper, has returned to Reading after failing to impress during a short trial at second Division Queen's Park Rangers. The London club chose not to take any further action on Whitehead, leaving the player still on the search for a new club after declaring he was keen to move on earlier this season. Whitehead lost his place in the starting line-up after the arrival of Marcus Hahnemann - and since then appears to have become third choice goalkeeper behind Jamie Ashdown. The last first team appearances made by Whitehead were way back in October during a three match loan spell at Tranmere. Whitehead had a disasterous time in goal for the Lilywhites, after an initial clean sheet he managed to let in twelve goals in just two fixtures.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Chadwick Loan Extended
    Added by HNA? on 13/03/03
    Last night saw the confirmation that Luke Chadwick will remain as a Reading player until the end of the season. Chadwick's one month loan spell from Manchester United has been extended for a further two months to allow him to continue in the Reading midfield until the end of the regular league campaign. Although Chadwick had a poor game last night, he's certainly looked a decent player during his spell with the Royals so far. Last night was his seventh game in a hooped shirt.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Wolves Defeat Royals
    Added by HNA? on 13/03/03
    Reading dropped to fourth in the table last night with a 0-1 home defeat against Wolves in front of nearly 20,000 fans at the Madejski Stadium. The Royals probably had enough chances to win the game after an impressive fast paced opening twenty minutes, which saw some excellent football from Reading as they looked for the early goal. We won a couple of corners that were put to good use as we increased the pressure after nearly going ahead inside the opening minute. Tyson had our best shot of the night within thirty seconds when he connected with a cross to send the ball crashing against the Wolves crossbar. Minutes later a an excellent Reading passing move saw Chadwick put in a great header, from a Shorey cross, that needed a decent save from the Wolves keeper. Reading's excellent start soon fizzled out as our passing game slipped away with Wolves starting to control the midfield. The visitors had a few shots themselves and closed Reading down instantly to prevent us continuing in the style we'd started the game. Sidwell and Chadwick both had disappointing games as they continually lost possession and failed to find targets with passes. Wolves took the lead just before half time when the defence failed to clear a cross in from the left, the ball was prodded towards the goal and Hahnemann appeared to leave it, thinking it was going wide. The weak effort hit the foot and post and bounced back to be stuck home from the centre of the area to make it 0-1. Both sides had chances during the second half but Wolves retained their grip on the game by playing in the same style that left Reading short of ideas of how to break through.

  • Reading 0 Wolves 1 - Report and Opinion
  • Latest Division One Table
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Look To Pull Clear
    Added by HNA? on 11/03/03
    Reading will be looking to pull clear in the play-off positions tomorrow night as Wolves visit the Madejski Stadium in a top of the table clash. Tonight's results saw Ipswich pick up just a point from their trip to Crystal Palace and Gillingham also fail to win at home against Wimbledon. The scorelines leave Reading 10 points clear of Ipswich who hold seventh place just outside the play-off positions - but the Royals have a game in hand. A victory against sixth placed Wolves tomorrow night could see Reading 13 points clear in a play-off position and make them massive favourites to enter the end of season play-offs for a place in the Premiership. A win would also see Reading move to just seven points behind Leicester City, who currently occupy the second automatic promotion place, with the same games played. Reading beat Wolves earlier this season with a 1-0 victory at Molineux thanks to that wonder goal from Andy Hughes during the second half, and will be looking for a repeat to make it an amazing seven wins from eight league fixtures.

  • Latest Division One Table
  • Reading -v- Wolves - Preview
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Australia Games Cancelled
    Added by HNA? on 11/03/03
    The international friendly between Australia and Argentina scheduled to take place at the Madejski Stadium on the 30 March 2003 is now unlikely to take place. The Australian football authorities are now set to call the plans off due to the lack of time available to arrange the fixture. This will also mean the Cameroon game will almost certainly now be scrapped. Rather than have the fixtures fall through at the moment minute the games have been put on hold with not enough time available to fix up the ground arrangements and ticketing. The Australians now are set to re-assess their options to stage games in England and it could open up the possibility of another stadium being chosen in place of the Madejski Stadium for Australian international friendly games.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Australia Set To Use The Madejski
    Added by HNA? on 09/03/03
    The Australian national team look set to use the Madejski Stadium as a base for two high profile international friendlies they are looking to play in England. Australia are keen to use an English stadium for the games for the convenience for the players that play in the English leagues. The two fixtures would see Argentina visit the Madejski to face Australia on 30 March 2003, followed by the visit of the Cameroon national squad to face Australia on 30 April 2003. Although the games are yet to be fully confirmed they seem set to take place with Reading Football Club likely to earn a bit of money for hosting two games that could be close to sell outs. Australia's last game on English soil of course was the 1-3 humiliation of England in the friendly at Upton Park last month.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    March Fans' Forum Notes
    Added by HNA? on 07/03/03
    Notes from last nights Fans' Forum, which took place at Shooters in the Madejski Stadium East Stand, are now available on Hob Nob Anyone?. The latest forum, organised by STAR (Supporters Trust At Reading) was attended by over 150 fans who put questions to Alan Pardew and players Nathan Tyson and Marcus Hahnemann. Questions put to the manager and players centred on the current team, possible new signings and the progress the club are making on the pitch.

  • March 2003 Fans' Forum
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Cement Play-Off Position
    Added by HNA? on 05/03/03
    Reading went twelve points clear in the play-off positions this evening with a huge result over play-off rivals Norwich City at Carrow Road. The 1-0 victory moved Reading another three points clear of City who held seventh place in the table and pulled us back into third in the table. The win was Reading's sixth from seven league fixtures as the promotion push continues. The Royals had to rely on an own goal from Norwich defender Kenton with sixteen minutes left to play, in a game with few real chances on goal. A dangerous Nathan Tyson cross was turned into his own net by the City defender and it was enough to give Reading a deserved win with Norwich short of ideas on how to get back into the game.

  • Norwich City 0 Reading 1 - Report and Opinion
  • Latest Division One Table
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Pardew Named Manager Of The Month
    Added by HNA? on 03/03/03
    Alan Pardew has been confirmed as the First Division Manager of the Month for February. It was no suprise to see Pardew pick up the award for the second time this season after Reading completed a perfect February with five straight wins during the month. The month kicked off with a 5-2 away win at Burnley and was followed by two home wins and two away wins including impressive victories away at Millwall and Sheffield United. The month also saw Reading re-discover how to score goals by hitting the back of the net fifteen times during the five games and only conceeding four in the process. With such hot league form Reading rose from seventh position, and promotion outsiders, to a very healthy third place deep in the play-off zone. With Pardew's award in the bag Reading promptly started the new month with an away defeat at Wimbledon. Last time Pardew won the award (for November 2002) Reading suffered a massive dip in form and picked up just one point from the following four league fixtures. Lets hope the same doesn't happen this time and the Royals are able to bounce back from Saturday's defeat by picking up the full three points at Norwich on Wednesday night.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Out Of Steam At Wimbledon
    Added by HNA? on 02/03/03
    Reading's impressive league run of five straight wins came to an end this weekend with a disappointing defeat at Wimbledon. Reading would have been hot favourites to make it six in a row after a perfect February but came up against a determined home side looking to bounce back from a bad run. The Royals were lacking in ideas to break Wimbledon down who enjoyed the better of the game and deserved the full three points. Reading got off to a reasonable start with an early header from James Harper just over the bar but Wimbledon quickly got on top after Brown was forced to leave the pitch in the opening twenty minutes with an injury. The Reading defence then looked more exposed than the Wimbledon defence and it was the home side that created a series of chances. Hahnemann made a close range save from a header and saw another effort narrowly over his crossbar before Wimbledon went ahead on 31 minutes after a long range ball found Francis on the edge of the area. Reading made another promising start in the second half with Forster having a chance but we continually failed to break down the home defence. Instead Wimbledon always looked more likely to extend their lead with a header just wide and a shot against the Reading crossbar. The introduction of Tyson gave Reading a glimer of hope as he added some much needed pace into the Reading attack. But it was too late and Wimbledon sealed their win with a second goal five minutes from time.

  • Wimbledon 2 Reading 0
  • Latest Division One Table
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    STAR Fans' Forum
    Added by HNA? on 28/02/03
    The next Fans' Forum has been arranged for Thursday 6 March, starting at 8pm at the Madejski Stadium's Jazz Cafe (Shooters). The forum is open to all members of STAR (the Supporters Trust At Reading), new members can join for the fee of 5 (see application form link below or join on the door on the night of the forum). Fans will be able to put questions directly to Reading manager Alan Pardew, who will be joined by a couple of first team players.

  • STAR Application Form
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Brighton Game Moved Forward
    Added by HNA? on 28/02/03
    Sky TV have decided to screen yet another live Reading game with the Royals challenging for promotion to the Premiership. The Royals are starting to pick up media attention with the promotion push hotting up as each week passes by. The latest fixture to be selected for live coverage is the early April visit of Brighton to the Madejski Stadium. The visitors will of course be scrapping for points to try and avoid the drop straight back to Division Two. The game will now take place a day earlier and will be played on Friday night (4 April) instead of the usual Saturday afternoon. The date change means that Reading now have just six Saturday fixtures left between now and the end of the First Division campaign - including tomorrow's trip to Wimbledon.

  • Updated Fixture List
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Parky Earns Management Job
    Added by HNA? on 25/02/03
    Reading hero Phil Parkinson has been appointed as the new manager at Colchester United this afternoon after an epic career at Reading Football Club. Parkinson effectively hung up his playing boots during the summer to take on a coaching role at Reading Football Club, and has been rewarded with an early move into the management career he was aiming for. Parky joined the Royals way back in the summer of 1992 when he signed for 12,000 after a four and a half year spell at Bury. He went on to become one of the most popular Reading players ever winning a series of player of the season awards for his massive displays of effort on the pitch. There was no doubt that Parky was Reading through and through and however the club's fortunes fared he was always one the few players to put in 100% week in and week out. Parky made nearly 400 competitive starts at Reading, scoring twenty four goals in the process. His last start in a hooped shirt was back in September, when he started as Reading lost out 1-3 to Cambridge United in the League Cup, however he will have fond memories of two promotions from Division Two. After being a solid captain of the team on the pitch he played an active role in assisting Alan Pardew in the management of the first team this season as Reading steamed into third place in Division One. Hob Nob Anyone? wishes Parky huge success in his new job - and we're certain he'll pull Colchester United clear of the Division Two relegation zone once he settles into his new job. Thanks for the memories Parky!
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals March To Fifth Straight Win
    Added by HNA? on 22/02/03
    Reading marched to their fifth straight league victory this afternoon to complete a perfect February and build on a solid third place in Division One. Rotherham were swept aside with a dramatic first half performance from the Royals that saw them steam into a 3-0 half time lead. Reading didn't need to overstretch themselves in the second half and Rotherham never really threatened to get back into the game with Reading sealing the points before the second half had even kicked off. The opening forty five minutes from the Royals was nearly as good as they come as they hit the visitors with three fantastic goals with pace and precision that tore the Millers to pieces. They must have wondered what hit them as Reading put on a show of attacking football that wouldn't have looked out of place at the top of the Premiership. It took just fifteen minutes for Reading to show what was to come when Chadwick set up Forster down the right. Forster cut the ball back to Harper who drove it into the top of the net from the edge of the box. It was 2-0 to Reading just after the half hour with another amazing finish from distance. This time Reading steamed forward on the break and Hughes exchanged passes with Forster on the left before receiving the ball back and driving it home. Just before the break the victory was all but wrapped up when Reading put together another fast attacking move that left the Rotherham defence standing as the ball was quickly played forward. Hughes and Forster again linked up, with Hughes crossing from the right and Forster sticking it in from close distance to make it 3-0. Rotherham had a few chances throughout the first and second half and never looked a poor side - they were just beaten by a side that looked well in control and perhaps had a touch more class. Hahnemann made a couple of saves and Rotherham threatened with some high balls, but mostly Reading had no problems dealing with the visitors and were happy to stroke the ball around towards the end of the game for a comfortable victory.

  • Latest Division One Table
  • Reading 3 Rotherham 0 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Beard Day Is This Saturday
    Added by HNA? on 20/02/03
    Just a reminder that this Saturday see's Reading's famous annual Beard Day with the visit of Rotherham United to the Madejski Stadum. Beard Day enters it's eight year this year and makes its return in the form of the Beard Day 2003 Lunchtime Acid House Party! Previous Beard Days have featured the themes of "Elderley Religious Prophets" (2000), and an Agricultural Show (2001). This time around Reading FC fans are encouraged to dig out the false beard, get it on, and get down to the Rose and Thistle to "have it large" in a pre-match rave featuring glow sticks, whistles, the finest Acid House, and of course beards. The famous Beard Band will be making it's appearance with some top quality Terry and June remixes and will be at the game after the lunch time "session" to continue the party. This years Beard Day takes place on Saturday 22 February, starting at West Reading's Rose and Thistle pub at 11am. Beard wearers are encouraged to get to the pub at lunch time and then make use of the free bus that will take ravers directly to the Madejski Stadium in time for the 3pm kick-off as Reading take on Rotherham United. All fans are encouraged to join in at the game itself by turning up with a false beard and drinking plenty of beer!

  • Beard Day 2003 Flyer
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Fixture List Updates
    Added by HNA? on 19/02/03
    Reading have had two changes made to their Division One fixture list for the remainder of the season. With Wolves progressing in the FA Cup to the quarter final stage they are unable to face Reading in the League on Saturday 8 March. The game is now scheduled to kick-off at 8pm on Wednesday 12 March at the Madejski Stadium. Sky TV have chosen to cover Reading's home clash against Nottingham Forest. As a result this match will kick-off at 7:45pm on Good Friday (18 April) - this is a day ahead of the previously scheduled date.

  • Updated 2002/2003 Fixture List
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Massive Victory At Sheffield
    Added by HNA? on 18/02/03
    Reading pulled off a massive victory in tonight's six pointer at Bramall Lane to pull into third place in the table with a 3-1 win over Sheffield United. United were above Reading in the table before kick-off but the Royals lept above them in the table to pull nine points clear inside the play-off positions. Reading's fourth straight victory was more than many would have expected with United flying high after reaching the FA Cup Quarter Finals. This was potentially one of the most difficult games of the season remaining - an away trip to the third placed team - but Reading came through with style to take a huge step towards playing off for promotion to the Premiership come the end of the season. Yet it hadn't started so well for the Royals with United taking a lead after just a couple of minutes when a free-kick was driven home after Williams conceeded on the edge of the box. It was all one-way traffic for a while as United looked set to increase their lead, but Reading eventually worked their way back into the game and equalised with ten minutes of the first half remaining when a Hughes shot was deflected out and Forster stuck it in from close range. The introduction of Tyson midway through the second half saw Reading step up their attacking game and look the more likely side. Forster and Hughes combined to see the keeper push the ball over for a corner and Adrian Williams put it in the roof of the net when the ball was put back over. The victory was sealed with ten minutes left to play when Tyson beat his man and cut in to deliver the ball to Forster in the middle. Forster made no mistake for his second of the game to make it 3-1 to the Royals. A massive victory!

  • Latest First Division Table
  • Sheffield United 1 Reading 3 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    McGhee's Millwall Are Latest Victims
    Added by HNA? on 15/02/03
    Mark McGhee's Millwall side were the latest victims of Reading's return to form as the Royals made it three straight victories to climb back into fourth position in Division One. Reading's 2-0 victory at the New Den saw Reading move six points clear of Norwich who started the day in sixth place, and move further clear of the chasing pack, as the Royals cemented their place in the Division One play-off positions. Millwall enjoyed some strong periods during the game but Reading gained the edge with a solid team performance and a goal in each half to take the full three points. The home side looked set to take the lead before the break when they broke through the Reading off-side trap but instead saw Reading break free as Hughes pushed the ball forward to Nicky Forster who made it 1-0 just before the half time whistle. The second half saw Millwall fail to pull level despite having chances and instead saw substitute Henderson score a goal of pure quality from distance that sailed into the top corner of the Millwall net to make it 2-0 to the Royals.

  • Millwall 0 Reading 2 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Back To Fifth With Win
    Added by HNA? on 10/02/03
    Reading returned to fifth place in the First Division table tonight with a 2-1 home victory over Gillingham in front of the Sky TV cameras. The Royals needed a late winner from John Salako to take the full three points but deserved the victory with a determined second half. Gillingham just about enjoyed the best of the first half forcing Hahnemann to make a couple of good saves and seeing Nicky Shorey clear a goal bound attempt off the line with the scores at 1-1. It was Gillingham that took the lead early on in the game with a well worked free-kick with just ten minutes on the clock. The ball was knocked into the area and saw the Reading off-side trap beaten despite strong claims from the home fans (the Sky replays later confirmed he was just level when he pulled away to head home to make it 0-1). Reading equalised just a few minutes later when Nicky Forster did well in the far right corner before bringing the ball back in to Luke Chadwick, making his debut for the Royals after signing on-loan from Manchester United. Just thirteen minutes into his Reading career he took the ball into the area and saw it deflected it over the top of the goalkeeper when he shot to make it 1-1. Gillingham finished the first half on top before Reading took a better grip on the game in the second half. Salako nearly headed Reading into the lead after the break before Henderson won a penalty for the Royals after being pulled down in the area. Sidwell should have put Reading ahead but saw his weak penalty saved well by the Gillingham keeper. With time running out Salako rescued the points for Reading when a Tyson cross was helped on its way by the head of a defender. The defence went to sleep and Salako put it home at the far post to make it 2-1 to Reading with just a couple of minutes left on the clock.

  • Reading 2 Gillingham 1 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Chadwick To Face Gillingham
    Added by HNA? on 09/02/03
    Reading's new loan signing, midfielder Luke Chadwick, looks set to face Gillingham in the Madejski Stadium's Monday night fixture, which kicks-off at 7:45pm. Sky TV will be following the game live as Chadwick makes his Royals debut after signing for a month on loan from Manchester United. This signing is another massive achievement by Reading manager Alan Pardew who snapped up Chadwick when he looked set to be joining Cardiff on loan earlier in the week. Chadwick is clearly looking forward to playing at Reading who he has stated have an impressive set-up: "Reading are doing well. They are a great club and a big club. They have got a beautiful stadium and hopefully I can do well." Chadwick is without doubt a huge talent, with eleven Premiership starts for Manchester United already under his belt. Chadwick has made 38 appearances for the Red Devils since signing a professional contract in the summer of 1999, scoring two Premiership goals during the 2000/2001 season. He enjoyed a massively successful 2000/2001 season before losing his place in the first team set up during the start of the 2001/2002 season - he arrives at Reading on-loan looking to get some good performances behind him to work his way back into the set-up at United. This season he has played in just the one Premiership game but featured in United's European Cup campaign. His last fixture was in December when he played the full ninety minutes during United's 2-0 league cup victory away at Burnley. Reading are currently sixth in the First Division table after the weekend's fixtures and will be looking for the full three points against Gillingham to lift them back to fifth.

  • Reading -v- Gillingham - Preview
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Tyson Stars As England Win
    Added by HNA? on 07/02/03
    Reading youngster Nathan Tyson played a key role on his international debut last night - scoring both the goals for the England under-20 side, as they ran out 2-1 winners over Germany. Tyson scored a goal in each half in a massively memorable debut that shows he could be set for much bigger things as his career progresses. He gave England the lead after just seven minutes when he collected a pass, controlled it before beating his man and blasting it firmly into the opposite side of the net giving the German goalkeeper little chance. Germany equalised before the break before England starting getting more and more on top with Tyson looking continually dangerous up-front. Tyson sealed the win after the break, with a replica goal of his first, when a superb crossfield pass was delivered to him - Tyson made no mistake with another excellent finish. The Madejski Stadium was filled with local support for Tyson whose inclusion, along with tickets selling for just a couple of quid, made sure of a record attendance. The crowd of 16,820 was the biggest ever attendance to watch an England under-20 fixture.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Goal Feast At Burnley
    Added by HNA? on 02/02/03
    Reading ended their poor recent run with a massive victory at Turf Moor this weekend, scoring an amazing five goals in the process. Reading have had problems in front of goal all season long but put that behind them with an impressive performance that could have seen a victory by an even bigger margin. After last Tuesday's 1-3 home defeat against Leicester City few would have expected such a good win away from home - and even less would have been brave enough to predict a game with seven goals and Reading getting the win. This was a shock result that saw Reading jump back to fifth place in the table and back inside the play-off positions. Reading's first away win since November of last year looked on the cards after going in 2-0 up at half time. Steve Sidwell scored his first Reading goal, in his second appearance, seven minutes before the break after putting the ball under the keeper from a Harper pass. John Salako was called back into the team and had an excellent first half which saw him make it 2-0 before the break. After the restart Salako made it 3-0 with a superb volley that appeared to settle the fixture. However a Burnley fightback was nearly on the cards when they pulled one back to make it 3-1 and had a chance to make it 3-2 from the penalty spot. Hahnemann saved the penalty and rather than collapse the Royals restored their three goal lead after Henderson won a penalty. Forster's spot kick was saved and Sidwell put in the rebound for his second of the game to make it 4-1. In injury time Henderson made it 5-1 and Burnley pulled another back to make it finish 5-2. Sidwell nearly completed a hat-trick deep in injury time with a header that hit the bar as Reading looked to add to their score. This was an excellent result to stop the slide and keep the play-off dream alive.

  • Burnley 2 Reading 5 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Leicester Win With Ease
    Added by HNA? on 29/01/03
    Reading continued their poor run of recent form, making it just a single win from ten fixtures, with a 1-3 home defeat against Leicester City last night at the Madejski Stadium. The re-arranged game managed to attract a decent crowd of over 17,000 - but the vast majority of those had already left the stadium with well over ten minutes left to play. Reading provided little entertainment throughout the ninety minutes and continued to look lost in front of goal, with the Leicester defence always enjoying the upper hand. The away side went ahead within 20 minutes when new-signing Sidwell, making his debut for the Royals in midfield, went flying into Brown with Hahnemann attempting to claim the ball from a cross. Hahnemann pushed the ball slightly away and it was driven home with the Reading keeper unable to regain his composure for the shot. The referee could be held responsible for the following two goals that followed shortly afterwards. Firstly he awarded a penalty when Williams was wrongly judged to have taken down Leicester's Benjamin inside the area. It was one of a series of tangles between Benjamin and Adrian Williams and there was little doubt the referee had been conned by the lanky City frontman. The penalty was driven home, and shortly after it was 0-3 when Williams was clearly pulled down inside the Reading area himself leaving a simple goal when the ball was played across the area with Williams down. However, Reading would have lost this game with or without the referee's poor performance. At 0-3 at half time the game was already over and Leicester controlled the second half without ever really getting into a sweat. There was hope on 54 minutes when Hughes ran through, perhaps offside, to make it 1-3. Reading enjoyed a bright period without ever really threatening but couldn't break through as poor passing and lack of pace got the better of us as time ticked away.
    Reading 1 Leicester City 3 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    STAR Meeting Notes
    Added by HNA? on 26/01/03
    The notes from last weeks operations meeting between Reading Football Club and STAR (the Supporters Trust At Reading) are now available on Hob Nob Anyone?. The meeting saw the club give answers on a number of issues put forward by fans, with some new questions and some of the classic old ones. The question of smoke extraction from the concourses during half time seems to pop up on a regular basis every couple of months, and has done for years since the move to Madejski Stadium. Yet again the club are still investigating the issue and working out costs and how to fund this. I imagine this will be the standard answer until 2008 when Reading are top of the Premiership and no-one really cares about it anymore. The club are also still looking into the issues of speeding up the catering service and making improvments to the concourses. Good news for the Madejski Stadium came with the club confirming they are attempting to make the Stadium a permanent venue for England under-21 fixtures.

  • STAR / RFC Operations Meeting
  • Articles Index
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Walsall Get The Point
    Added by HNA? on 18/01/03
    Reading's goal scoring problems continued this afternoon as Walsall took a point from the Madesjki Stadium in a goalless league draw. Once again Reading struggled to find a way through Walsall's defence in another disappointing game against the Saddlers, who appeared to have come for the point - and succeeded. The Royals lowest home league crowd of the season saw Reading have the better of the game, with an average performance, but fail to take the handful of chances that should have won them the game. Walsall never looked likely to score with the best attempts being shots from outside the area that Hahnemann saved with ease. The best chances of the first half came when Butler played an excellent through ball to Nicky Forster who drove the ball against the base of the far post. The rebound came to Butler who skyed the ball deep into the South Stand - it was typical of another frustrating performance from Butler who seems to have lost his ability to score goals. Reading's best spell of the game was during the final 15 minutes when Walsall hung on for the draw. An excellent Reading move saw Harper played through after starting the move himself - but his shot was saved by the keeper. Jamie Cureton got a brief run out and had enough time to look like the best prospect we have up front after working himself into some great positions. A Murty cross from the right saw Cureton hit a close range shot at the keeper and then put the rebound over the top from close range. Reading finished well on top but unlikely to find the breakthrough goal and it was Walsall that were happy to leave the Madejski Stadium after a week that saw them put Reading out of the FA Cup and take a valuable league point.

  • Reading 0 Walsall 0 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals To Complete Sidwell Signing
    Added by HNA? on 18/01/03
    Reading are expected to complete the signing of Arsenal midfielder Steve Sidwell today - although the deal may stretch out until completion early next week. An on-the-pitch signing before today's kick-off against Walsall seems on the cards with Brighton admitting they've lost the battle to win the player's signature, despite his successful loan period with the club. It appears Sidwell has opted for the Royals after both Brighton and Reading had offers accepted by Arsenal for the player. Sidwell had the option to choose between the clubs and Reading are likely to have put forward the best deal for the player. Although the initial fee to Arsenal is expected to be 75,000 this will increase substantially depending on appearances made for the Royals Sidwell signed a professional contract with Arsenal in the summer of 2001 but has never made an appearance for the first team. He spent the majority of the 2001/2002 season at Brentford where he made 29 starts in the league, scoring 4 goals. This season Sidwell joined First Division side Brighton on loan in November and has played a big part in Brighton's part revival as they fight against relegation. At Brighton Sidwell has hit five goals from twelve league appearances.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    New Date For Sheffield Trip
    Added by HNA? on 16/01/03
    The new date for Reading's League visit to Sheffield United has now been confirmed as Tuesday 18 February. The fixture was called off just thirty minutes before kick-off back in November, due to a waterlogged pitch, with Reading fans already in Sheffield for the game. Lets hope the trip up there, for the Reading fans that can make a long trip up North mid-week, is more successful this time.

  • Fixtures and Results
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Re-Arranged Leicester City Date
    Added by HNA? on 15/01/03
    The home league game against second placed Leicester City has been re-arranged for Tuesday 28 January at the Madejski Stadium, with a usual evening kick-off of 8pm. The game was originally called off at half time on New Years Day, with the score at 0-0, thanks to torrential rainfall during the opening 45 minutes. Season ticket holders will get in for free on the new date - but other fans will need to pay half the usual admission price for the fixture, regardless of attendance at the original fixture. All fans are entitled to the half price "discount". The date means that Reading will go ten games without a match after dropping out of the FA Cup in the third round on Tuesday night. Reading face Walsall this Saturday in the League and don't play again until this re-arranged game with Leicester. Fourth round matches take place on Saturday 25 January - when Leicester will travel to Wolves for their fourth round tie. Reading will have a Saturday off - hopefully allowing them time to prepare for the game with Leicester who will be concentrating on the cup during the weekend.

  • Results and Fixtures
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Brighton And Reading Chase Sidwell
    Added by HNA? on 15/01/03
    Reading and Brighton are both currently on the hunt to complete the signing of Arsenal midfielder Steve Sidwell. Both clubs are reported to have had bids of 75,000 accepted by Arsenal for the player, who is discussing terms with both sides. The fee paid to Arsenal will increase substantially depending on appearances made for his eventual club, should he complete a move away from Arsenal. Sidwell signed a professional contract with Arsenal in the summer of 2001 but has never made an appearance for the first team. He spent the majority of the 2001/2002 season at Brentford where he made 29 starts in the league, scoring 4 goals. This season Sidwell joined First Division side Brighton on loan in November and has played a big part in Brighton's part revival as they fight against relegation. At Brighton Sidwell has hit five goals from twelve league appearances.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    FA Cup Exit On Penalties
    Added by HNA? on 15/01/03
    Magic of the FA Cup? There certainly wasn't any magic to be found at the Madejski Stadium last night as Reading dropped out of the FA Cup at the third round stage - beaten on penalties by Walsall. Despite the discount admission, and the extra time and penalties, this game still didn't represent value for money. For the first half it was debatable if either side really could be bothered to win the fixture despite seeing the only two goals of the 120 minutes. Walsall went ahead early on when the out-of-form Hahnemann made a fatal mistake when racing wide out of his area. The ball was knocked back into the middle and stuck home into the empty net. Reading needed an own goal to pull level at 1-1, when Tyson won a free-kick, which was put in by Newman off the leg of a Walsall defender at the far post. Apart from the goals there was little to excite a quiet and mostly empty Madejski Stadium. The second half saw Reading come into life as the game enjoyed a lively period with Reading looking the better side. We had chances to win the match when Butler, Forster, Hughes and Harper all went close. Hughes should have finished the game off but put his shot straight at the goalkeeper. Harper put his wide after breaking through, and the keeper made saved from Forster and Butler. After a period of heavy tackles flying in from two sides getting involved in the game it all went very quiet again as both teams condemned the fans to sit through a further thirty minutes of extra time. Extra time passed without event with Walsall having the best chances in the second period but failing to beat Hahnemann in the Reading goal. Penalties were taken at the Walsall end. Walsall hammered four excellent penalties straight into the back of the net. Reading on the other hand scored one from Cureton but saw a poor Butler effort wide of the target and Harper's penalty saved by the keeper to see Walsall through to round four after winning 1-4 on penalties.

  • Reading 1 Walsall 1 (1-4 on penalties) - Report and Opinion

    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Pardew Signs Up!
    Added by HNA? on 14/01/03
    Reading manager Alan Pardew has signed a new contract with Reading Football Club, which extends his contract with the club for another three and a half years. The new deal means Pardew should remain as club manager until the end of the 2005/2006 season. Pardew earned the new contract after turning the club around and becoming one of Reading's most successful managers ever. He has an excellent record at the club, guiding Reading out of the Second Division last season and establishing our position in the top half of the first Division. Reading look set to be heading for their second best season ever in terms of league placings, under Pardew's guidance. Pardew become Reading manager in October 1999 and has earnt a great name for himself in the game after guiding Reading to 86 wins in competitive fixtures out of 183 games in charge. Pardew recently won the November 2002 Division One manager of the month award - a rare acheivement for a manager in charge of the Royals. Congratulations Alan - you've done an excellent job so far!
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Beard Day 2003 Details
    Added by HNA? on 14/01/03
    Reading's famous annual Beard Day enters it's eight year this season and makes its return in the form of the Beard Day 2003 Lunchtime Acid House Party! Previous Beard Days have featured the themes of "Elderley Religious Prophets" (2000), and an Agricultural Show (2001). This time around Reading FC fans are encouraged to dig out the false beard, get it on, and get down to the Rose and Thistle to "have it large" in a pre-match rave featuring glow sticks, whistles, the finest Acid House, and of course beards. The famous Beard Band will be making it's appearance with some top quality Terry and June remixes and will be at the game after the lunch time "session" to continue the party. This years Beard Day takes place on Saturday 22 February, starting at West Reading's Rose and Thistle pub at 11am. Beard wearers are encouraged to get to the pub at lunch time and then make use of the free bus that will take ravers directly to the Madejski Stadium in time for the 3pm kick-off as Reading take on Rotherham United.

  • Beard Day 2003 Flyer
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Throw Away Lead
    Added by HNA? on 12/01/03
    Reading threw away a 2-0 half time lead at Hillsborough this weekend and ended up going down 2-3 to Sheffield Wednesday as the home side staged an impressive second half fight back. The Royals appeared to have the game already won at half time after goals from Nicky Forster and Martin Butler put Reading in control against a poor looking Wednesday. Reading created a whole string of chances during the opening 45 minutes with Butler having other chances to increase the lead and Forster and Tyson also finding the target. However, Reading appeared to take their foot off the pedal in the second half as Wednesday took advantage of some slack defending and goalkeeping from Reading to turn the game completely around with twenty minutes still to play. Three points thrown away.

  • Sheffield Wednesday 3 Reading 2 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Tickets Reduced For Replay
    Added by HNA? on 07/01/03
    With a low crowd expected for the FA Cup third round replay at the Madejski Stadium next week, the club have reduced ticket prices for the fixture. Reading play Walsall in the league the following Saturday making the FA Cup game four days earlier, against the same side, an unexciting fixture in comparison. The FA Cup fourth round draw didn't help matters with Reading or Walsall getting an unglamourous draw against First Division misfit side Wimbledon. As a result of the poor cup draw the club have reduced ticket prices to increase the attendance on the night. Adult tickets will be 13 in advance and 15 on the night (a reduction of 5 from normal ticket prices), and concession tickets will be just 8 (10 on the night). All stands will be the same price giving people the chance to sample the Upper West on the cheap. With the chance of a possible FA Cup run the reduced ticket prices should help pull in a few extra fans. Full marks to Reading Football Club.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Wimbledon If Royals Beat Walsall
    Added by HNA? on 06/01/03
    Reading have been drawn at home against Wimbledon in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup - provided they can beat Walsall in the third round replay next week. Should Reading progress to round four the game will take place at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday 25 January. Although perhaps not the most glamourous tie, Reading potentially have two home ties against clubs below the Royals in the League, giving a great opportunity to reach round five. Perhaps a cup run could be on the agenda?
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Earn Replay
    Added by HNA? on 04/01/03
    Reading earnt a home tie in the third round of the FA Cup this afternoon after taking Walsall to a replay with a goalless draw at the Bescot Stadium. The draw means that Reading will face the Saddlers in three games out of four, with the replay taking place on Tuesday 14 January at the Madejski Stadium (8pm kick-off). Walsall must visit the Madejski Stadium again just four days later when the two sides meet in the league at the Madejski on Saturday 18 January. Reading will have to wait until Monday to find out who they could meet in the fourth round of the cup if they are able to turnover Walsall in the home replay. The Royals could have won the fixture at the first attempt today on a poor quality Bescot pitch. After the recent weather the pitch cut up badly and led to some scrappy moments of play, but both Butler and Cureton could have put Reading ahead before the break. Butler hit the post and almost saw Cureton finish of the rebound which was blocked on the line. Moments later Cureton forced an excellent save from the Walsall goalkeeper. Reading had the best of the game overall but nearly let it slip in the dying minutes after conceeding a free-kick which was sent flying onto the crossbar. The draw may mean Reading have to play another fixture, with two games already in hand in the league, but it must also make Reading the favourites to continue to round four of the FA Cup for the first time since the 1997/98 season.

  • Walsall 0 Reading 0 - Report
  • Fixtures and Results
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Walsall Pitch Passes Inspection
    Added by HNA? on 04/01/03
    The pitch at Walsall's Bescot Stadium passed a 10am inspection this morning meaning the game will definately go ahead. There are no problems expected with the weather during the day as Reading look to progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup. The round three clash kicks off at 3pm.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Walsall Game Should Go Ahead
    Added by HNA? on 03/01/03
    Tomorrow's FA Cup tie against Division One rivals Walsall should take place despite the recent weather - but the match is subject to a 10:30am announcment after a morning pitch inspection. Although further rain and snow showers are expected in the midlands later today, the forecast for Saturday is for a dry sunny day with temperatures above freezing after an overnight frost. Walsall are happy they should be able to stage the game but fans are advised to check before setting out for the match. The decision regarding the game taking place will be announced on local radio and on teletext - and no doubt on the discussion forums of this site as soon as the news comes through. Alternatively the club are happy to rip you off by sending the announcement directly to your mobile phone at a premium rate. Unlike the New Years Day fixture against Leicester City, if the game kicks-off it seems certain to finish. If the game is called off after the morning pitch inspection Reading fans will be entitled to full refunds on their tickets.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Leicester Fixture Discount Insult
    Added by HNA? on 01/01/03
    Following the abandonment of today's League Fixture against Leicester City at the Madejski Stadium, the club have announced the re-arranged game will be half price for all fans. Season ticket holders will get free admission on the new date, which is yet to be confirmed. This means that fans that have already paid full price for a ticket to see the abandoned fixture will be expected to pay out again for the real game. The 45 minutes of football played is void in the eyes of the Football League. The "action" that did take place means absolutely nothing and, as a result, you might expect that fans would be entitled for a full refund on their match ticket or free entry to the re-arranged fixture on production of the ticket. The club seem to disagree with this concept and are pushing the idea that a having to pay again is a good deal for the fans. Fans without tickets for today's game will still be able to get in half price for the new fixture - meaning that if you paid for today's game you are losing out up to the full price of the ticket. Perhaps the re-arranged game should be full price to those without a season ticket or a match ticket, and free to those who have a ticket and have therefore already paid to see the match on offer: the home league game between Reading and Leicester City. You would hope that the club might take the opportunity to give something back to the fans for a change, rather than telling them they need to pay more for the same game on a new date.
    Reading -v- Leicester Abandonment - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Likely

    Match Abandoned At Half Time
    Added by HNA? on 01/01/03
    Today's New Years Day fixture against Leicester City at the Madejski Stadium was called off at half time, after torrential rain during the opening 45 minutes resulted in a waterlogged pitch. The pitch passed a morning pitch inspection and was playable as the game got underway at 1pm. However, solid heavy rain throughout the first half resulted in a lot of surface water building up on an already saturated pitch. The announcement at the end of the half time break reported that both managers had agreed to the call being called off - however both managers were later to deny this suggesting the referee made the decision to end the game without consulting the two teams involved. The decision to end play at half time was a massive disappointment for both sets of fans who had travelled to the game - but the pitch was approaching unplayable as the first half game to an end with the ball continually getting stuck in puddles throughout the pitch. Reading enjoyed a bright opening 45 minutes with Jamie Cureton getting clean through but putting the ball wide as Reading broke through the Leicester defence several times. Martin Butler looked to have broke through but was beaten by a large area of water on the edge of the area that prevented the ball running through. Reading won eight corners compared to not a single one earnt by the visitors as they looked the more likely of the two teams. City had a couple of long range efforts that needed some good saves from Hahnemann as both teams has chances to take the lead. Perhaps a goal would have led to the game being continued into the second half - but with the game becoming more and more scrappy and increasingly hard to play, with players sliding all over the place, the referee would have felt he had no choice.

  • Reading 0 Leicester 0 - Match called off at half time.
    Rumour Rating: Definite


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