Reading FC Dynamic News

Hob Nob Anyone? News
April 2003 - June 2003

More New Signings To Follow
Added by HNA? on 30/06/03
Following the news that Scott Murray is set to join from Bristol City, it is likely that at least two more players will sign over the coming two weeks as the team return from their summer breaks. Murray is set to complete his move tomorrow in a deal worth 650,000 (400,000 plus additional sums that increase the total value to a maximum of 650,000). Meanwhile Reading remain hot favourites to sign Scottish international Paul Devlin from Birmingham City. City manager Steve Bruce has hinted that he will let Devlin go for a fee of 200,000, which is within Reading's budget for the player. Devlin was signed by Birmingham for the same figure from Sheffield United in May of last season for his second spell at the club and has also previously appeared for Notts County in two spells. Discussions between Wimbledon and Reading are continuing regarding the transfer of Republic of Ireland striker David Connolly. An agreed figure of 500,000 has already been rumoured as Reading look to agree personal terms with the player. Finally, Liverpool winger Richie Partridge is rumoured to be in discussions with Reading about a potential move. 22 year-old Partridge hasn't made a league start for Liverpool but enjoyed an extended loan spell at Coventry last season.
Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

Murray To Sign For 650,000
Added by HNA? on 29/06/03
Bristol City have today announced that Scott Murray will complete a move to Reading for 650,000. Speculation surrounding the transfer of Murray to the Royals has been mounting for weeks but will now at last come to an end when the deal is completed in the next few days. Reading initially put in a bid of 500,000 for Murray, which was rejected. This was followed by a bid for the same amount of money plus the inclusion of Martin Butler in the deal - this was also rejected forcing Reading to increase the cash bid they were making. Butler will no longer be part of the deal and Bristol City are now ready to complete the move after announcing that "in the current climate 650,000 is a very good offer for a Second Division footballer". Murray is understood to be keen to complete the final paperwork and make the move to a higher Division club, and Bristol City themselves are ready to collect the much needed cash the transfer will provide. Bristol City chairman Steve Lansdown has stated that Murray will leave the club with his blessing but he will be sad to see him leave. The transfer is excellent news for Reading that will see a player of massive quality arrive at the Madejski Stadium. Alan Pardew will be hoping he can follow up his amazing form of last season that saw him hit a massive 27 goals for City in Division Two.
Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

Boston United Drawn In League Cup
Added by HNA? on 25/06/03
This morning's draw for the first round of the Carling League Cup has seen Reading drawn away against Third Division Boston United. The game will take place at Boston's York Street Stadium on either the 12th of 13th of August with a 7:45pm kick-off.

  • 2003/2004 Fixtures
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Connolly Bid Denied
    Added by HNA? on 23/06/03
    The club have denied that they have had a bid accepted for Wimbledon's Republic of Ireland striker David Connolly. It was reported at the weekend that Wimbledon were willing to let him go after Reading put in an offer of 500,000 for the player. It seems likely there is some truth in the story with Reading FC owning up to their interest in the player. It now seems possible that Connolly will be on his way to Reading after our recent bids for Scott Murray have been continually rejected by Bristol City. Wimbledon's administrators may well be keen on the money coming in as the club battle to survive in the face of financial failure. Connolly, who remains under contract to Wimbledon, would clearly be an excellent purchase. Last season he was the sides top scorer and he has hit an amazing 42 league goals in 63 league starts for the club after signing from Feyenoord on a free transfer in 2001.
    Rumour Rating: Likely

    Royals Seventh Favourites For Title
    Added by HNA? on 20/06/03
    Reading are seventh favourites to finish as champions of Division One next season after last season's fourth placed finish. This time last year Reading were 40/1 to take the title for the new season, this time around we're just 14/1 - a clear indication of how far we've come. West Ham are favourites to win the Division after their relegation from the Premiership last season with Sunderland second favourites. West Brom, the other side relegated from the top flight are placed fourth behind Ipswich who Reading will face at Portman Road on the opening day of the 2003/2004 season. Other sides that failed at the play-off stage, along with Reading, last season are Sheffield United who are joint fourth favourites at 10/1 and Nottingham Forest who are sixth at 11/1. Wigan are also on 14/1 along with the Royals. Walsall are most likely to get relegated according to the bookies with odds of 125/1 to win the Division.

  • William Hill Book Makers
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Full 2003/2004 Fixtures Now Available
    Added by HNA? on 19/06/03
    Once again Reading will start and end the new season away from home. The fixtures for the 2003/2004 Division One season are now available in full on Hob Nob Anyone? (please follow the link below) - and see the Royals kick-off the new season with a trip to Portman Road to face Ipswich Town on Saturday 9 August 2003. You have to go back all the way to the 1999/2000 season to find the last time Reading started the season at home. The first home game of the new season will see Nottingham Forest visit the Madejski on Saturday 16 August. Reading then travel to Derby County the following Saturday in a tough start to the campaign. The home fixture against Rotherham on Monday 25 August will be subject to a new date (possibly the next Tuesday evening) due to the Reading festival taking place that weekend. Reading end the season with a trip to Watford on the 9th of May 2004. The final home game of the season will see the visit of West Brom who were relegated from the Premiership at the end of last season. Although the fixture list computer has been unkind to us for the start and end of the season we do at last have a home game on Boxing Day - unfortunately it's not exactly a glamour tie with Milton Keynes/Wimbledon turning up at the Madejski the day after Christmas. Other highlights see the home games against the other two sides that came down from the Premiership taking place within two weeks of each other. We play Sunderland at home on 20 March and the very next home game sees the visit of West Ham United.

  • Full 2003/2004 Fixture List

  • Rumour Rating: Definite

    Fixtures Out Thursday Morning
    Added by HNA? on 18/06/03
    Fixtures for the new Division One season will be published on Hob Nob Anyone? at 10am tomorrow morning (Thursday 19 June). Philpott Black Limited have paid our license fee again this season meaning Hob Nob will be joint "first place" to get the fixtures to you when the press embargo passes at 10am. It's been an amazing four years since we last started the season with a home fixture (a 2-1 win over Bristol City on 7 August 1999). The last time we actually played a home game on Boxing Day was back in 1997 when West Brom were defeated by the Royals, which was also a 2-1 scoreline. It has been three seasons since we finished the regular league campaign with a home tie. Reading fans will be hoping the fixture computer is friendlier to the Royals this season as it busily generates fixtures - we'll be expecting at least a home game to kick-off the new season.

  • Division One 2003/2004 Fixtures
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Whitbread Joins Allen At Barnet
    Added by HNA? on 16/06/03
    Former Reading central defender Adrian Whitbread has joined Barnet as first team coach under former Reading assistant manager Martin "Mad Dog" Allen. Whitbread suffered from a long-term knee injury that prevented him from continuing his career with the Royals. He joined for free in February 2001, initially on loan from Portsmouth, and made 33 league starts before retiring from playing. Whitbread now aims to extend his coaching skills picked up at Reading and work his way towards a job in management.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    City Admit Murray Will Leave
    Added by HNA? on 16/06/03
    Bristol City manager Danny Wilson has accepted that Scott Murray will leave the club during the summer as he attempts to find a club that will allow him to play at a higher level. City missed out on promotion to Division One in the play-offs after defeat in the semi-finals against eventual winners Cardiff City. The defeat left Murray on the hunt for a new club with City claiming a number of higher Division clubs are interested in the player. Murray smashed home an amazing 27 goals last season as City came so close to promotion. Wilson had stated that Reading's recent offer of 500,000 was not a "realistic valuation" for the player but admitted that the club desperately need the cash, so an increased offer could see Murray on his way. Reading are rumoured to be up against other clubs in the scramble to get Murray's signature - but the Royals are at the front of the queue if they can get in a higher bid that is acceptable to Bristol City.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Sidwell Hopes For Second Start
    Added by HNA? on 10/06/03
    Reading midfielder Steve Sidwell is hoping to make his second start for the England Under-21s tonight as they face Slovakia in their European Championship qualifier in Sunderland. Sidwell made his debut for the England Under-21 side a couple of weeks ago, on 2nd June, when he picked up the man of the match award after the 3-2 friendly win over Serbia. Twenty year old Sidwell's impressive performance should be enough to earn him another start as he looks to become a regular player in the under-21 set-up. Sidwell made thirteen league starts for the Royals last season and will be hoping to become a regular in the starting eleven this season with his International experience behind him.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Cureton Weighs Up Options
    Added by HNA? on 10/06/03
    Jamie Cureton appears more likely than ever to leave the club at the end of the month, with a range of potential offers rumoured to have come his way. Cureton has until the end of the month to accept a new one year deal that he has already been offered to stay with Reading FC - but the club themselves appear to be sewing the seeds of a Cureton departure. The club have reported that Jamie will be shortly flying off to the USA to have a short trial with Washington DC. Meanwhile QPR are reporting that they have already made Cureton an offer to join the Second Division club in July. Cureton is due to visit Loftus Road this week before his trip to the States and is also rumoured to be talking to other clubs about a possible move. Cureton still holds an impressive goal average after joining the Royals in the summer of 2000 for a bargain 250,000 - he's hit fifty league goals for Reading despite only making 74 league starts.
    Rumour Rating: Likely

    No Extension To Play-Off Places
    Added by HNA? on 06/06/03
    There will be no extension to the play-off system for next season after a proposal to make six teams involved in the end of season lottery was scrapped by the Football League. The plans had been set to mean that a team finishing in 8th place at the end of the season could be promoted by playing three sides and winning all three ties. The teams finishing third and fourth would have had one less game to play, giving them the advantage for a higher finish. However, the plans failed to be agreed meaning that next season will see the same play-off system taking place as this season and previous seasons. Once again the top two teams will earn automatic promotion and the next four teams will play-off for a place in the Premiership. Reading, having missed out in three play-offs now, will be hoping to go one better next season under huge expectation from the fans.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Harper Extends Contract
    Added by HNA? on 06/06/03
    James Harper has been rewarded for his excellent season in the Reading midfield with an extension to his contract that will see him contracted to the Royals until the summer of 2006. Harper still had plenty of time to run on his existing contract, which expired in 2005, but the club took the chance to tie Harper to the club and offer the player a better deal. Harper, who signed for Reading in February 2001 from Arsenal, had his first full season as a first team regular last season and was promptly voted the most improved player of the season by Hob Nob Anyone? readers.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    City Confirm Murray Approach
    Added by HNA? on 05/06/03
    Reading have approached Second Division Bristol City with a view to sign their player of the season, Scott Murray. Murray played the key role in an excellent season in midfield for City, which ended in disappointment when the club were beaten in the play-off semi-finals against Cardiff City. With another season in Division Two ahead of him the player may consider a move to First Division Reading if the terms offered were good. Murray has a full year to run on his contract at City and would be unlikely to be allowed to leave the club unless the Royals came in with a substantial offer. City have so far denied that any official offer has been made - but both clubs have admitted that an initial approach has been made as the rumours continue to grow. Murray signed for Bristol City in December 1997 in a 150,000 move from Aston Villa. Murray made just four league starts for Villa before working his way in as a first team regular at Aston Gate. This season he played all the way through and smashed in an amazing 27 goals in the process - a huge factor in City finishing third in the table. Murray has made well over 200 first team starts and hit the back of the net over sixty times.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Sidwell Starts For England
    Added by HNA? on 02/06/03
    Reading midfielder Steve Sidwell completed a full ninety minutes for England's Under-21 side tonight as they defeated Serbia and Montenegro 3-2 in an International friendly. Sidwell impressed throughout the game - so much so that he picked up the man of the match award. Sidwell looks set for an impressive career after capping an excellent season for the Royals. Sidwell signed for Reading in January of this year, after extended loan spells with Brentford and Brighton, and went on to make thirteen starts in the later stages of the season as a key player as Reading attempted promotion. The news of Sidwell's appearance on the International scene follows the success of Nathan Tyson who impressed while playing for the England Under-20s earlier this season. Meanwhile, Adrian Williams is enjoying a return to the full Welsh squad. Williams picked up his fourth Welsh cap last week as Wales lost out 0-2 to the USA in an International friendly. And if that wasn't enough International recognition for the Reading team, goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann has been called up into the USA national squad.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    No Increase In Season Tickets
    Added by HNA? on 02/06/03
    Season Ticket prices for the new Division One campaign will not go up from last season's prices, the club have now confirmed. It was expected that a small increase would be put on the price of season tickets after the club encouraged fans to renew tickets before the end of the season to quality for a frozen price. As it turns out, all existing season ticket holders will qualify for the renewal price. Prices of all tickets across all stands will remain the same as for last season after the Royals failed to win promotion to the Premiership through the play-offs. This time last year fans saw a massive rise in the price of a season ticket with some prices going up by as much as 35%. With the lack of a price increase this time around and with Reading hoping to feature in the right end of the Division, the club are expecting increased sales from last season as they attempt to reach a target of 10,000 season ticket holders. An East or North stand adult season ticket will cost 345 (325 for renewals), with concession tickets costing 205 (190 for renewals).
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Division One Line-Up Confirmed
    Added by HNA? on 27/05/03
    The new line-up of teams for the 2003/2004 Division One season has now been confirmed following the promotions of Wolves and Cardiff City via the play-offs at the weekend. Cardiff City beat QPR 1-0 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in the second Division play-off final on Sunday to earn promotion. Reading will now face Sheffield United in the First Division next season after Wolves followed up their victories over the Royals with a 3-0 victory over Sheffield United in the First Division play-off final. Cardiff, who finished 6th in Division Two, joined Wigan and Crewe who had already earned earned automatic promotion to Reading's Division. The teams replaced Sheffield Wednesday, Brighton and Stoke City who took the bottom three places in Division One at the end of the season to be relegated to Division Two. Wolves of course join Portsmouth and Leicester who took the top two places to be promoted to the Premiership. Reading can look forward to playing West Ham United, West Brom, and Sunderland who were relegated from the Premiership at the end of the season. The new 2003/2004 season Division One fixture list will appear on Hob Nob Anyone? when published on 19th June.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Cureton Offered New Contract
    Added by HNA? on 19/05/03
    Jamie Cureton, Adie Viveash, and Ricky Newman have all been offered new contracts to stay at Reading Football Club. All three players have been offered only short term contracts of just a year - and they have just over a month to consider their new deals. Viveash has acted as an excellent stand-in this season to cover for injuries to our centre backs but will find it hard to find a place when Pardew has a fully fit squad to choose from. Viveash is probably keen to follow the route taken by Phil Parkinson and is looking to use an extended stay at Reading FC to move slowly away from playing and into a coaching role at the club. Meanwhile, Cureton continues to be linked to a possible move to QPR, and other clubs, and it's possible that he may take a while to consider his offer while he looks around.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Five Players Released
    Added by HNA? on 19/05/03
    The close season shake-up has started at Reading Football Club with the news that five players will not have their contracts renewed. Sammy Igoe tops the list of players who will be forced to find a new club alongside Tony Rougier, Phil Whitehead, Steve Warren and Alex Smith. All five players have struggled to earn a place in the first team squad towards the end of the season. Warren spent some time on loan at Walton & Hersham this season but failed to ever break into the starting line-up. Meanwhile, Whitehead lost his place in the starting eleven to Marcus Hahnemann and never looked likely to re-claim his place after unsuccessful loan spells at York and Tranmere. Whitehead made over 100 appearances for the Royals after signing from West Brom for 250,000. Smith made just one appearance for Reading this season and spent most of the season on extended loan at Shrewsbury Town - it's no suprise to see him move on. Tony Rougier was always expected to move at the end of this season after failing to hold down a place in the team. Rougier dipped in and out of form at Reading but still managed nearly 100 Reading appearances - half of which were from the bench. Rougier could be heading for Second Division Brighton after a good spell at the club on loan towards the end of this season. The biggest disappointment for us remains as Sammy Igoe, who appeared to be a player with plenty of promise before falling out of favour. Igoe had a good start to the season before losing his place in the side in January. Igoe played two games on loan for Luton in April - his last game for the Royals was a rare appearance when he came off the bench during Reading's 1-0 win at Bradford City in March. Good luck to all five players in their search for new clubs.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    End Of Season Opinion
    Added by HNA? on 17/05/03
    Thanks to everyone who sent in their post-match opinion of Wednesday's play-off defeat against Wolves. Most of the comments centred on the season in general as well as the disappointment of the play-off exit. There's no doubt that Reading fans are hugely impressed with the amazing progress made by the club this season. We might not have earnt promotion this year but we certainly exceeded all expectations - thanks to a superb management set-up and excellent performances across the whole playing squad. Plenty to look forward to for next season in Division One. Opinions have now been included within the Wolves match report.

  • Play-Off Post Match Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    End To An Excellent Season
    Added by HNA? on 14/05/03
    Reading's season finally came to an end tonight with a 0-1 home defeat against Wolves in the second leg of the play-off semi-finals. The result saw Reading eliminated from the play-offs and Wolves progress to the final with an aggregate scrore of 1-3. However, the Royals dominated the game as they attempted to turn around a 1-2 scoreline from the first leg. Reading enjoyed nearly all of the possession, in a frantic game, as the visitors were forced to defend throughout the night. Wolves managed to break out of defence a couple of times in the first half but the second half saw nearly all one way traffic as Reading attempted to find an opening in the defence. Wolves packed most of their team behind the ball to keep Reading out and Reading struggled to break through the middle as they attempted to find what would have been a vital goal. Jamie Cureton was brought in to replace the injured Nicky Forster but failed to gain supremacy against a solid visitor's defence. Reading broke through a couple of times in the first half with a Henderson header from a corner saved by the Wolves keeper and then hacked clear off the line - earlier on he struggled to hold a Henderson effort. Reading's first half domination increased in the second half as Wolves rarely broke out of their half against continued Reading pressure. Henderson forced an excellent save from the keeper after firing in a low shot when he broke into the area on the left and substitute Tony Rougier should have done better when he was clean through with just the keeper to beat. Sidwell and Little both had shots that were over the bar as Reading failed to take their chances, but otherwise the Wolves defence held firm. Against the run of play, nine minutes from time, Wolves finished off the fixture with a shot from the right that finished in the bottom corner of Hahnemann's net. The goal signalled the end to Reading's season. A brave effort by the Royals but it wasn't enough against a solid Wolves side that had come and completed the job. It's been a magnificent season and despite the result it was good to finish in front of a capacity Madejski Stadium crowd - the majority of which stayed behind to applaud the Royals off the pitch.

  • Reading 0 Wolves 1 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Come On You Royals!
    Added by HNA? on 14/05/03
    It's going to be a massive night tonight as Reading take on Wolves at a sold out Madejski Stadium in the second leg of the play-off semi-final. Wolves have sold an extra 50 tickets that were released yesterday to ensure a capacity crowd. Both clubs have been trying to pump up their fans to make as much noise as possible to cheer their teams to victory. Wolves manager Dave Jones has told his travelling fans to make the same noise they generated at the end of the game on Saturday. Meanwhile, Reading have declared the night "noise night" and are telling every fan to join in with the singing to support the Royals. Surely we don't need to be told by the club what to do to drown out the away fans and roar the Royals to one of the biggest wins in club history? Reading showed what they are capable of on Saturday and there's no doubt we can win this game under the Madejski Stadium floodlights. It's been an excellent season and there's still a place in the Premiership very much within our reach. Wolves have a full strength squad for the fixture but Reading manager Alan Pardew will be forced into making a few changes with Tyson suspended and Forster out injured. Reading head into the game one goal down after being defeated 1-2 at Wolves on Saturday. The Royals need to win by two clear goals to reach the play-off final and put Wolves out - away goals do not count extra. Should the aggregate scores be level at the end of the ninety minutes then the game will enter extra time. A draw tonight at the end of full time or extra time will of course be enough to see Wolves go through. A full thirty minutes of extra time will be played as there is no golden goal rule in the play-offs. Should the aggregate scores still be level at the end of extra time then the fixture will be decided by a penalty shoot-out. Come on you Royals!

  • Reading -v- Wolves - Match Preview
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    No Injury Problems For Wolves
    Added by HNA? on 12/05/03
    Wolves are reported to be injury free ahead of the sold-out second leg game at the Madejski Stadium this Wednesday night. Paul Butler, who was stretchered off the pitch in dramatic fashion following the challenge by Nathan Tyson on Saturday, is expected to be available to play. Tyson was given a red card for his foul - and as a result has been given a three match suspension meaning he will miss the return leg and the play-off final should the Royals win on Wednesday. Wolves had possible injury worries with Miller, Lescott and Newton who all featured during the game on Saturday - but all three players have been training today and are expected to play. Wolves manager Dave Jones can choose from a fully fit squad and the Royals could face the same team that pulled off a late win at Molineux. Meanwhile Jamie Cureton will be hopeful of a start for Reading after the news that Nicky Forster's injury will almost certainly keep him out of action on Wednesday night.

  • Reading -v- Wolves - Match Preview
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Made Massive Outsiders
    Added by HNA? on 12/05/03
    The bookies are currently making Reading massive outsiders for promotion to the Premiership via the play-offs, following the Royals 1-2 defeat at Wolves in the first leg of the semi-finals. Reading have been outsiders all the way through since reaching the play-offs but the odds have now been extended even further. Reading are now 7/1 to win the play-offs making it a very tempting bet indeed. Wolves remain favourites at 5/4, with Sheffield United second favourites at 7/4 and Nottingham Forest third at 9/2. After nearly picking up a good win at 30/1 for Reading to draw 1-1 at Wolves with Nicky Forster to score first, we're off to stick a tenner on the mighty Royals.

  • William Hill Book Makers
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    URZ CD and Team Picture
    Added by HNA? on 12/05/03
    If you're yet to get hold of the new URZ / Number 13 fans CD, they are still available for sale through Hob Nob Anyone? We've recently added an MP3 clip of the song so you can get a taster for it to see if it's worth parting with your cash. Profits from the sale of the CD are being used to fund the free balloons we've been giving out for Wednesday nights crunch game with Wolves at the Madejski Stadium. If you didn't manage to get a SAE in the post for your free balloons and you happen to be in the North Stand on Wednesday then come and find us in row CC to the East side of the stand and grab some just before kick-off! Meanwhile, a new item has been added to the Hob Nob shop - a Reading FC Team Caricature of the 2002/2003 play-off squad. Limited numbers are available for sale through the website. Follow the link below to view a full size image of the team portrait.

  • Hob Nob Shopping!
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Tyson Ban Confirmed
    Added by HNA? on 12/05/03
    Nathan Tyson will serve a three match ban following his straight red card picked up during injury time of Saturday's 1-2 defeat at Wolves. Tyson had just thirty minutes on the pitch, after replacing Nicky Forster during the second half, before he was given his marching orders for a two footed tackle that saw the Wolves player leave the pitch on a stretcher. It looked bad at the time but TV replays show the incident looked far worse that it was with minimal contact as Tyson attempted to pull out of what was a very bad challenge. Tyson will now miss the second leg game at the Madejski Stadium and will also miss the play-off final should Reading beat Wolves on Wednesday. His ban will continue into the start of the new season in August. Meanwhile, Forster appears to be very doubtful for Wednesday's return leg after limping off injured on Saturday. Forster's ankle is reported to be heavily swollen but the club have yet to confirm the extent of the injury.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Wolves Win First Leg
    Added by HNA? on 11/05/03
    Reading still have everything to play for in the First Divsion play-offs after a narrow defeat at Wolves yesterday in the first leg of the semi-final. Reading's 1-2 defeat means a victory by two goals in the return leg at the Madejski Stadium on Wednesday night will see Reading through to the play-off final. After yesterday's performance, a Reading victory in the second leg seems very likely indeed. The Royals put in an excellent performance that saw them lead Wolves for fifty minutes as Reading looked to be on their way to victory. Nicky Forster put Reading ahead after 25 mintues when Shorey put over a cross from the left that saw Forster break free of the defenders to drive the ball into the roof of the net from the right side of the area. It was a superb finish after an excellent period of football from Reading - and it was a pattern that continued for the rest of the first half as Reading looked comfortable playing the better football. The second half saw Reading continue from where they left off with the defence shutting out Wolves and the Reading midfield looking the strongest as Wolves struggled to get going. Nicky Forster broke through again before hitting hit his shot wide as Reading threatened to extend their lead. Just before Forster limped off on the hour it appeared the Wolves revival had begun when Hahnemann made an excellent save, his first of the match, to push a long range shot wide. On 74 minutes the home side were level when a shot from the right of the area deflected off Murty and into the back of the net. The Wolves fans made some noise for the first time and all of a sudden Reading were under the first real pressure of the game. Hahnemann got down to make another great save, but could do little to prevent Wolves taking the lead just six minutes from time when a free-kick from the edge of the area was driven into the bottom left corner of the Reading net. Wolves had made home advantage tell in the end - if Reading can repeat the first half performance again on Wednesday and use their home advantage then we are on our way to Cardiff again. We can definitely still do it.

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

    Free Play-Off Balloons
    Added by HNA? on 09/05/03
    To help give the Royals as much support as possible through their play-off semi-final games against Wolves, we've got a whole load of blue and white play-off balloons to give away for free. Fans are encouraged to wear as much blue and white as possible for the trip to Wolves and for Wednesday's return leg at the Madejski Stadium with Reading attempting to reach the play-off final. To help create a sea of blue and white we're giving away specially printed Hob Nob Anyone? balloons to everyone that sends in a stamped addressed envelope.
    Sorry! If you haven't sent in your SAE now, it's too late for the second leg. However, should we reach the play-off final there will be more freebies available!
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    No Injury Worries For Wolves Trip
    Added by HNA? on 09/05/03
    Reading are reporting no serious injury worries ahead of Saturday afternoon's play-off first leg fixture against Wolves at Molineux. Adrian Williams, who missed the last two games of the regular league campaign, is expected to be fit and will start in the centre of defence. Pardew has plenty of options throughout the rest of the side as Reading are expected to field a full strength team. Wolves are also suffering from few injury problems and are expected to put out a first choice team. The game should be a full sell-out as Reading, in their regular blue and white hoops, take on the play-off favourites. For those without a ticket the game will be screened live on Sky TV as Reading take the next huge step towards securing a place in the Premiership.

  • Wolves -v- Reading - Full Preview
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Play-Off Tickets Sell Out
    Added by HNA? on 08/05/03
    Tickets for next Wednesday's play-off second leg at the Madejski Stadium have now all sold out. The tickets went on general sale this morning and the remainder were quickly picked up to provide a capacity crowd at the Madejski. Wolves have already fully sold out their allocation for the South Stand. Meanwhile tickets for Saturday's first leg game at Wolves are also reported to be on the verge of sold out - a handful of tickets are rumoured to be still available for those who are quick!

  • Match Previews Index
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Forster And Harper Pick Up Awards
    Added by HNA? on 07/05/03
    Congratulations to Nicky Forster and James Harper who have taken the 2002/2003 titles in the Hob Nob Anyone? End of Season Awards. After an excellent season up-front for Reading Nicky Forster took nearly a third of the vote to win the player of the season award. Forster, Reading's leading goal scorer for 2002/2003, was well clear of James Harper with Nicky Shorey and Graeme Murty taking third and fourth places. James Harper walked away with victory in the voting for most improved player of the season with over two thirds of the vote. In the best performance of the season voting, the victories against the two sides involved in the other play-off fixture stood out. Away at Sheffield United and at home against Nottingham Forest were voted the best games. Meanwhile, the home defeat against Leicester was the worst performance of the season with the defeat at Portsmouth just behind. Follow the link below to see the full end of season voting results and to view match reports from some of the season's highlights.

  • End Of Season Awards 2002/2003 Results
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    URZ! Get Your Fans Play-Off CD!
    Added by HNA? on 07/05/03
    It's been another fantastic season for Reading Football Club, and to celebrate the achievements of the past year, a motley crew of season ticket holders and seasoned ticket holders have gathered together to give vocal support to Reading FC in their push to the Premiership via the Play-Offs. As a mark of appreciation for the marvellous efforts put in by the team, a song has been put together by some fans that should appeal to Reading Fans Everywhere. Featuring members of the Beard Band on horns, URZ is a mix of Ska, Samba and Soul, with the obligatory Yob Chorus thrown in for good measure. It is a reply to all those rallying for a song to sing at matches, a celebratory reveille to rouse supporters and the team alike. It is the principal aim that the tune will be adopted as the fans own, not just for the play off's but for years to come. Click the link below to find out more information and to buy your copy of the CD now using our on-line payment system.

  • URZ Fans CD - Buy Now!
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    HNA? Awards - Last Chance To Vote
    Added by HNA? on 06/05/03
    If you haven't yet voted in the Hob Nob Anyone? end of season awards, for the 2002/2003 season, then it's now time to complete our on-line voting form. Voting will close on Wednesday afternoon and votes will then be counted up to judge who has earnt the awards for Player of the Season and Most Improved Player of the Season. The Hob Nob awards collect Internet based votes to shower praise on players and Reading performances during the season. There's also the annual vote on the worst Reading performance. Previous winners of most improved player include Scott Howie (2 years running), Jim McIntyre, and John Mackie. Make sure you place your votes now using the link below. Voting closes on 7 May 2003.

  • End Of Season Awards - Vote Now!
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Prediction League Final Tables
    Added by HNA? on 06/05/03
    The Hob Nob Anyone? Prediction League has now finished with the final league game of the regular season. Once again over 300 players took part in the competition, to predict the results and scorers of Reading FC matches, by completing the on-line entry forms throughout the season. The league, which has been running since this site kicked-off in 1994, has some brand new winners this season. The total points table was closer than ever this season with three points seperating the top three players. The eventual winner, by a single point, was R Herridge who scored 91 points to beat Cavaboy and Yellowcoat3. The clear winner of the average points table was Slap - who led nearly all season after building up a fantastic average to beat Aeroguide who finished second in the table.

  • Hob Nob Anyone? Prediction League Final Tables
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Remain Underdogs
    Added by HNA? on 06/05/03
    Reading are rated as the most unlikely side to achieve promotion to the Premiership through the play-offs according to the bookies. Despite Reading finishing fourth in the table the bookies believe that both Wolves and Nottingham Forest, who finished fifth and sixth in the table, are more likely to be the overall play-off winners. The Royals are outsiders with odds of 7/2 and are expected to be beaten by Wolves over the two legs. Wolves and Sheffield United are joint favourites to win the play-offs, and promotion, with both sides having odds of 2/1. Nottingham Forest, who finished sixth, are third favourites for promotion with odds of 16/5. Wolves are favourites for home victory on Saturday as the Royals travel to Molineux for the first leg. The bookies make the home win the most likely result with an away win getting the outside odds of 13/5. Earlier this season Reading were 1-0 winners at Molineux thanks to an Andy Hughes wonder goal.

  • William Hill Book Makers
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Play-Off Ticket Frenzy
    Added by HNA? on 05/05/03
    Reading fans have been snapping up play-off semi-final tickets at an amazing rate after the tickets went on sale on Saturday. The ticket office opened to huge queues on both Saturday, when tickets for the home leg first went on sale, and on Monday when tickets for the away leg were first released. Fans queued for up to five hours on Monday morning as season ticket holders arrived early to ensure a ticket for Saturday's game. Some fans arrived at the Madejski Stadium as early as 6am to get at the front of the queue but fans that arrived later in the morning still had to wait for hours to get their hands on tickets. Reading's allocation for Saturday's trip to Molineux, as the Royals take on Wolves in the first leg, will almost certainly be sold out well before the tickets go on general sale. Remaining tickets for the home leg, which takes place at the Madejski on 14 May, go on general sale on Thursday.

  • Match Previews Index
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    It's Wolves In The Play-Offs
    Added by HNA? on 04/05/03
    Reading will meet Wolverhampton Wanderers in the semi-finals of the play-offs, after the Royals finished the season in fourth place. Wolves drew at home with Leicester to seal fifth place in the table with Forest finishing sixth after a draw at Rotherham. Forest will now go on to play Sheffield United over two legs in the other play-off semi-final, after United finished third despite losing 2-0 away at Watford. A Reading victory today would have seen Reading complete their highest ever points total in Division One and claim third place in the table. However the Royals were also defeated away from home as Stoke City were 0-1 victors at the Britannia Stadium. The home side needed at least a point to guarantee survival in the First Division and their victory saw Brighton relegated to Division Two alongside Sheffield Wednesday and Grimsby. Stoke were hugely determined in a frantic fixture that saw limited chances for either side. A goalless first half saw Stoke make the better start before Reading started to enjoy the majority of the ball. The second half saw Stoke take the lead ten minutes into the half when Akinbiyi headed home a cross from close range. The single goal was enough to win it as Reading struggled to break through a solid Stoke City defence. Sidwell hit a shot against the crossbar from well outside the area and Forster forced a couple of saves from the City goalkeeper but otherwise the home side were good for their win. Reading will now travel to Molineux on Saturday 10 May for the first leg of the play-offs and will meet a Wolves side that are favourites for promotion to the Premiership.

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

    Play-Off Ticket News
    Added by HNA? on 02/05/03
    The club have released first details for the purchase of tickets for the play-off semi-finals. The details also see the confirmation of kick-off times for the two fixtures. The first leg will take place at either Nottingham Forest or Wolves on Saturday 10 May with a 5:30pm kick-off. The return leg will see either Forest or Wolves visit the Madejski Stadium on the evening of Wednesday 14 May with a 7:45pm evening kick-off.

  • Play Off Semi-Final First Leg Details
  • Play Off Semi-Final Second Leg Details
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Replacement Royals Cruise To Win
    Added by HNA? on 30/04/03
    Reading cruised to victory tonight with an excellent 3-0 away victory against Watford. The Royals fielded a mix of first team players and fringe squad players but looked the much better side throughout to serve up a convincing away victory in front of a vocal travelling support. With Forster, Williams, Chadwick, Harper and Murty all missing from the line-up, manager Alan Pardew gave debuts to youngsters Campbell and Castle who both came off the bench with just over ten minutes remaining. Peter Castle set a new club record as the youngest player ever, at just 16 and 49 days, to play for the first team - and he put in an impressive performance in defence. Watford failed to manage a single shot on target during the first half as Reading looked the more comfortable side. Tony Rougier put Reading ahead just before the half hour mark when he headed home a Henderson cross from the left. Watford picked up at the start of the second half with a number of shots from distance before Reading extended their superiority with a Henderson goal on seventy minutes. It was a thoroughly enjoyable night for the Reading fans and it was wrapped up nicely when Cureton came off the bench to supply a superb cross to which Henderson added an excellent finish on the left in front of the travelling fans. Cureton finished the scoring with an excellent strike in injury time to make it 3-0 and secure Reading's joint highest Divsion One points total in club history - with one game remaining. The victory means that Reading are guaranteed a third or fourth placed finish in the table giving us the advantage of playing the second leg of the semi-finals during the week at the Madejski Stadium. Reading will travel to either Nottingham Forest or Wolves in the first leg of the play-offs on Saturday 10th May. This was an historic night for the Royals in many ways - and we still have the opportunity to make this season even more memorable.

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

    End Of Season Awards 2002/2003
    Added by HNA? on 29/04/03
    Once again it's that time of year to vote in the Hob Nob Anyone? end of season awards. The Hob Nob awards have been running since 1994 to collect Internet based votes to shower praise on players and Reading performances during the season. There's also the annual vote on the worst Reading performance - however this season the competition is likely to be toughest for the best Reading performance of the season award. Votes are collected for the player of the season and the most improved player of the season. Previous winners of most improved player include Scott Howie (2 years running), Jim McIntyre, and John Mackie. Make sure you place your votes now using the link below. Voting closes on 7 May 2003.

  • End Of Season Awards - Vote Now!
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Got Your Free Sticker Yet?
    Added by HNA? on 29/04/03
    We've still got plenty of free Hob Nob Anyone? car stickers up for grabs. If you'd like a couple of these stickers installed in your car in time for the trips to the play-off semi-finals then just send in a stamped addresses envelope and we'll send you some right away.

  • Free Car Sticker
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Stoke Kick-Off Correction!
    Added by HNA? on 29/04/03
    Apologies for the misleading headline yesterday stating the kick-off time for the Stoke City game had been changed - it hasn't. The game was always scheduled to kick-off at 1:30pm this Sunday, with all the Division One final day fixtures kicking off at the same time. We made the assumption that Sky Sports had upset the kick-off time again at short notice - but of course it was with plenty of notice this time and just a late decision to screen the games involving Reading and Brighton. Whoops.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Stoke Kick-Off Changed
    Added by HNA? on 28/04/03
    Reading's final game of the regular league campaign has a new kick-off time, following Sky Sports decision to screen the game live. The Royals trip to the Britannia Stadium, to play Stoke City, will now kick-off at 13:30 on Sunday. Sky have picked the game to screen side by side with Brighton who visit Grimsby Town needing a win to stay up. If Reading beat Stoke City and Brighton pick up a win then the game will see Stoke City relegated to Division Two in place of Brighton. Tickets are on general sale to Reading fans now from the Madejski Stadium ticket office - the match is all ticket with no tickets available on the day and adult tickets are priced at 17. The game is huge for Stoke but the Royals are already in the play-offs. Reading need a single win from their final two games to secure a third or fourth placed finish, which would give us an advantage in the play-offs with a home second leg. With Reading's position safe Alan Pardew may choose to select a few academy players for the squad as Reading travel to Watford on Wednesday night. Darren Campbell, Ahmet Rifat, Peter Castle, and Simieon Howell are all being mentioned as possible inclusions and a couple of these players could appear on the bench.

  • 30 April 2003: Watford -v- Reading - Preview
  • 4 May 2003: Stoke City -v- Reading - Preview
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Secure Play-Off Place
    Added by HNA? on 26/04/03
    Reading secured their place in the First Division play-offs, with two games of the league season still remaining, after beating Grimsby Town 2-1 at the Madejski Stadium this afternoon. The result means that Reading can finish no lower than sixth place in the table but can finish as high as third as they look to enter the play-offs on a high. Reading must visit Watford on Wednesday and then Stoke City next Sunday to wrap up the league campaign - and the results of those fixtures will determine who the Royals will meet in the first stage of the play-offs, based on the final league positions. Reading will face one of Sheffield United, Wolves or Nottingham Forest in the play-off semi-final and will play away in the first leg of the tie if they can finish either third or fourth in the table. Reading entered today's game needing just a point to secure the play-off place but completed an easy win against a Grimsby side that were already relegated and clearly had little to play for. The game was over nearly as soon as it kicked off with Reading taking the lead within the opening two minutes when John Salako crossed low from the left to Glen Little on the right who drove the ball across the keeper and into the back of the net. The one-way traffic continued as Reading made it 2-0 just after twenty minutes into the game when Chadwick set up Andy Hughes who doubled the lead. Reading dominated the rest of the half as the visitors failed to get in a shot on target. The Royals eased off in the second half with the game already won and failed to take a series of chances that could have increased the margin. With the game lacking that edge of tension or excitement Grimsby got into it late on by pulling one back shortly after hitting the crossbar with a good strike. However, it made no difference with Reading well in control and on their way to wrapping up their place in the play-offs for a shot at the Premiership.

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

    Royals Struggle At Pompey
    Added by HNA? on 21/04/03
    Reading struggled to ever really get going at Portsmouth today as they went down 0-3 in front of a capacity Fratton Park crowd. Reading's travelling fans were given little to cheer about as the Royals continually failed to break through a solid Portsmouth defence. The home side failed to seriously impress but made the better chances and put the ball in the net three times from a relatively small number of attempts on goal. The first half saw the home side dominate the fixture with Hahnemann pulling off a few good saves to keep the half-time score down to 0-2. Reading's passing was continually astray in a disappointing performance after such as impressive game against Nottingham Forest on Good Friday. The second half saw Reading have plenty of time on the ball but fail to do much with it. Despite the majority of possession Reading could only knock the ball around sideways and backwards as they failed to put the home side under any sustained pressure. Meanwhile, both Ipswich and Norwich lost to put their play-off hopes seriously in doubt. The results were good news for the Royals - we now just need a single point in the last three games to guarantee a play-off position finish.

  • Portsmouth 3 Reading 0 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Great Friday For The Royals
    Added by HNA? on 19/04/03
    Reading Football Club, their fans inside a packed Madejski Stadium, and millions watching on Sky TV enjoyed some magical Good Friday entertainment as Reading turned on the class to beat Nottingham Forest 1-0 last night. This was an excellent all-round performance from the Royals that went a long way to finally securing that play-off spot. To beat Nottingham Forest, another side contending for promotion to the Premiership via the play-offs, made it even more special as Reading looked a side fully capable of promotion. The first half saw a tight game between the two sides with Reading enjoying the most of the possession but with Forest looking slightly more dangerous. Forest hit the past and Reading required Hahnemann to make a good stop to prevent the visitors from going ahead. The second half belonged to Reading. With a shuffle around of the team Reading started the second half at an amazing pace - and never let up as they really took the game to Forest. Some excellent football saw Reading continually threaten to go ahead. The winner came with fifteen minutes left to play when a perfect Murty cross from the right saw three Reading players lined up in the box. Andy Hughes met the ball in the middle and headed it past the keeper into the right of the net. The Madejski Stadium erupted as Reading deservedly leapt into the lead. The celebrations were huge but they could get even bigger in May.

  • Reading 1 Nottingham Forest 0 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Defeat Nine-Man Preston
    Added by HNA? on 15/04/03
    Reading enjoyed their biggest win of the campaign so far as Nicky Forster scored his second hat-trick of the season to put Reading on the road to a 5-1 home victory over Preston North End. Reading's task was made easier as the visitors picked up two red cards giving the Royals a massive advantage. Preston looked like they might match Reading until Jackson was sent off for his second booking with less than half an hour played. Reading immediately took the lead as the ball was put into the back of the net after Forster took advantage from a series of shots. The lead was extended shortly afterwards when Salako put in plenty of work to supply Forster with the cross to make it 2-0 at half time. The game was put out of reach of Preston less than ten minutes into the second half when the last defender slipped over when on the ball, allowing Little to walk into the area and stride past the goalkeeper. The keeper pulled Little to the ground and immediately received a straight red card to leave Preston with just nine players left on the field. Nicky Shorey drove home the penalty with plenty of confidence and it was followed up by a superb goal from Nicky Forster when Murty played a long ball over the top and into Forster's path. Forster headed the ball down and then looped it over the substitute goalkeeper and into the net to make it 4-0. It looked like Reading might go on the rampage and chalk up a huge scoreline - but a series of substitutions saw Reading lose their shape and the game slowed down with Preston enjoying the lack of pressure. The visitors pulled one back with seven minutes left on the clock when a shot from the edge of the box saw Hahnemann fail to make the save, but Reading completed the scoring on the stoke of 90 minutes when a cross from Nicky Shorey was headed home by Henderson at the far post.

  • Reading 5 Preston North End 1 - Report and Opinion
  • Latest Division One Table
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals -v- Saints Charity Match
    Added by HNA? on 15/04/03
    An ex-Reading side are set to take on an ex-Southampton team in a charity fixture in aid of the Wessex Cancer Trust Basingstoke Appeal. The game will be staged at Basingstoke FC's Camrose Stadium in Basingstoke on Friday 2nd May with a 7:30pm kick-off. The former Reading team is set to feature a number of former favourite Royals including Mick Gooding, Neil Webb and Kevin Dillon. Meanwhile, Gordon Strachen, Matt Le Tissier and Jimmy Case will be lining up for the Saints. Admission prices are just three pounds for adults and one pound for concessions. Tickers will be available on the gate, or in advance from the Basingstoke Gazette offices and Basingstoke Police Station. For further information about the game please call 07831 477691.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Play-Off Rivals Keep Up Pressure
    Added by HNA? on 13/04/03
    The only two sides with a chance of catching the teams currently in the play-off positions kept the pressure up this weekend by securing vital wins to keep their seasons alive. Norwich City were 2-0 home winners over Burnley, while Ipswich picked up three points at Coventry with a 4-2 victory. The results see both sides close to within three points of the Royals who currently lie in sixth place in the Division One table. However, Reading have two games in hand over both Norwich and Ipswich - who only have four games of their seasons remaining. Reading remain favourites to pick up a play-off place - but will be looking for a vital home win against Preston on Tuesday night at the Madejski Stadium to shore up their position.

  • Latest Division One Table
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Club Reward Season Ticket Holders
    Added by HNA? on 08/04/03
    Reading FC have announced a plan to reward existing season ticket holders - with an offer to renew season tickets for next season at the same price paid for this season. After a few seasons of substantial rises in ticket prices season ticket holders will be delighted to hear they won't be stung with increased prices next season. The offer from the club stands even if Reading complete promotion to the Premiership. If the Royals do manage to go up then Reading's long standing fans will be rewarded with probably the cheapest season ticket in the top flight. Existing season ticket holders should receive all the details in the post by early next week, and renewals will need to be completed before the end of the season (3rd May) to qualify for the potential discount. Since Reading are guaranteed Division One football at the very least next season this sounds like an excellent offer. Well done Reading FC.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Hob Nob On The Air
    Added by HNA? on 07/04/03
    Hob Nob Anyone? will be featured on Blast 1386am radio this coming Saturday as we pop in for the final hour of the Mark Watkins Music Show. Mark's show runs every Saturday from 10am until 1pm and features quality rock and pop music from the 70s to today. From midday onwards we'll be chatting about Hob Nob Anyone? and the mighty Royals as well as sneaking on our choice of music. Blast 1386 broadcasts from Reading College on 1386am and can be picked up within the Reading town area. If you can't get a signal for the station they also broadcast live on the Internet from the radio station's website.

  • Blast 1386 Website
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Ipswich And Norwich Defeated
    Added by HNA? on 05/04/03
    There was good news for Reading this afternoon as the two sides chasing the play-off pack both lost. The Royals need to finish sixth or above to secure a play-off opportunity at the end of the season. Ipswich, seventh in the table, lost 3-4 at home to Nottingham Forest and failed to close the gap on Reading and the other play-off placed teams. Norwich, just below Ipswich, also missed the opporunity to take advantage of Reading's 1-2 home defeat against Brighton last night by losing 1-2 at Derby County this afternoon. The results mean that Reading remain six points clear inside the play-off zone with six games left to play. Ipswich and Norwich both have just five games left to play, which gives Reading a big advantage as the season approches an end. Reading dropped to fifth in the table as Forest climbed to fourth with their victory at Ipswich. Meanwhile, Wolves could only draw at home against Rotherham United.

  • Latest Division One Table
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Lose To Brighton
    Added by HNA? on 05/04/03
    Brighton secured a huge win at the Madejski Stadium last night to give themselves a real chance of avoiding relegation. Reading, on the other hand, suffered a massive defeat that put a dent in the club's play-off dreams. The Royals still have plenty of time to secure a play-off position and look favourites to do it - but home defeats against teams like Brighton will make it a nervous final run in. The visitors should consider themselves very very lucky to have managed to take anything from this game. Brighton scored with their only two chances of the game and relied on some bizarre refeering to help with the first goal. A Brighton attack saw the ball bounce off a couple of Reading players and it was eventually picked up by Hahnemann - dramatic claims from Brighton saw the referee declare it a back pass. The resulting free-kick was instantly kicked wide with the ball still moving and was then driven in from the right to put Brighton 0-1 up. Reading could also have claimed at least a couple of penalties - Forster was clearly taken down inside the area during the first half but the referee just waved play on. The second half saw Reading control the game and they enjoyed nearly all the play. Reading won all the corners, had all the chances but saw Brighton go 0-2 up when a free-kick from the left provided a free header in the middle of the box, which Hahnemann somehow fumbled into the back of the net to continue a poor night's performance in goal for the Royals. Harper set up Forster a couple of times which saw a low effort just wide of the post and another blasted wide when Forster looked set to score. Cureton came off the bench and pulled a goal back with a superb effort from well outside the box after spotting the goalkeeper off his line. The ball dipped a treat into the back of the net to make it 1-2, but Reading's poor luck in front of goal continued and they failed to find the equaliser. It was a mystery how we managed to lose this game.

  • Reading 1 Brighton 2 - Report and Opinion
  • Latest Division One Table
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Williams Should Start
    Added by HNA? on 03/04/03
    Central defender Adrian Williams is set to start on Friday night as Reading take on relegation threatened Brighton and Hove Albion at the Madejski Stadium. Williams has missed four games through injury after limping off during the first half of Reading's 1-0 victory at Norwich a month ago. With Adie missing from the defence Reading have lost two and won two fixtures, and his return should be a big boost. Both Mackie and Viveash are ruled out of the fixture due to suspension meaning Williams makes an even more welcome return to the side as Reading look to continue the run into the play-offs. Over 15,000 tickets have been sold for Friday's game so far.

  • Reading -v- Brighton - Preview
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Big Brighton Crowd Expected
    Added by HNA? on 01/04/03
    Reading are expecting a big crowd for Friday night's game against Brighton at the Madejski Stadium. The Royals need the points to edge that bit closer to confirming a play-off position and the chance of promotion to the Premiership, meanwhile Brighton remain desperate for the points to avoid relegation straight back to Division Two. The club have made a plea to break past the 20,000 attendance barrier by plastering their website with marketing material as the Royals push towards the Premiership. If you haven't yet got your ticket there's still plenty left to enable you to help the club meet their figure. Indications at the moment point to a huge crowd for a week night fixture and the club should surpass their target. The game could see the Reading debut for new signing Glen Little who joined the Royals on loan from Burnley last week. It promises to be an excellent night out as the Royals attempt to take a big leap towards the top Division for what would be the first time in the club's history.

  • Reading -v- Brighton - Preview
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Parky Wins Award
    Added by HNA? on 01/04/03
    Colchester United manager, and ex-Reading hero, Phil Parkinson has been awarded the March 2003 manager of the month award for Division Two. Parky has pulled Colchester well clear of the relegation zone to secure a mid-table place for the Essex side after just one month in charge. March was a great month for Parky as he steered United to five wins out of eight fixtures with his team scoring sixteen goals in the process. Parky stated his award will be taking "pride of place" alongside his playing medals earnt at Reading. Meanwhile, Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle picked up the award for Division One as Ipswich climbed up to challenge for the play-offs. Ipswich are now just six points behind the Royals - although Reading have a game in hand.
    Rumour Rating: Definite


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