Reading FC Dynamic News

Hob Nob Anyone? News
April 2004 - June 2004

Newman To Accept One-Year Deal
Added by HNA? on 29/06/04
Royals utility player Ricky Newman is set to sign a new one-year deal to keep him at the club. Newman, whose existing contract comes to an end this summer, has been thinking over his extended contract offer and now seems certain to accept. The player has already made well over 100 appearances for the Royals after signing from Millwall four years ago, and he enjoyed an excellent 2003/2004 season filling in across the pitch as the Royals suffered a series of injuries.
Rumour Rating: Definite

Sunderland Game Moved
Added by HNA? on 29/06/04
Reading's home game against Sunderland has been moved along a day to Tuesday 31 August (8pm kick-off). The game was originally scheduled to kick-off on the bank holiday Monday (30 August), but has been moved at the request of the police who will be busy dealing with the remainder of Reading Festival visitors - who will be leaving the campsite on the same day after the weekend festival.

  • New Season Fixture List
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Fifth Favourites
    Added by HNA? on 24/06/04
    Following the release of the full league fixture list for the new season today, Reading have been installed as fifth favourites to lift the Football League "Championship" title. The Royals are 11/1 to win the re-named Division One and 7/2 to gain promotion to the Premiership at the end of the season. West Ham are favourites to win the Division at 5/1, followed by Wolves (11/2), Leicester (7/1) and Sunderland (8/1) followed by the Royals and Wigan Athletic on the same odds. Now might be the time to put a fiver on the Royals before the odds are slashed after the disposal of Brighton and West Ham! On the other hand, Reading are also being quoted at 16/1 for relegation!

  • William Hill On-Line Betting

  • 2004/2005 Fixture List In Full

  • Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Kick-Off With Brighton Visit
    Added by HNA? on 24/06/04
    Reading kick off their new 2004/2005 league campaign at home against Mark McGhee's newly promoted Brighton at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday 7 August 2004. The run of former managers continues immediately with a trip to Alan Pardew's West Ham United on Tuesday 10 August. Boxing Day sees another rare home fixture for the Royals with Watford on the fixture list, and the year 2005 kicks-off with an away trip to Gillingham. The season wraps up with a home fixture against Wolves followed by a trip to Wigan on the final day of the season. Leeds visit the Madejski on 19 October and Leicester travel to Reading on the 26 February 2005.

  • 2004/2005 Fixture List In Full

  • Rumour Rating: Definite

    2004/2005 Fixture List
    Added by HNA? on 24/06/04
    The new 2004/2005 league fixture list will be available from 10am this morning on Hob Nob Anyone? (24 June 2004). The new season kicks off on Saturday 7 August and the regular season ends on Sunday 8 May 2005. Fixtures to look out for include the games against newly relegated Leeds, Leicester and Wolves and the games against teams involving former Reading managers - Brighton and West Ham United.

  • 2004/2005 Fixture List
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Club Plays Down Keown Link
    Added by HNA? on 23/06/04
    The club have denied that they have had any contact with central defender Martin Keown about a possible move to Reading. The Reading Evening Post claimed that Coppell was chasing the former England and Arsenal player, but the club themselves have said there has been no contact at all and Keown is unlikely to be moving outside the Premiership.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Fixtures Released Next Thursday
    Added by HNA? on 17/06/04
    Fixtures for Reading's new season in the re-branded top teir of the Football League are released next Thursday. Once again we'll be first, along with everyone else, to bring the fixtures to you on this site - with all media sources releasing the fixtures at the same time in the morning. Reading FC have granted us permission to show the fixtures and our license fee is being paid for once again by Philpott Black. Reading will be hoping for a rare home game to start the new season which kicks-off on Saturday 7 August 2004.
    Pre-Season Friendlies - Fixture List
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Goater Injured, Shorey Recovering
    Added by HNA? on 17/06/04
    Reading striker Shaun Goater has picked up a calf injury during his International appearance for Bermuda at the weekend. He was forced to leave the pitch with an hour on the clock and although the extent of the injury is not certain he seems likely to miss much of the pre-season build up. Better news is that full-back Nicky Shorey is making a fast recovery after missing all of last season's run in. Shorey is expected to be back in action well before the new season kicks off.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Ashdown On His Way
    Added by HNA? on 07/06/04
    Royals keeper Jamie Ashdown seems certain to be on his way to Premiership Portsmouth after rejecting a new two year contract offer to stay with Reading. Portsmouth have confirmed that they've been holding talks with the player - and Ashdown will complete the move at the end of June when his existing contract with Reading comes to an end. Reading will be entitiled to compensation, which could be worth around half a million pounds, as Ashdown is under 24 years of age. Ashdown will be unlikely to become an instant first choice keeper at Pompey - but obviously they offered a far better pay packet and a decent shot at Premiership football. Good luck Jamie.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Ticket Prices Increased
    Added by HNA? on 04/06/04
    Match day ticket prices for next season have been increased by a pound across all stands. The standard pay-on-the-day adult ticket price will now be 21 in all stands, with the exception of the Upper West which will have an admission price of 24. Child prices have also increased by the same amount meaning Upper West tickets on the day will be 17 and 14 in all other stands. Advance sale prices have also gone up by a pound with the exception of tickets purchased on-line and more than seven days in advance - which are frozen at last season's on-line prices. The new advance purchase scheme means the best price for an adult ticket is 16 (9 for concessions).
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Ashdown Considers Contract
    Added by HNA? on 01/06/04
    Reading goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown is still considering his future after a successful end to last season. Ashdown had an extended loan spell with Rushden and Diamonds before being called back to be Reading's number one after Hahnemann was ruled out through injury. Ashdown was so impressive that he kept Hahnemann on the bench when the American returned from injury. Ashdown has been offered a new contract with the Royals but is yet to accept it as he weighs up other options - with no assurances that he would be considered first choice keeper at Reading next season. Portsmouth are rumoured to be chasing Ashdown - but a move to the Premiership team would almost certainly see Ashdown have limited first team opportunity. Meanwhile Bas Savage has accepted his new contract and signed a one year deal with the club. Ricky Newman is yet to put pen to paper on his contract offer but is also expected to accept a new one year deal.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Watson Links Up With Parky
    Added by HNA? on 01/06/04
    Kevin Watson has linked up with former Royals midfielder Phil Parkinson at Colchester United after moving on a free transfer to the Second Division club. Watson wasn't offered a new contract at Reading and was left to find a new club - but was quick to complete his move to United with Parky reported to have signed the player on a two year contract. Colchester finished eleventh last season and Parky sees Watson as a key player for his side next season as they look to challenge for promotion to Division One.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Prediction League Final Tables
    Added by HNA? on 19/05/04
    The final tables for the Hob Nob Anyone? Prediction league 2003/2004 are now available. The Prediction League, running since the 1994/1995 season allows fans to enter their predictions into the website for each game to see how they score over the season against other Reading fans. Congratulations to Shortbread and Woody who are this season's Prediction League winners. Both players won by clear margins with Shortbread taking the title for the highest number of points over the season and Woody winning the average points league. Look out for the Prediction League returning next season giving your chance to challenge our winners for next season's league titles.

  • Prediction League 2003/2004 Final Tables
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Manchester City Friendly Confirmed
    Added by HNA? on 19/05/04
    It's been confirmed that Reading will end their pre-season campaign with a home friendly against Premiership Manchester City on Monday 2 August 2004. The game will kick-off at 8pm and will probably be the last time to see the side before the new season gets underway. With a fraction of the gate money going to charity, let's hope the club introduce a sensible pricing scheme this time around to attract a decent home crowd.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Sidwell And Ashdown Win Awards
    Added by HNA? on 13/05/04
    Steve Sidwell and Jamie Ashdown have taken the 2003/2004 titles in the Hob Nob Anyone? End of Season Awards. Sidwell marched away with the player of the season award with a huge majority approaching two thirds of the total vote. There were only two players ever in contention to be voted the best player of the season, and runner-up Graeme Murty took most of the rest of the vote. Jamie Ashdown was also a clear winner in the most improved player category. Ashdown was recalled from his loan spell at Second Division Rushden and Diamonds when Marus Hahnemann was ruled out through injury. Ashdown stepped straight into the first team and looked excellent, playing the last ten games of the season despite previously having only made two league starts for the Royals! The 2-0 home victory over Alan Pardew's West Ham United stood out for most as the highlight of the season. Reading put in a superb performance to move back into play-off contention with two goals from Dave Kitson doing the damage. The Christmas period was without doubt the time the season all went wrong - thanks to a poor run of results at that time we slipped out of play-off contention and never managed to fully regain the ground.The worst result out of the three straight 0-3 defeats was the home defeat against bottom of the table Wimbledon on boxing day, which was hardly in the Christmas spirit.

  • End of Season Awards 2003/2004 - Full Results
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    More Players Set To Leave
    Added by HNA? on 11/05/04
    More players have been confirmed as on their way out of the club - with no new contracts being offered to Kevin Watson, John Salako and Andre Fashanu. Fashanu is another young player who signed as a trainee but failed to break into the first team. He spent a large chunk of the season on loan at Farnborough Town and may have a future there after hitting five goals in thirteen appearances (including six of those off the bench). Many will be disappointed to see Watson and Salako leave the club after both players have impressed during some of their time with the Royals. Watson has always looked a quality player, after signing for 150,000 from Rotherham, but suffered from spells of injury and lost his place in the side. Salako has been involved in the vast majority of Reading's season but leaves after a very public dispute involving his contract earlier this season. Meanwhile new contracts are set to be offered to the other out of contract players: Jamie Ashdown, Ricky Newman, Dean Morgan and Bas Savage.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    No Contracts For Gamble And Boucaud
    Added by HNA? on 10/05/04
    Joe Gamble and Andre Boucaud are not to be offered new contracts as Steve Coppell begins to re-arrange his squad during the close season. Both players have failed to feature in the first team set-up this season and spent loan periods at lower Division sides. Boucard is expected to move straight to Peterborough United after impressing during a three month loan spell this season. Gamble was expected to appear on a more regular basis this season after breaking into the team before but failed to build on his handful of first team appearances.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Royals Miss Out On Play-Offs
    Added by HNA? on 09/05/04
    Reading missed out on the play-offs this afternoon, as they ended the season with a 0-1 defeat at Watford - finishing ninth in the table. Reading needed a win to have a chance of getting in the top six but needed three other results to go our way. Two results did, but Ipswich picked up a point to seal their play-off position. A Reading win would have seen a seventh place finish on goal difference - but that win was never on the cards today as Reading put out a very poor performance to end the season. There could be no complaints about the result and it took a string of saves from man-of-the-match Jamie Ashdown to keep the score down as Reading looked lethargic and short on ideas througout the game. Watford were by far the better team without ever really looking that good and the game was a massive anti-climax for a strong travelling support that began the game in good voice. Reading failed to get a single shot in on target during the entire first half and resorted to basic hit-and-hope football. Watford forced a couple of excellent saves out of Ashdown but eventually took the lead just before the break when a ball was played in and several players failed to connect before it hit the foot of the post and over the line. Reading looked brighter after the break when Brooker replaced Salako and we got in a couple of decent shots just wide of the target. All three substitutes had been used within ten minutes of the second half when Morgan and Owusu were thrown on - however they had little impact as the game continued to drift away from Reading. With time running out Reading rarely threatened and were left to another season in Division One.

  • Watford 1 Reading 0 - Report and Opinion

  • Final Division One Table

  • Rumour Rating: Definite

    Watford Tickets To Sell Out
    Added by HNA? on 06/05/04
    Reading's extended allocation of 3,800 is set to sell out ahead of The Royals final game of the season at Vicarage Road on Sunday. Reading still have a remote chance of making the play-offs with a victory - but only if Ipswich lose, and Wigan and Sheffield United both fail to win. Although even a victory will almost certainly see Reading fall short of the play-off positions, the outside chance appears to have generated extra interest in the game as Reading complete an impressive finish in the First Division table. Watford initially provided an allocation of 1,250, which was extended to include the entire away stand, and only a handful of the extra tickets are now available. Reading will need to make it three consecutive league wins for the first time in the season, against a Watford side that have nothing to play for. Last weekend saw Reading victorious over West Brom at the Madejski, while Watford were crushed 0-4 at West Ham United. You have to go all the way back to 1996 to find the last time Watford beat the Royals - with Reading winning all three of the last encounters between the two sides. Regardless of the result on Sunday Reading can finish the season no lower than ninth place.

  • Recent Meetings Between Watford and Reading
  • Latest Division One Table
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Late Sidwell Goal Wins It
    Added by HNA? on 01/05/04
    A late strike from Steve Sidwell, with just a couple of minutes left on the clock, gave Reading a deserved victory over already-promoted West Brom this afternoon. The game looked to be heading to a draw, despite Reading's efforts, when Sidwell broke through the middle and fired a low shot from distance that struck the left post and found it's way in with the keeper rooted to the spot. Sidwell's goal capped another excellent performance from the player who impressed along with Kitson on "Ginger Day" as thousands of home fans displayed their appreciation with a show of orange shirts, wigs, and balloons. It was another excellent Madejski Stadium atmosphere - but the travelling fans won the best dressed fans award with everyone in the away end kitted out in full Viking gear. The West Brom team failed to match the efforts of their fans and looked second best throughout the game, getting in just a couple of poor shots, as Reading looked much the better side. The Royals could well have had the game wrapped up before Sidwell's strike with Dave Kitson having three or four chances to put Reading ahead. He missed a couple from very close range - somehow sending the ball over the bar when a goal looked a certainty. On other occassions we did well to work the ball into the area but failed to get in that final shot before it was hacked clear. Reading were working hard across the pitch and looked tired towards the end after a massive display of effort during the first half. The game saw few chances during the second half - but Reading certainly had the better of them. The result means that Reading still have a remote chance of making the play-offs on the season's final day next Sunday. With one game remaining Reading can still finish in that magical sixth place - but only with a series of results going our way. Firstly Reading must win at Watford. However, the win will only be of use if Ipswich lose at home to Cardiff, Wigan lose or draw at home to West Ham, and Sheffield United fail to win at Preston. Considering that Reading have so far this season failed to win three games in a row - it seems a very tall order. Whatever the outcome next weekend Reading have enjoyed one of their highest league finishes in the history of the club, and today made West Brom - a Premiership team next season - look very ordinary.

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

    HNA? End Of Season Awards 2003/04
    Added by HNA? on 29/04/04
    Voting is now open for the Hob Nob Anyone? End of Season Awards. The awards are the original on-line voting system, running since the birth of HNA? in 1994, to honour those players that have done the business on the pitch. The awards also reflect on the best and worst performances of the season coming to a close. The usual categories are available to vote on including player of the season and most improved player of the season. The HNA? awards for the 2002/2003 season went to Nicky Forster and James Harper, with Harper being judged as the player who'd improved the most over the season - well ahead of Nathan Tyson. Previous winners also include Scott Howie and Jim McIntyre - both honoured as being most improved player in season's past. Voting is now open and closes after the final game of the season against Watford - follow the link below to submit your vote.

  • HNA? End Of Season Awards 2003/2004
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Green Light For Ginger Day
    Added by HNA? on 29/04/04
    Its all go for Saturday's Ginger Day as West Brom visit the Madejski Stadium - despite some negative publicity in the Reading Evening Post. The Post printed some quotes from Dave Kitson suggesting that he was "angry" with the day. However, Kitson has since spoken about the event and confirmed he appreciates the massive support being shown to him by the Reading fans. The day was born, and heavily discussed, on the Hob Nob discussion forums where fans arranged to make Saturday "Ginger Day" in honour of Reading's ginger haired players Dave Kitson and Steve Sidwell. Both Kitson and Sidwell have been very impressive in their recent performances and the fans wanted to show their support and generate a decent party atmosphere as the season draws to a close. Everything is all set to go ahead as planned with the home stands filled with a sea of orange in support of two players that deserve recognition. Meanwhile, West Brom fans will be kitted out in Viking gear to show their appreciation for one of their players as they celebrate promotion to the Premiership.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Goater Grabs Winner At Millwall
    Added by HNA? on 26/04/04
    Shaun Goater scored the only goal of the game to give Reading three points at FA Cup finalists Millwall this weekend. Goater was called back into the starting line-up, alongside both Kitson and Savage, and re-paid Coppell with the winning goal after only 16 minutes when he met a John Salako corner with an impressive volley. Reading looked the sharper side early on against a team that were clearly focused only on the game coming up against Manchester United. The Royals sat back after their lead allowing Millwall to force a couple of saves from Ashdown and hit the post but they failed to keep up the pressure in the second half. Reading could have doubled their lead towards the end when Kitson turned his defender and broke free only to shoot wide of the target. This defeat for Millwall ended their play-off hopes, when a win would have kept them firmly in touch with the play-off race. Reading can still mathematically make the play-offs but even two straight wins in the remaining games (West Brom at home followed by Watford away) will probably not be enough unless a series of results go our way.

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

    West Brom Visit Declared Ginger Day
    Added by HNA? on 22/04/04
    Reading's final home game of the season, against West Brom, on 1 May 2004, has been declared Ginger Day in honour of Steve Sidwell and Dave Kitson. The two players, both of course ginger haired, have been playing out of their skins recently and the themed day is aimed to give them some due recognition for their achievements on the pitch. Ginger Day is another theme day that came to life on the Hob Nob Anyone? discussion forums. The idea was originally proposed by HNA? member "Jay" in response to West Brom's plans to arrive in Viking fancy dress in honour of their player, Thomas Gaardsoe. Since the idea originally surfaced on Hob Nob it's been embraced by the local media, and the club themselves who are rumoured to be shipping in a supply of ginger wigs for the day. Fans are encouraged to turn up and create a party atmosphere as the season draws to a close by wearing as much ginger or orange as possible.

  • Discuss Ginger Day
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Play-Offs Slip Away
    Added by HNA? on 18/04/04
    Reading's season effectively came to an end this weekend with a 1-1 home draw against Crewe Alexandra at a subdued Madejski Stadium. The draw saw Reading make it just one point from the last three games and was almost certainly enough to kill off Reading's slight play-off hopes. Mathematically we can still make it with three straight wins but that's clearly not going to happen. It was obvious that the season was already finished right from the moment the game against Crewe got underway with the game lacking the kind of edge of recent fixtures and both sets of fans strangely quiet. The Royals took the lead just ten minutes into the game and the goal itself was bizarre with Salako's cross from the left finding Kitson in the middle with acres of space to nod the ball home with the Crewe defence static - presumably waiting for the flag to go up. The ball looped in slow motion into the back of the net with the Crewe keeper not making an effort to make the save. The goal was Kitson's fourth from four games as he continues to impress with his all-round performances. The rest of the first half was largely forgettable with Crewe showing some nice touches but neither side really getting down to a good pattern of football. Crewe drew level before the half time break when they won a free-kick to the left of goal on the edge of the box that was driven home into the near side of the net. The second half was much improved despite no further goals being added - Reading started to work a lot harder and played some good football without being able to generate the end result.

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

    Fans Forum Notes
    Added by HNA? on 16/04/04
    Notes from last night's STAR Fans' Forum held at the Madejski Stadium are now available to read on Hob Nob Anyone? The forum saw fans put a series of questions to team manager Steve Coppell and Reading chairman John Madejski. Madejski took questions regarding Pardew's departure, his expenditure on the club and team, and plans for the future. Coppell answered a range of matters regarding player contracts and what's been going on on the pitch - and re-iterated his belief that Reading are still going up. To find out all the questions and answers from the forum, follow the link below:

  • Fans Forum Notes
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Casper Wins Out Of Court
    Added by HNA? on 15/04/04
    Former Reading defender Chris Casper has won an out-of-court settlement following his claim for damages following Richard Carpenter's career ending tackle on boxing day 1999. Casper looked to have a promising career ahead of him with the Royals after signing, initially on loan, and then for 300,000 from Manchester United. The "tackle" made by Carpenter when he was playing for Cardiff broke Casper's leg - an injury from which he never fully recovered. Casper's case against Carpenter and Cardiff City resulted in an settlement to compensate Casper for the extended loss of earnings he would have otherwise had as a successful player. Casper is now coaching the reserve side at third division Bury.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Play-Off Hopes Dented
    Added by HNA? on 13/04/04
    Reading's play-off hopes took a massive dent today as we slipped to tenth in the table after going down 0-1 to a late goal from Norwich at the Madejski Stadium. The Royals are still only two points away from that magical sixth place but our season only has four games left while other sides have games in hand. With our tough run in to the end of the season (Crewe[H], Millwall[A], West Brom[H], Watford[A]) the play-offs are going to be a tall order. Reading probably had the better of the first half today against Norwich with Sidwell forcing a decent save from the Norwich keeper. However, there were few shots down either end despite the game being played at a frantic pace. Reading saw the return of Nicky Forster, but it was Kitson that impressed again after spending the whole game running all over the pitch and winning the ball a seemingly infinite number of times. The second half saw Norwich start to look the more likely side but it took a huge slice of luck for them to get the winner. With just four minutes left we cleared the ball only for the referee to play it back into the Reading area where it was driven home past Ashdown to make it 0-1.

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

    Royals Waste Chance To Go Fourth
    Added by HNA? on 11/04/04
    Reading wasted a chance to move fourth in the table yesterday by going down 1-2 at Bradford City. With a number of the teams in play-off contention dropping points it was an excellent opportunity to make the most of our previous results against Coventry and West Ham United. Reading haven't managed to string together three consecutive league wins all season and this defeat continued that as Reading were beaten by a team who appear certain to be relegated at the end of the season. Before kick-off things looked good with Williams back in the starting eleven in the centre of defence and Forster available on the bench along with Goater and Owusu. Coppell started with the in-form pairing of Kitson and Morgan up front and there was little reason to think we wouldn't be able to find the goals. However it was the home side that got off to the better start as they won a series of early corners. After a few attempts near goal Bradford took the lead after twelve minutes when a corner from the right was headed home at the near post. Bradford held the lead for just thirteen minutes until Kitson pulled Reading level with a spectacular goal. Morgan provided Salako with the ball and his cross was met with an overhead kick from Kitson that stunned the defence and saw the ball firmly in the back of the net. The second half saw an explosion of activity early on with Bradford getting the winner just eight minutes into the half when a cross was headed home, followed by two red cards as both teams finished with ten men. Firstly Branch was sent off ten minutes into the half for his second yellow card as once again he was booked for diving. Reading had only a couple of mintues to make their extra man count, which they failed to do, before Ingimarsson got his marching orders with a straight red for violent conduct after getting involved in a disagreement with Bradford's Windass. Coppell threw on Gordon, Forster and Goater in an unsuccessful late attempt to claw back a point. Forster had a couple of shots but nothing that tested the keeper and Gordon came closest with a free-kick that needed a save from the Bradford keeper. However Bradford could have extended their lead with a late effort that struck Ashdown's post. The defeat for Reading saw them drop to ninth in the table.

  • Bradford City 2 Reading 1
  • Latest Division One Table
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Sheffield United And Wigan Lose
    Added by HNA? on 09/04/04
    Two of Reading's key play-off rivals were both defeated today as table-toppers Norwich City beat Wigan 2-0, and third placed Sunderland disposed of Sheffield United by 3 goals to nothing. The results are a big boost to the Royals ahead of tomorrow's trip to Bradford City. Reading will be looking for their third consecutive league victory - something the Royals haven't managed to achieve at all this season. A win would see Reading move ahead of both Sheffied United and Wigan and back into a play-off position.

  • Latest Division One Table
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Brown Out, Forster And Williams Back
    Added by HNA? on 08/04/04
    It has been confirmed that Reading central defender Steve Brown will miss the rest of the season after further problems with his knee. Brown made the injury worse after returning early from his injury to play a single game as Reading went down 0-2 at home to Sunderland last month. Brown has had a second operation on his knee to repair the damage. However, Steve Coppell had much better news yesterday with Adrian Williams and Nicky Forster both completing a full ninety minutes of action for the reserves. The reserves ran out 1-0 home winners over Brighton at the Madejski Stadium with Forster grabbing the only goal of the game from the penalty spot. Although Forster appeared a bit rusty after his long lay-off his return gives Coppell plenty of choices as Reading visit Bradford on Saturday and then entertain Norwich City at home on Easter Monday. With Reading back in the play-off race and just six games of the season left both Forster and Williams could play a big part in the final push.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Royals Dispose Of Pardew's West Ham
    Added by HNA? on 04/04/04
    Now that was good - very good. The return of Alan Pardew, and his West Ham United side, didn't disappoint as the Royals put in an inspiring performance of pure effort to soundly defeat the Hammers. Pardew has spent most of the season going on about how much better West Ham are than his previous side - and was convincingly proved wrong this afternoon. A sold-out Madejski Stadium produced an impressive atmosphere, generated by the home fans, that made Pardew's return uncomfortable and firmly supported Coppell's team to push them to victory. Right from the start Reading got stuck into this fixture as both teams set-off at a frantic pace. Williams and Forster didn't appear, Owusu was on the bench and this gave Morgan and Kitson another chance to impress up front. Hughes continued at left back and had another blinder that typified Reading's performance as he tackled hard, chased down every ball and wasn't afraid to bring the ball forward. Kitson was all over the place too putting in some excellent challenges as he ran back to defend - but was on hand up front to put away two excellent goals to give Reading the victory. In an even first half it was Reading that went ahead on 35 minutes when Murty crossed and the ball reached Kitson at the far post who sneaked in to knock it home. Kitson's second goal came seven minutes into the second half. A Harper free-kick from the left found Kitson, who had again shaken off the defence, deep in the area to turn and volley home - making it 2-0 and causing the Madejski Stadium to shake in celebration. It was the killer blow for West Ham who effectively gave up as their fans started streaming towards the exits with plenty of time remaining. It was clear that Reading wanted this game far more than the visitors who ran out of ideas as time went on and looked a very poor side indeed. West Ham are clearly a side of individuals and Pardew appears to be doing little to make his team play as a side capable of promotion. Reading moved up to seventh place but on the same points as West Ham who remained fourth - on this display it was Reading who looked much more deserving of a play-off finish to the season.

  • Reading 2 West Ham United 0 - Report and Opinion
  • Latest Division One Table
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Forster And Williams May Feature
    Added by HNA? on 02/04/04
    Adrian Williams and Nicky Forster have an outside chance of making at least the bench for tomorrow's crunch sold-out game against West Ham United at the Madejski. The return of Alan Pardew will also see Williams and Forster return from injury after both players have been out of action for several games. Meanwhile Coventry loanee Dean Gordon will make his debut at left back with Nicky Shorey out for the rest of the season. Owusu also returns to action after a three game suspension, giving Coppell extra players to choose from after taking a very thin squad up to Coventry to win last weekend. Pardew also has few selection worries with a number of key players back from injury. Pardew is reported to be looking forward to his return to Reading and meeting back up with John Madejski although he said that "it's not going to be a comfortable afternoon personally". Pardew is sure to receive quite a reception from the Reading fans after leaving for West Ham towards the start of the season. The Royals are just three points behind the Hammers and a win would be a major step towards pulling back into the play-off positions.
    Rumour Rating: Definite


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