TRANMERE ROVERS 2 READING 2 (Half Time: 1-0)
Rougier (50 mins), Salako (72 mins)
Tranmere Scorers: Barlow (41 mins), Haworth (48 mins)
7 April 2002
Reading: Whitehead, Murty, Viveash, Mackie, Shorey, Watson, Hughes, Parkinson, Salako, Rougier, Forster. Subs not used: Talia, Williams, Cureton, Igoe, Savage.
Tranmere Rovers: Achterberg (Murphy 17), Hinds, Hill, Sharps, Roberts, Parkinson (Hume 82), Henry, Navarro, Price, Haworth, Barlow. Subs not used: Yates, Mellon, Rideout.
Bookings: Barlow, Hill, Price (Tranmere).
Reading regained second place in the table with a 2-2 draw at Tranmere Rovers.
However, the result, Reading's seventh draw in eight league fixtures, means
the Championship now seems set to go to Brighton. Reading went a point ahead
of Brentford with two games left to play, but Brighton are now four points clear.
A victory next Saturday could see Reading promoted if Brentford lose at QPR,
but other results will see a dramatic promotion decider as Reading travel to
Brentford on the last day of the season. The draw was perhaps a disappointing
result after Reading have led the Division for most of the season, but it gives
us the edge in the race for automatic promotion. It could have been a lot worse
after Tranmere took a 2-0 lead just inside the second half. Reading had a couple
of first half chances from Forster and Watson but the home side took the lead
after a Tranmere cross wasn't cleared. It was 2-0 just after the break after
an amazing shot from outside the area beat Whitehead. Reading pulled one back
when Watson put the ball in the area and a Parkinson effort was saved and the
rebound put in for a rare Rougier goal. Rougier's first goal for Reading since
October 2000 was followed up by a Salako goal from a free-kick with eighteen
minutes left to play to complete the comeback. Reading couldn't find the winner
though and the draw was probably a fair reflection of the play.
Post Match Opinions
In the end the point will either prove priceless or pointless... excuse
the pun. Tranmere Rovers - mid table can't make play offs, Reading - biggest
game all season, chance to put massive pressure on Brentford and now Cardiff
too, ultimately blew it again.
The dithering idiot, Prince of all clowns aka Alan Pardew, once again
got it wrong today. Out thought by a mediocre team going nowhere fast.
How much longer will John M put up with it? From the off the team did
not know which system to play, a long punt upfield by calamity Whitehead
to a non jumping, I'm going my way Rougier,or a pass to Mr - I'm not interested
- Salako. Yes these two got the goals but could they miss? Forster was
as selfish as ever. There was some fighting spirit after going 2 down,
but at 2-2 a lack of will to win was abundantly clear. Too many points
have been dropped recently, to poor teams who have had nothing to play
for and we have failed to beat. Do Reading want to go up automatically?
Or are the playoffs the preferred route to Div.1?
Well - another draw - seen independantly from other results this
was a reasonable point to earn however given our run of draws it still
leaves me biting my nails for at least another week! We started brightly
on the mud patch and Fozzie had a couple of reasonable chances, however
we didn't do enough to seriously trouble the substitute keeper. The game
dissolved into a ping-pong match around the centre circle and I was confidently
expecting a 0-0 when Tranmere scored.
Before the game I was confident, confident Reading would pick themselves
up and ram all the criticism and 'bottlers' comments back down everyone's
throats with a 2 or 3 goal victory and put all the pressure back on Brighton
and Brentford. Instead after 47 minutes I was sat shaking my head in disbelief
at a performance so inept and without direction or leadership it was straight
from the Wolverhampton Wanderers book of 'how to blow promotion' volumes
1,2 and 3.
I have just come back from a week long break in the Highlands to
discover that Reading are even worse than when I went away. Of course
I listened out for the results, but I am now becoming so embarrased by
our ineptitude that I am finding myself losing interest. Of course II
will be there on Saturday shouting myself hoarse but I think we are now
staring at the biggest fuck up since Newcastle handed the Premiership
to Man U. I am not really in a position to comment on the last three games
because I wasn't their, but judging by the reports by other HNA reporters
we are falling apart and I don't know why.
Having just read the other reports I must say I would like to balance
some of the previous comments. Admittedly it was disapointing to say the
least to watch Tranmere take a 2-0 lead but both goals were well taken
by a side that seemed relaxed and up for the game. I thought both Rougier
and Salako had excellent games and when the team were hit by the second
goal, rather than panic and bring on new players, Pardew kept faith with
them and was justly rewarded. Reading were unfortunate not to get the
winner as they continued to press. From what I saw I am confident we can
win our last two games and get up to division 1 automatically. Of course
it would be nice if QPR do us a favour.
Have only managed to see one game this season - and that was the disappointing
1-1 v Oldham at Christmas. Still enjoyed the freezing experience tho'!
Not a fair-weather fan, just unable to go regularly, as I live in Berkeley,
USA. That doesn't matter much, I paid my dues to Reading, and I still
love 'em, even after all the near misses over the years. But they have
been good years.
Well they have driven me to it! I have spent all year laughing at
Nick from Newbury's asssessments of the games and wondered what actually
drives people to want to email in an opinion game after game - but now
I too need to sit in the wooden box next to the priest and spill my guts
before I ask my wife to nail me to the crossbar dressed only in my sad
old taking the biscuit 80's tour t-shirt. Spot the tortured Reading fan
with a brain so frazzled by his teams inability to delight when poised
to do so that it makes me honestly wonder whether brainwashing my 3 year
old with his first Royals footie strip before the nerds from school persuade
him to be a United fan is actually fair on him. Should he really be subjected
to this agony year after year?
What a beautiful Spring day on Merseyside, Nice little ground and
club and Johnny Madejski gracing us with his presence in the Mersey Clipper
before the game. What a shame what followed had to spoil it! I am almost
too 'emotionally tired' to even comment on the game. I even thought I
may need the old brown paper bag to stop myself hyperventilating at one
point! My heart says we will win on saturday and Brentford will lose and
somehow Cardiff will not manage their mammoth task, has anyone else seen
them creep up on us? I certainly haven't, I thought they'd be lucky to
reach the play-offs! My head, (unfortunately) says we've lost our bottle.
All season I have been one of the people who has said that Pardew
hasn`t got the technical ability to take us up. I almost admitted that
I had made a mistake , that was up to about 6 weeks ago when we started
on our fateful run of draws. I feel I have been vindicated by inept displays
by certain players and strange decisions by our manager regarding team
selection. Why does a man who claims to be a `god fearing christian' keep
trying to cheat his way into getting a penalty. Even ``skittles'' didn`t
dive as much, Rougier is skillfull but oh so lazy. Poor old Curo, always
the fallguy, who can blame him if he says sod it I`m off at the end of
the season. Forster is a quality player, but he must also be the most
greedy player to have worn the hoops. If he would pass the ball we would
have scored a dozen or so extra goals this season. We have to accept that
we have a great squad but not the manager to take us any further. I don`t
suppose Mr Taylor fancies doing a swap?
It seems to be the same thing at the end of the season where disappointing
results frustrate fans. We can't afford to be in the play-offs with the
possibility of Cardiff at the Millennium Stadium and Reading;s record
falling at the last hurdle. How many times can we stand to do so well
and then throw it away. My prediction is that we will go 3 up in 10 mins
against Peterborough only to draw or loose, and then at Brentford, please
lets be realistic 5 up after 20 mins only to collapse like the England
cricket team. COME ON ROYALS MAKE ME EAT MY WORDS, or get used to the
idea that you don't deserve to be in the playoffs - let alone the first
Perhaps you can just paste Berkeley Royal-In-Exile's comments over
everyone elses, just for this week. The guy is absolutely spot on and
every Royals fan should read, digest and act on his words. Far too may
of us are perhaps too close to see the woods from the trees, and the honorary
Yank seems to have a far clearer and more accurate view from across the
pond. We have absolutely nothing to lose and absolutely everything to
gain by being nothing but positive for the next two weeks (*if * the wheels
fall off, and then only post playoffs, then we can start to moan and conduct
the post mortems).
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