MATCH REPORT: 2008/2009 Season

Reading: Kitson (82 mins).
Doncaster: -
Half Time: 0-0
Attendance: 10,393

Pos Team P Pts GD
1 Wolves 39 74 +23
2 Birmingham 39 71 +14
3 READING 38 67 +30
4 Sheff Utd 38 63 +18
Reading: Hahnemann, Rosenior, Bikey, Duberry, Armstrong, Gunnarsson, Matejovsky, Harper, Kebe (Stephen Hunt 84), Kitson (Long 89), Doyle. Subs Not Used: Federici, Cisse, Tabb.
Doncaster: Sullivan, Chambers, Mills, Lockwood, Roberts, Spicer, Stock, Wellens, Woods, Coppinger (Shiels 60), Heffernan. Subs Not Used: Hird, Hayter, Van Nieuwstadt, Wilson.
Reading: Matejovsky, Stephen Hunt.
Doncaster: Shiels.
Ref: Paul Taylor (Hertfordshire).

Doncaster v. Reading. I have loads of 70s programmes for this pairing in a box in the garage. It’s just the sort of fixture that brought us down to earth after the Prem, isn’t it? The start of my evening has a retro feel too as I park next to Belle Vue, Rovers’ ground until 2006. All that remains are the bare terraces and wall around the overgrown pitch. I have a wander inside but I feel conspicuous so I proceed to the Keepmoat Stadium. It’s just as characterless as other new stadiums, of course, but the setting is nice – next to a circular lake and landscaped grassy areas. You could almost forget you’re in Doncaster, in fact.
The ground, size of the crowd, atmosphere and occasion all have a distinct Second Division feel. The first half is very dull but the second half livens up. Reading have the lion’s share of possession but create few good chances. Fantastic away support as ever. “My garden shed is bigger than this” and “David Kitson, what a bargain, what a bargain” are my favourite chants. I join in mainly to keep warm.
Living in York I only get to watch occasional Reading matches and this one reminds me of my last at Middlesbrough a year ago. A blip has become simply a bad run of form and we’re desperate for a goal. Endless plugging away is finally rewarded 10 mins from the end. Kebe (I think it was) checks the ball back from the byline and there’s Kits to curl the ball inside the far post with his left instep, Beckham like. I was in the minority when Kits was re-signed – I don’t like fair weather footballers any more than fair weather fans – but I'm now chanting his name. What a relief! The only bigger relief, in fact, was finding the car still in one piece.
Paul Kirkwood

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Coppell made four changes to the team beaten at home by Ipswich, with Kitson playing as a solitary striker and Kevin Doyle and Jimmy Kebe lending support on either wing. If the formation smacked of caution, it might have paid off as early as the ninth minute when Doyle's cross picked out Kitson only for the forward to fail to get enough power into his header. But with the players unable to trust the roll of the ball on a poor pitch, the game acquired a scrappiness that for most of the first half neither team could rise above. Things didn't get much better thereafter but Kitson eventually struck, curling a left-footed shot beyond Neil Sullivan to mark Coppell's 1000th game in style.
Richard Rae, The Guardian

Reading manager Steve Coppell:
"It was important to get the right result, but the performance was very pleasing. If we had come away from the game with a 0-0 I think I would still have been pleased because of the performance. We were solid at the back and looked threatening going forward without really having that outstanding clear-cut chance but it always looked likely to come. To be fair to Doncaster, in the second half they had a couple of good opportunities and made it challenging for us, but it was still all about the quality finish from Dave Kitson."
Doncaster manager Sean O'Driscoll:
"We've been beaten by the odd goal by a lot of teams in this division and come off really disappointed, not with the way we've played, but with quality of the teams that have beaten us. But that's not the case this time, I thought Reading were excellent. Our performance was good, we defended really well as a team and were brave on the ball. Credit to Reading, I think they're the best side we've played by a million miles. They've got everything, pace, power and a bit of guile that you need and they impressed our boys."

BBC Sport