(Half Time: 2-1)
Reading Scorers: Mackie (8 mins), Parkinson (45 mins).
Oldham Scorers: Duxbury (31 mins), Smart (75 mins).
Date: 23 March 2002
Attendance: 15,191

Reading: Whitehead, Murty, Williams, Mackie, Shorey, Hughes, Parkinson, Watson (Branch 69), Salako (Rougier 83), Forster, Cureton (Henderson 64). Subs not used: Talia, Viveash.

Oldham Athletic: Goram, Holden, Armstrong, McNiven, Baudet, Colusso (Smart 62), Murray, Appleby, Duxbury (Carss 77), Eyres, Adebola (Corazzin 58). Subs not used: Clegg, Sheridan.

Bookings: Baudet, Eyres, Smart (Oldham).
Referee: Clive Penton (Woodindean).

Reading's fourth draw from five league matches made the automatic promotion race just that bit tighter this afternoon. Brighton were also held to a home draw, but with Brentford winning during the week and Stoke and Huddersfield both getting wins, there's plenty of pressure building up with just five games of the season left. Reading wasted the opportunity to pull two points further ahead from Brighton after Oldham Athletic twice came from behind this afternoon at the Madejski Stadium. The nerves are certainly starting to show around Reading Football Club as we move closer and closer to the end of the season.

This 2-2 draw was a disappointing result in front of another big crowd of over 15,000. It was particually disappointing after it looked like Reading were going to comfortably win this match earlier on. After a superb period of opening play from the Royals we quickly faded away as nerves, and a careless defence, got the better of us. As the game continued Oldham looked more and more likely to get something from it as they realised Reading couldn't quite complete the job.

With Murty back after missing the trip to Chesterfield, Hughes moved forward to take the place of Sammy Igoe on the right wing. It meant that new signing Michael Branch was left on the bench. It all made plenty of sense, although we were to find out later that Hughes immediately looks better in the centre of midfield rather than playing out wide. The slight changes to the team meant that Reading looked like they'd continue where they left off at Chesterfield - we all expected a comfortable home win.

As the game got underway the pre-match talk of a big win seemed justified. Oldham had a bit of the ball without really doing anything with it and Reading were able to easily win possession and play some nice football on the deck. Watson in the centre of midfield was outstanding earlier on with the ball being sprayed all over the pitch - and always right to someone's feet as the Royals pushed forward. Everything was going to plan when John Mackie gave the Royals the lead after just eight minutes of play. A short corner on the left saw Kevin Watson put over a superb cross to the far post where Mackie headed the ball across the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

With Reading a goal up, it looked like we might do a Cardiff and stick a whole load more past Oldham. However, the linesman's flag had other ideas as it prevented Forster running clean through when he seemed to be clearly onside. We thought we had scored a moment later after another good move involving Watson and starting from the centre of the field resulted in Hughes crossing for Cureton to fire into the net off the crossbar. The goal was ruled out for offside - yet another in a whole series of frustrating decisions from the linesman. However, the referee and his assistants could not be blamed for Oldham getting right back into the game.

Reading seemed to ease off a bit, and a couple of poor balls led to the play slipping away from Reading with a few long hoofs up pitch rather than playing the proper football that had done us so well for the first part of the game. Oldham won a few corners and started to look dangerous for the first time in the game. Oldham won a corner on their left which really didn't look like a corner. Williams was judged to have headed the ball out of play, but he wouldn't stop protesting - along with 15,000 Reading fans who thought the ball went cleanly out of play from an Oldham head. The ball was floated into the middle and headed home in the middle of the box. The defence failed to pick up the man and Whitehead was picking the ball out fo the back of the net. 1-1.

With the game level Reading upped a gear again and Jamie Cureton really should have done a whole lot better after he was delivered a free header well inside the box, but his header failed to find the target. Moments later, in the one minute of injury time at the end of the first half, Reading were ahead again after Forster did all the hard work down the right wing, weaving in and out of players before cutting in and playing a short low cross. Superb play from Forster and Parkinson provided the finish with a simple tap in from a few yards out.

After starting the second half 2-1 up we really should have gone on to win the game, but failed to keep the momentum going. We should have guessed we were going to let the game slip after neither side managed to take control of the game. Instead we were treated to plenty of hoofs and some terrible shots way over the bar from Oldham as the game got a bit scrappy.

With Reading still 2-1 up, we made two substitutions. Henderson replaced Cureton and Branch made his Reading debut replacing Watson. Watson had faded out during the second half after a great opening 45 minutes, but it was disappointing to see him replaced. Branch failed to add anything to Reading's game apart from a couple of poor balls into the area after being delivered the ball out wide. Reading fans are becoming increasingly dismayed to see Cureton replaced before the end when he's always capable of scoring, and Henderson also failed to pick Reading's performance up. Instead of Reading finding the extra edge we found Oldham pulling level. A cross from the right again found the Reading defence all over the place and the ball drifted to the far post where it was cut back into the area, and headed home without a challenge. 2-2, and the three points had slipped away.

Pardew got Rougier off the bench with seven minutes left on the clock - but it was hard to remember Rougier doing anything in the short time he had. However, Nicky Forster could have won the game late on for the Royals after winning a free-kick right on the edge of the Oldham area. His free-kick had the keeper well beaten as it flew over the Oldham wall, but it didn't quite manage to beat the crossbar. If the free-kick had been a few inches further out it then it would probably have been the winner, but instead it bounced away to safety and the score remained 2-2 at full time.

Reading's huge lead at the top of the Division has now nearly all faded away - but we still have a massive advantage. As each game goes past we're one game closer to promotion. We only have to keep this place in the table for five more games - but to do that we need to start picking up more points. Reading have earnt seven points from the five most recent games - we'll have to do better than that over the final five games to guarantee a place in Division One.

Following report from John Wells
Regardless of what the Reading players and fans perceive the impact of this result to be, one thing is certain, Brentford, Stoke and Huddersfield will have been greatly encouraged by our failure to pick up three points at home. It wasn't just the players that had an off day today. I thought Alan Pardew dropped his share of clangers with his selection and substitutions. The inclusion of Hughes, Parkinson, and Watson in midfield meant Reading were solid defensively but there was no real spark. Branch seemed the obvious choice to fill Igoe's role. It would have been better to give him a chance from the start and pull him off if it didn't work rather than throw him on when we were struggling. Then in the second half when Reading were still a goal up and needing to keep possession he took off Watson, whose defensive work and distribution had been almost faultless, and moved Hughes, whose passing is often poor, into the centre of midfield. I'm certainly not blaming Hughes for the second Oldham goal but it did come from a free kick which he conceded with the sort of rash challenge that Watson would probably not have made. He also took off Cureton and replaced him with Henderson presumably for his height in attack and in defending set pieces. I can't help thinking that Cureton might have been able to convert some of the chances that came from pressure late in the game.

Low on confidence from a drubbing at home to Cardiff last week and fielding possibly the least agile 'keeper in the league, Oldham looked ripe for a thrashing. Their new signing Adebola didn't appear to present much of a threat either. Although he managed to get his head to quite a few high balls he spent a lot of time spinning around trying to work out where the ball had gone after striking his head. However the crowd were subdued and the Royals appeared apprehensive.

Reading created some early pressure and took the lead in the sixth minute when Mackie headed in firmly at the far post from a corner. Cureton and Forster were clearly looking to find each other with short sharp passing around the box, which was good to see, but if anything they were over-elaborating and losing possession. The game was almost dull until the referee brought it life with some awful decisions which wound up the players and the crowd.

First Williams gave a very convincing impression of a man being pulled to the ground in the penalty area only to have a fee kick awarded against him. I'm not sure anyone understood that decision - certainly not Williams who was still questioning the decision long after it happened. Soon after Williams again was astonished to see the referee award a corner after he had made contact with a ball that had already gone for a goal kick beyond the far post. To rub salt into the wound Oldham equalised from the corner. Then the referee and his assistant combined to stop Forster who had easily beaten the offside trap by giving Cureton offside when he was clearly not going to be involved in the move.

Shortly before half time Cureton got on the end of a superb cross from Murty but he headed wide. It was a great chance wasted. The plump Goram never even looked like moving for it. Some sort of justice came on the stroke of half time when a typical Forster run produce a cross which Parky, surging through from midfield, helped over the line from close range. Forster is by far the most devastating and exciting player in this division when he turns and accelerates past defenders. So we went in a goal up. Surely now that we had been given our warning we would go on and finish them off.

The twenty minutes after half time was not very inspiring but Reading still looked capable of adding a third goal especially with Oldham forced to push more men forward. Then came the puzzling substitutions, a moment of slack defending from a free kick, and the Oldham equaliser. When Forster hit the bar with a well taken free kick, you knew it was not going to be our day. There were chances before the final whistle but the best man to finish the job was watching from the bench and wondering why he was there - along with the rest of us.

The announcement that Brighton had also had drawn at home was of little consolation. Brentford are the team gaining ground at the moment and that last game is beginning to grow in significance. We could have done without McMahon giving them a helping hand by fielding his reserves earlier in the week. (Why is he so desperate to win a competition most clubs are happy to be eliminated from as soon as possible ?) We have to face up to the fact that our automatic promotion spot depends on winning at least one of three very tough away games - that is assuming we can beat Northampton and Peterborough at home. What was lacKing today was the sense of urgency and team spirit that has been so evident in some of our away performances this season. Pardew is right - we are good enough - but we still have to prove it!

Post Match Opinions

Yesterday I had the pleasure of a hernia operation, and to say I'm feeling very sore today is putting it mildly, being axed in the groin may be an apt description of the pain. However, it pails into insignificance compared to the agony I endured today listening on the radio as yet again when it really comes to the crunch Reading FC twice throw away a lead at home. What the bloody hell is going on? Three consecutive home draws is simply not good enough. Just heard Salako on the radio and he's spot on with his post match analysis."We were just not up for it, we're unprofessional and we're giving away diabolical goals at the back." I'm so pissed off with players and commentators saying "it was just one of those days when things didn't go our way"! What a load of bollocks! Instead of taking this league by the throat and cruising to promotion, yet again we are going have to endure weeks of nail biting, heart attacks and nervous breakdowns. After the Bournemouth debacle I questioned whether the players and the management have the nerves and balls to do it? Who in God's name can honestly believe we have that desire with our glorious record of capitulation and failure at the final moment? What does it take to win at home at this stage of the season when twice in front? Why did Pardew take Watson and Cureton off? Reports from the game said this was a dreadful decision by Pardew. Rougier couldn't score in a brothel at the moment but while Cureton is on the park we have a chance of goals. This is going to go right down to the last game believe me. I'm not going to consider not getting automatic promotion. That thought is just incomprehensible. At the end of the day it comes down to the players on the pitch. Quite simply do they have the belief, ability and the bollocks to do it? I honestly don't know .
-- Nick Newbury

As one of Pardrew's biggest supporters it hurts to say we got this one wrong and threw away two points. Forget Brighton only drawing, it's automatic that counts.
Erorr 1: substituting Jamie - did we learn nothing from last season, Jamie's goal ratio against minutes on the pitch Is second to none, if he had played every minute last season we would be in division one now. Today, winning 2-1 we needed a goal so we take off our major goal scorer, you could sense the relief on the Oldham bench. Message to Jamie - thanks for the memories and the goals, good luck with your new club!
Erorr 2: winning 2-1 we need calm assurance and the ability to hold the ball. What do we do? take MOM Kevin Watson off. I don't care if he's not match fit, he can contribute just standing in the centre circle. We take half a season to get him, then sub him. Had circumstances been different and we had signed Kevin instead of Salako we would be clinching the championship next week. This was a major tactical error, Kevin Watson is the best player to wear the hoops for many a season, don't waste him. It's still all to play for and we can do it, we just making it hard for ourselves.
This report is dedicated to Nick Newbury who missed the game due to recovering from cosmetic surgery, a minor nip and tuck on the duvet!


Inept, pathetic, gutless, unbelievable.
I'm sure a lot of you reading this would say I'm being harsh. Quite frankly I am amazed we are top of the league. We did so much wrong today it was almost embarrassing. 4 draws out of our last 5 games which according to Pardew 'we always try and win' - So Alan, tell me taking off our most natural goalscorer for a player who has impressed slightly more than The Rouge, is that trying to win the game? I have just heard Mr Pardew's comments after the game and it astonishes me that the players aren't still in that dressing room being made to 'Visualise how they will feel at the end of the season when we have lost in the play offs'. Pardew raves on about the psychological side of the game well Alan, again you can use that to 'mentally' bollock the players aswell you know. Start throwing a few teacups Alan, maybe that will spur the players on because at your own admittance today 'the players didn't play as you'd asked them to!
Apologies from all of us to Jamie that he has to play for our team and be substituted every game for a reason no-one except Pardew knows. Well done to the 15,000 Royals there today who cheered from beginning to end even though we were gutless.
We are top of a league with some very average sides, including us, don't believe me? Well there are only 7 points separating the top 5 in Div 2, In Div1? - 19 points In Div 3? - 21 points In the Conference? - 15 points
The sides that are top in these leagues are much better than their opponents - regularly.
Average points per game
Man Utd: 2
Man City: 2.04
Plymouth: 2.21
Reading: 1.88
I am going to stop now because I am so angry I can't be objective.
I will finish with an assessment and some more advice for Alan,
Teams and Managers
Reading - Pardew - No experience at top level. Does he have the bottle to take us up - No
Brighton - Taylor - Lots of experience. Does he have the bottle to take them up - Just about
Brentford - Coppell Masses of experience. Does he have the bottle to take them up - Definitely
Stoke - Thordarson - Similar to Pardew with play off fears. Does he have the bottle to take them up - No
Huddersfield - Macari similar to Taylor and Coppell. Does he have the bottle to take them up - Maybe
Bristol City - Wilson lots of experience, failed last year, will have the determination to do it this year. Does he have the bottle to take them up - Possible
Cardiff City - Lawrence - Masses of experience, on a roll. Does he have the bottle to take them up Left it a bit late but a possibility.
Show some emotion Alan, get upset like we do, it could work.. I am on holiday for the next two games and will now be really sweating and not quite enjoy my holiday as much after that today - thanks. (sad but true!) Let's at least compete in midfield and mark our opponents for the rest of the season and we might win something.

-- A shattered Crowthorne Royal.

'Big Paddy' summed up my sentiments today, and 'Big Paddy' sums up Pardew! Was I watching a different game? Or is the view from the West stand completely different from the East? Why oh why did super Alan make those tactical changes today or has he got a perverse and warped intriguing sort of mind and just wants to let are nerves jangle right to the very end? Come on Alan I get enough stress from work, 'er in doors and the kids combined! I don't want to endure more agony on a Saturday afternoon, that's my time to unwind! The only person out of the whole team that possibly needed subing today was Hughsey who was having a mare out on the right. Surely a straight swap for Branch was the right move, after all we were 2-1 up and the team only needed slight tweaking not a spanner in the works! Anyway lets not be too down beat were still "top of the league, top of the league"!
Come on URZZZ!

-- OllyPolly

A good opening, with a well taken goal, followed by typical end of season nerves gave the Mad Stad faithful our third home draw on the trot. I don't know what has happened to the flowing passing football that the likes of Murty and Shorey were displaying only a couple of months ago. I still don't think we have actually played well since before the Notts County game. (With the obvious exception of the brilliant Stoke match). The midfield is lacking in tenacity. Parky is finally starting to look past his best. Hughes is not a winger. Watson will be great when he can last the full ninety minutes, and Salako is quite frankly not at the races. We were outplayed in the middle of the park at times today, and in the end, a point was as much as we deserved. Whiehead is still an excellent stopper, but where was he for their first goal? Just like Bournemouth, he was undone by a corner from their left. Up front, Forster continues to inspire. Trouble is, he decided to pass on a couple of occasions today, which totally confused the rest of the team. Cureton did his usual, racing around all over the place, just waiting for the inevitable substitution, to a standing ovation from the crowd, and indeed from the manager who insists on taking him off early every game. I really don't know what he's done! Adie had a mare, and Mackie shaded my Reading MOM. Man Utd lost today, Man City have lost one, and drawn one, in their last two. We are not unique, but we must get a grip soon.
-- Kevin, Worthing Royal.

Message to Nick Newbury. Get well soon mate, I had a hernia op two years ago, just dont be alarmed when you wake up tomorrow with black testicles. It is apparently perfectly normal, albeit quite shocking. At the best of times bollocks are not attractive things, when they are black & blue and shaven they are bloody hideous!
As for toady's game that was nearly as painful, it was like watching Groundhog Day. If you were not there just read my Reading v Bournemouth report from a few weeks ago, same game pattern same result. Oldham could have won this game, but they had looked out of sight early on and appeared to be heading for their second hammering in a week. It appears that any team on the back of a bad result or run of form need only to come to 'Fortress Majdeski' to boost there confidence. Swindon, Bury, Bournemouth and Chesterfield to name but a few, have all taken points of us at home this season. Can we honestly say that is good enough?
I am starting to get pissed of with Pardew substituting Cureton every week. Granted he didn't set us alight today but the game was not won when he came off, and when Oldham predictably equalised how we needed him loitering with intent during those desperate goal mouth scrambles near the end. Pardew doesn't like Cureton, it's obvious, and I think he will be sold in the Summer. Make no mistake Mr Pardew, if you offload him, he will back to rub your nose in it. Despite what I have written above, I don't dislike Pardew, I am just becoming increasingly concerned by our recent performances now the heat is on, and taking off our best players for bizarre tactical reasons shows he is feeling the pressure, and that is being reflected by our disjointed performances on the pitch. I really hope his late season nerves don't cost us dear, he, and we doesn't deserve that, we have suffered enough pain. If I was a horse they would have put me down by now. COME ON ALAN, COME ON READING, GET POSITIVE, GET PROMOTED, AND GET OUT OF THIS SHITTY SOON TO BE BANKRUPT LEAGUE. YOU'RE GOOD ENOUGH FOR CHRIST SAKE!

-- Bob Lethaby

Wonderful beginning, desperate ending. We started brilliantly today. The ball was knocked around, we looked sharp and incisive and scored a good goal. Then it stopped. I don't know if it is nerves or what, but we simply stopped doing the things that we do well, get the ball down and move it. It was good to see Watson making his home debut, and understandable that we started with Hughes wide right. He has energy and drive, what he does not have is  a simple passing ability. Having had such a bright start, with a well worked goal from Mackie, we should have gone on to win this comfortably, that we did not was down to our inability to keep the ball and to a greater desire from Oldham to move the ball. We also gave away two goals, which is unusual. Both cane from set pieces. One from a corner where we just did not pick up properly and the second from a quickly taken free kick where it looked like Murty was asleep as the ball was delivered to the far post and nobody reacted to the ball back across the box. There were chances too for Oldham to add to their tally as there were for us. Cureton should have scored with a header, and given how high up the pitch Oldham defended we really should have got round them with Forster's pace. The problem was we were too hurried, the distribution was awful and therefore the ball kept coming back.
Watson started well, but in the context of the whole game was not on the ball enough. One of the weaknesses of the way that we play is that our midfield plays very wide - the aim being to stretch the opposition - however if they play it very narrow they are able to get at us and this certainly showed yesterday.
I understand the comments about taking Cureton off, but if we are not holding the ball up to get players into the game then something has to be done about it. Whether Henderson is the right answer is debatable. The other concern yesterday was Hughes. Can anyone remember good link up play with Murty or was it me who thought that he just hid inside? When Branch did come on it is fair to say that he struggled to get into the game but he did show with one burst that he has genuine pace and it was down that side that Forster had previously exposed them, and so I think he should have come on earlier.
What was needed yesterday was calm heads and the ability to put one's foot on the ball. we looked like the away team as we struggled to hold possession and tried to hit them on the break. People have been going on about how we must just win our home games to secure promotion. They forget that we are probably better away from home than we are at the Mad Stad.With the fixtures that we have coming up it is probably a good job!!!
Kenneth Chennells

I don't have a problem with Cureton being taken off each week if there is a reasoning for it and I don't think it means the end of his career with Reading, but yesterday it was a poor decision. Henderson had not looked impressive recently when he has come on and again threw out the approach of the team. Hughes playing on the right does not work, we know that from the way he was playing before he moved to the middle, so why sign Branch on loan if he is to be third choice there behind Igoe and Hughes?
I think some of the comments go a bit far though, even with these dubious tactical decisions the team that was out there should have been good enough to win and the players have to take a lot of the blame. I have no doubt that Pardew will take us up this year, we are just making more of a meal of it than we need to. The stats mean nothing, take it back a few games and our points ratio is as good as the Manchester sides, and the smaller gap between the top sides suggests it is more competitive and therefore harder to win this division in my view! We just need to make sure that come the end of the season the stats read Reading are promoted and although yesterday was doom and gloom the fact reamins we are still top!

- Nick Barnett

Big Paddy gets it exactly right. What is Pardew playing at? Watson is the classiest player we have, maybe ever. The best player on the field. Noone else in midfield can hold a candle to him. Parky still puts in some great tackles, but doesn't look comfortable on the ball and needs twice as long as Kev to decide what to do. As for Salako and Hughes they might as well not have turned up. Last week Hughes gave the ball away so many times I lost count and on Saturday he carried on where he left off. Salako complains about the attitude of the players but his looks worse than anyone's.
Pardew surely had to take off one of these three, but no he chose Watson and we lost all control of midfield. Come on, this is a good team. The defence, Big Phil apart is outstanding, the midfield can be good if we get the combination right and we have one of the best and perhaps the quickest strikers in the league. Don't blow it Pardew, get up in the stands, you obviously can't see what is going from the dugout!! And come on you RRSSS, get behind the boys - it was like a morgue for the last 15 minutes.

- B-cubed

I don't know if you post messages from away fans to this site, but here goes.  I was at the game yesterday, fabulous stadium you've got there that definitely deserves Div 1 football if not premiership, and top notch steak and kidney pies too.
As for the team - well I can't form definitive opinions based on just one game, but - with respect - I didn't feel as though I saw the best team in the league yesterday.  The main problems that I saw based on yesterday's evidence were that Reading had no control over the midfield, and there is a lack of a quick, strong player who will scare the opposing defences (Brighton and Cardiff in particular have attacking speed and power, and that is why I think they are the least likely to struggle in Div 1 if they get promoted).  Also your attackers were very slow to realise that Andy Goram  is poor on high crosses - I saw two or three occasions where a striker could have pounced on a dropped catch if he'd been alert.  Although both our goals resulted from dodgy defending, I think  generally your defence is decent and we didn't have any other clear cut chances despite our considerable possession, especially second half.
But it is quite a mediocre league - I am amazed that we remain second-top scorers as we have no prolific front-man and an average squad age of 74.  From what I saw yesterday, you Royals will need to spend a bit in the summer as I'm sure you know the first division is very different kettle of fish, and all that.
Finally to the bloke with the hernia - I had one 10 years ago, it's true your bollocks do go black, and then after that they stay purple / yellow / green for a few more weeks.  And it itches like hell when your fuzz starts to grow back - but you can't scratch it because of the operation scar. Bet your doctor never told you that bit!

- Chris OAFC

During our 7-wins-on-the-trot-no goals conceded-run I saw two games: QPR and Colchester. In the QPR game in particular I was impressed with the way the poor buggers from West London didn't get a kick. Every time the ball broke to one of their midfielders pressure was on him by ar least two, if not more, Reading players and we totally stifled their game. Yesterday Oldham played really quite well - passing the ball through our midfield and threatening our defence on numerous occasions. Where was the pressure this time? There was none. This does not depend on skill on the ball, it just depends on the players giving everything to shut down competent, but not Brazilian, players from the north of England. Where has that commitment gone? I just hope that we've got enough points in the bag to make it through, but 5 more draws won't be enough. Still hoping though...
- George Town

Hi, I am an older fan but now live some way from Reading. I have been to the new ground, well done. Now for Div 1. Bristol should be a draw, score will be 2-2. We will then have three more wins and a draw for the last match. Up we go at long last. All the very best.
- Mont.

Whitehead seriously damages any chance we have of playing decent football with absolutely abysmal distribution. The ball from his hoofs had snow on it and were aimed in the general direction of that giant Cureton, giving the ball to Oldham so the midfield are working from scraps. Its no coincidence that our best run came when we had a keeper, probably not as good shot stopper as Whitehead, whose distribution was excellent. Wasn't Whitehead or the management team watching him. 
- Alan

I'm writing this late as I thought I would try to be objective. Problem is I am still stunned at what I see. This isn't a wobble, it's a catastrophe. 5 games, 1 win. What is going on? We could have won this league already.
Our defence and midfield went AWOL. So what's the obvious solution? Take off Cureton for Henderson? It hasn't worked before, and it failed again this weekend. What we missed was somebody linking with our forwards. Recently I think Cureton has been as good as ever been for us. He is hitting it off with Forster. I don't understand why Pardew should piss about with the forwards, when we can all see the midfield was creating nothing.
I am very worried. Where are the wins going to come from? Bristol? On their day they have a very strong midfield, if we play that way on Saturday, another 4-0 thrashing and 0 points. Northampton? Look at our recent record against the bottom sides. 1 point or 0 points? Tranmere? I would hope 3 points there Peterborough? Another battling side. see N/Hampton 1 point?
This leaves Brentford. The way we are picking up points & the run they are on, who knows. Maybe we will go there fighting to get back into an automatic promotion place having dropped out. A very gloomy outlook I know, but I'm not feeling confident.

- Paul L, Thatcham Royal
PS: A message to the Linesman. I was in the North Stand. That ball was MILES out of play. It was never a corner you blind git!

I'm glad to see that none of the other comments i've read have dwelled on poor decision making by officials...the bottom line is that Reading performed terribly.How can you lead a game like that (twice) and not hold your own...at home...in front of 15,000 fans....at a crucial stage of the promotion race?...Simple...mental strength, attitude.....in other words- bottle. 
Opening stages...looked great, got the goal...and then gave it all up.....where did the midfield go to?....and by the way for those of you praising Watson, fine...but he was part of that first half capitulation, lets not forget that...Having restored the lead i honestly thought we'd step up a gear in the second half....none of that from Reading, if anything Oldham could have gone on and won it!...
Substitutions were dubious granted, but sat watching this game the whole feeling about the team was one of resignation and nerves. Is that what Alan feels?....is that what the fans are conveying as well?...just to cheer myself up, i read an article in "The Whiff", looking at worst case scenarios and things like that....what if, what if....
Just to finish on a positive...Bristol City away..with our away form, 3 points could happen....!!!!.Come on Reading!!!!....

- Nigel, Chippenham Royal.

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