Match Abandoned after 28 minutes
A waterlogged pitch saved the Royals from another cup cock-up against Bury. Bury were stuffing us well and truely after just fifteen minutes when eventually the rain got the better of the game and the ref called it all off, luckily for us. One might suspect those couple of travelling Bury supporters were rather pissed off as well as pissed on after watching their side, two divisions below the Royals, demolish us in half an hour just to have all their effort cancelled out by the ref.
Bury took the lead after five minutes and on 15 minutes Bury made it two-nill when they scored with a chip. Some nice quotes from the paper to sum up the 28 minutes of football that 6,500 people turned up to see:
Phil Stant, the scorer of Bury's first goal:
"It's a disgrace. I don't think the game would have been called off if Reading had been 2-0 up. The lads are complaining that the Reading players used the conditions to try and influence the ref. It was the same conditions for both teams."
Match official, Kirkby, said (in the Mirror):
"It was becoming a lottery and some of the touchlines were being completely washed away.". And good old Adie Williams came in with a nice unbaised quote (of course:
"I sympathise with Bury but I don't think we'd have been 2-0 down if the conditions had been normal". Yeah, maybe Adie, or at least I'd like to think so.
Some comments about the game from the mail list:
Brian Smith said:
What a shambles. Two well taken goals from a team who wanted to play and poor defending from a team who clearly did not. You have to feel sorry for the Bury fans who felt cheated. The ground was certainly no worse when the game was called off than it had been at the start and actually improved after the decision was taken. A great effort to clear the water by Reading (Gordon Neate in his best suit and his sidekick) with two forks. Any truth in the rumour that Madjeski wants them to sell a spade before buying another fork?
Seriously though yet again more damage was done to the Reading cause by an appalling lack of information and the usual administrative failures. To have no contingency plan for such circumstances is abysmal and the very late offer of half price admission next time is not really an answer.
What a farse. It looked impossible to pass the ball around with any confidence that it would actually get to the person if it touched the pitch and extremely difficult to run with the ball at players. Unless like Bury you hoof it up pitch. One of the goal scorers (Phil Stant ?) said that he had played in conditions a lot worse - who,what,where, when. I think the ref was right to stop the game and maybe was wrong to start it. What was the warm up like, I missed it wouldn't that have reflected the state of the pitch.
It was good to see the groundsman was prepared for the occation!!!! in his all weather suit and shoes
Shephard seems to have solved his ball dropping problem by not bothering to try and catch them in the first place.
Copyright Hob Nob Anyone? © 1994-2003
The Original Reading Football Club Internet Site