MATCH REPORT: 2003/2004 Season

Reading: Goater (12 mins, 59 mins), Hughes (53 mins).
Half Time: 0-1
Attendance: 2,066

DIVISION ONE  30 Aug 2003
Pos Team P Pts GD
1 West Brom 5 12 +3
2 READING 5 11 +7
3 Sheff Utd 5 11 +3
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Williams, Brown, Shorey, Murray (Daley 78), Harper (Newman 83), Sidwell, Hughes (Salako 82), Goater, Forster. Subs not used: Ashdown, Tyson.
Banks, Gier (Holloway 62), Chorley, Leigertwood, Hawkins, McAnuff, Reo-Coker, Tapp, Darlington, Nowland (Holdsworth 49), Agyemang (Gordon 68). Subs not used: McDonald, Heald.
Reading: -.
Referee: M J Jones (Chester)

Reading regained their highest league placing in the history of the club with a straight forward victory over Wimbledon on Saturday. The result moved our points total to eleven points from the opening five league games - an impressive start without doubt. From the outset it seemed the only likely result would be a Reading victory with the home side rarely threatening a strong Reading defence. Although it wasn't the best performance of the season by a long way, it was a solid effort across the whole Reading team as they took control of the game.

The Royals got off to the better start and nearly took the lead within the opening ten minutes when Goater headed just wide of the target from a Nicky Shorey free-kick. Just five minutes later, with 12 minutes on the clock, Goater found the target at the second attempt after the keeper initially saved his shot from an Andy Hughes cross. Wimbledon, backed by no more than 250 home fans, followed Reading's goal by going the closest they got throughout the whole game, when a rare shot came back out off the Reading goalpost. Reading didn't make a massive number of chances up front during the rest of the half but Nicky Forster could have extended the lead but shot wide of the target.

A Wimbledon come back looked unlikely and Reading appeared to seal the result just eight minutes into the second half when Murray crossed and Hughes appeared to mis-hit it as he blasted the ball into the ground inside the box. The ball flew back up into the air and into the roof of the net past Banks in the Wimbledon goal to make it 2-0 to the Royals. The game was put beyond any doubt when Goater scored his second of the afternoon on the hour mark. Reading built up a good move going forward and Shorey provided the ball into the area finding Goater well forward. Goater made no mistake from close range to make it 3-0.

worthing royal
I can't help feeling sorry for everyone connected with Wimbledon Football Club. Quite how they carry on at all with a few hundered depressed home spectators turning up for their matches, I really don't know. You can't really even call them fans. They wander around with ironic smiles on their faces, waiting for the final death of their club. Whether you loved or hated the Crazy Gang, with Wizey and the rest, no self respecting Reading fan could look round Selhurst Park yesterday, without feeling a little sad, and at the same time, relieved that Mr. Mad had been our salvation, and not Mr. Maxwell!
Anyway, enough of that. Three more points, and another scalp against a team that did the double over us last season. Still not up to the standard of our first couple of games, but satisfying none the less. The Goat is settling in. I was in Spain the day we signed him, and bumped into Kevin Kennedy, none other than Curly Watts in Coronation Street. Not knowing much about the 'Street', but knowing that Kev was a Manc blue, I asked him what he thought of 'The Goat'. His answer was that he was not pretty, not quick, not that skillful, totally frustrating, and quite unlike any other footballer. He would however score loads of goals, and we would absolutely love him. So far so good. Not unique though - Curly obviously never watched Trevor Senior!
The back four were excellent in this match. Browny probably had his best game for the club. Adie was typical Adie, and the full backs contained a sprightly looking Wombles attack. Mcanuff looked good for them, and surpassed his opposite number on the right, Scott Murray. Scotty has had two pretty poor games on the trot now, but I am sure he will get his act back together. Sidwell oozed class again, and Harps did a lot better.
Fozzy ran all over the park with his head down, but despite his unquestionable work rate, was guilty of being far too greedy again. On at least two occasions, a simple lay off to Murray would have almost certainly added to the already impressive scoreline. No real complaints though. We are scoring goals, and we are unbeaten. Bring on the 'appy 'ammers. URRZZZ!
nick newbury
Blinking marvellous, as the mighty Royals march on and woop the Wombledon Gypoes from Milton Keynes. Don't want to hit the top of the league too early, second is just right for the time being, though the poxy Baggies appear to be nicking 1-0's . Already the league is starting to get a look about it, with us, West Brom, Sheff Utd, Sunderland, Wigan and West Ham sure to be in the mix at the end of the season. Shame there's no game next week as it's good to keep the momentum going, but what a game in two weeks time, West Ham away! Tickets have been secured for all the gang and it promises to be a great game. Today's result was never really in doubt, all round great performance with the Goat in danger of developing a belly if he keeps getting fed!! One plea to fellow fans, please please no chants of "we are going up, we are going up", keep ya feet on the ground for a while yet, plus it's a stupid chant with 41 games to go!! Still need another centre back as cover and lets hope we get one before the transfer window closes. Still enjoy the result, enjoy the papers tomorrow morning and look forward to Upton Park in two weeks time, then we'll really see how good we are. I'm quietly confident...... URZ
caversham royal
Another good result to keep the impressive start to the season going. Amazed to see that we've actually scored more goals than the other teams around us (the 1st club to double figures if I read teletext correctly). That would've been unheard of last season and further shows what worthwhile signings Goater & Murray have been as both have contributed well to that tally. All it needs is for Forster to get off the mark in the league (I would say "and learn to pass" but I know that's hoping too much!). Let's hope we can show West Ham what they're missing in 2 weeks and get one over that greedy spoiled git Connolly. COME ON........
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