News and Views

Plymouth Next After Win On Penalties

14 August 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading needed penalities to overcome League One Wycombe Wanderers last night in the League Cup first round. The Royals were 1-1 at full time, despite fielding a strong side, after a goalless first half, before winning 4-2 on penalties thanks to Rafael's heroics in goal. George Puscas played his first full ninety minutes after his big money signing last week from Inter Milan and scored Reading's equaliser in the second half after Wycombe had taken the lead. Reading gave starts to a group of new signings with Rafael, Adam, Pele, Ejaria, and Boye all starting alongside Puscas.

Puscas, Baldock, and Swift were all on target in the penalty shoot-out with well taken efforts before Danny Loader stepped up to seal it with an equally quality spot-kick. The players surrounded Rafael after Loader scored after the Reading goalkeeper saved two penalties and nearly saved a third in an impressive Reading debut.

The Royals will travel to League Two Plymouth Argyle in the second round of the competition.


Discussion On This Story:


» 14 Aug 2019 01:04


First half I thought we were very dominant, should have scored a couple, at least.

Played a LOT of long ball (Joao would have had a field day) but I thought Puskas held it up well,
fought for everything, ran his heart out. I think he will get a lot of goals but ATM he seems to be trying
a bit too hard. I don't mind strikers missing (esp if they get a goal) and he was a constant threat.

WhenI watched Boye on You Tube he was almost always left wing. First half he seemed to be swapping
a lot with Puskas at centre forward. He's reasonably quick and has a good dribble. I think he will settle
and get a reasonable amount of goals and assists

Ejaria was quite superb, IMO, He won some good ball and, as usual showed great feet.

Richards played very well, found a lot of space, worked well with Ejaria. If he continues in this
vein, Obita/Blackett will struggle to take the shirt

For the first 15/20 Adam played higher and I thought, played well, but then
he faded/turned into a pumpkin. Surprised he came on for second half.

Looked like we were playing 5-3-2, though, no doubt, I'm wrong

McIntyre and Morrison did very well. Moore OK-ish but he doesn't lookmanything close to his best

Rhino appeared to be RWB. OK but wasted out there IMO

Pele was decent. One of those unsung midfielders does mostly the simple thing



With a bit of luck, better composure (their keeper did make two VG saves) we would have gone in with the game all-but-safe
but then, as usual, we forgot to start the second half and Wycombe had a go. The goal came from a corner, I think and it looked
like (yet again) someone had a free header.

Finally the manager hooked Adam, and almost immediately Swift, on as sub, put Puscas away. His shot was blocked/saved but he nodded in the loose ball. NOT lucky, he was there, wasn't he?

There was a moment later, where a poor pass involving Puskas went to a Wycombe player. Puskas charged back, won the ball, gesticulated at the slow midfield, then belted upfield with the ball. he has energy and fight and a big heart. He should start.

Because we equalised quickly, I thought we nick it 2-1 but we dropped off again. Wycombe lacked Championship class, but they were home, with not much to lose. It started to look like we might blow it. They did hit the bar but it was never going in.

As far as I can remember our new keeper, Rafael, though he routinely picked out a few long shots, never had to make a real save.

He looks solid, a safe pair of hands, and I'm sure the defenders will prefer him between the sticks



All our four penalties were VERY well-taken (I thought we'd be rubbish)

Rafael was dancing like a dervish on the line, playing mind-games, pointing to the side he "wanted" the player to go. Their first pen rammed home but all the others were got to by Rafael. he saved their second (big cheer) and then went the right way for the next, but actually went past the ball which hit his legs before going in. He was as mad as hell!

Then he saved another and Loader scored our fourth for the win

So our new keeper (please start v Cardiff) gotta 3/4 of their penalties. Impressive


» 14 Aug 2019 06:26

How much better does the kit look with the traditional white shorts and socks?

Why oh why can they not revert to this permanently?

 Royality creeps In

» 14 Aug 2019 06:33

Nice report
Strange formation with three centre backs and Richards and Rhino playing on the flanks.
I thought Ejaria looked good, especially for the first 30, however he faded, probably down to match fitness.
Raphael also did well, not sure he could do much for their goal.
Morrison looked solid
Pele was disappointing.
Adams hit and miss
Swift added some much needed impetus and we looked a lot better when he came on.

Not sure what happened with Boye. He came on for the second half and was substituted before the match re commenced. :shock:

All in all there was a lot of sloppy play, giving the ball away far to easily, which is a concern as a better team will punish us.
Not taking anything away from Wycombe who looked a tidy outfit. and on that showing will probably do well this season.

The ground could not cope with a large away support with long queues for food drink etc. Also why make it unreserved when you have a sell out away support? That caused problems with some fans arguing and nearly coming to blows. :shock:
Appeared to be more Reading fans than there than home fans.

Positive was that I was back home by 10:30.


» 14 Aug 2019 06:45

That’s a very good write up. It was a frustrating game in many ways, we controlled the first half but couldn’t find a finish then a sloppy goal to concede after HT but couldn’t fault the reaction to it and some nerveless penalties.

All the new signings looked decent, Puscas will definitely be a crowd favourite with his all-action style and chasing back but he looked one-paced and his finishing was disappointing given his pedigree.

Boyé is elegant on the ball with quick feet, shame he had to go off early. I thought Pelé was excellent, kept the ball moving, disruptive and likes a tackle. Rafael was solid and reassuring. Morrison was commanding in the air and a threat going forward. Adam looked decent in the first half but needs to work on his fitness.

Definitely some promising signs but Cardiff will be a much sterner test.

 Snowflake Royal

» 14 Aug 2019 06:50

Thanks. Bit worried that Gomes seems to have abandoned what he was doing last season and is playing all sorts of weird and wonderful shapes, leaving the players confused.

Why play Rino at RWB if we have Yiadom, Gunter, Howe and Watson at the club. It's madness.


» 14 Aug 2019 07:23

I don’t think there’s any harm trying things in a game like that, thought Rino did well at RWB. Was less impressed with Richards on the other side who was lightweight and gave the ball away cheaply too many times.

 If you still hate Futcher

» 14 Aug 2019 07:32

Totally agree, but if it had be Virginia in goal some would be saying he should've got a hand to it (ie Sheff Weds 2nd goal)
Interesting the different views on the same performance - I agree with Royalcop, Pele did exactly what you want from the holding midfielder, broke up their play and was combative in the centre but not too ambitious with the ball, just giving it to someone else to use. The one thing I didn't like was his attemtped back heel in the 2nd half when he could easily have headed it.
He came out slightly earlier than the rest of the squad and did a quick test to see if he was OK and decided he wan't - hopefully just precautionary
Was it unreserved? When I was buying my tickets it was shown as reserved and the signs outside the ground said so too - are you sure it wasn't just some groups who wanted to sit together but couldn't get a tickets at the same time so just decided they'd sit where they want?

Not too sure how much we can take out of the game to be honest, the change in formation should suit how Jose wants to play but Rhino was wasted out on the right. Moore looked much more comfortable out there in the 2nd half when we went back to a back 4.

It was a bit of a disjointed performance what with the change in formation and all the new faces, but we started the game brightly, dominated the 1st half and should really have gone in ahead but their no 5 (Stewart?) was excellent and cut out a number of moves.

2nd half they came at us more and we generally coped OK. Zonal marking cost us for their goal as the scorer was allowed to run free at the front post and glance in a header that Rafael could do nothing about.

For some reason I thought the penalties were never in doubt (despite our abysmal record). I usually don't watch penalties that I want to go in but felt comfortable that we'd put them all away. All our penalties were well taken and their keeper never had a sniff, Rafael on the other hand was close to 3 of their 4 and was playing mind games with their takers which helped to put all but the 1st one off.

Ejaria was MOTM for me - showed what we all have come to expect and tied their players in knots at times.


» 14 Aug 2019 08:21


Because Yiadom might need a rest..

Because Gunter is .surplus to requirements and not match fit.

Because Rhino at RWB might be better than either Howe or Watson
and it allows for Rhino to go central if Adam or Pele are pulled


» 14 Aug 2019 08:42

Was it unreserved? When I was buying my tickets it was shown as reserved and the signs outside the ground said so too - are you sure it wasn't just some groups who wanted to sit together but couldn't get a tickets at the same time so just decided they'd sit where they want?

I think it was more this from what I saw, also Wycombe's seats were unclearly numbered - the black stickers were random, the seat numbers were on the underside.


3-5-2 - back three solid, wing backs OK but would prefer a winger out right and Rinomhota in the middle. He's better than Ejaria, Gomes and Adams. Richards also decent.

Adams, first 30 was on the boil, then went off it. Our performance dropped as he became more of an observer. Other two lads are solid, but nothing amazing. It needs work.

Front two - very mobile, very fast, decent enough. But also very rusty - Puscas had, to my count, four decent chances. There was a tendency not to have a go from decent opportunities. Early on, Adam rinsed their centreback with a faked drag back and the goal opened up. He took another touch and the chance was gone. This happened practically every time we had an inch of attacking space. Some credit to a decent Wycombe defensive set up must be given.

Subs - OK and OK.

All in all - promising but really half-baked still. Its clearly got a plan, and its clearly got players signed with that plan in mind. With, what, 6? new signings in the last week of the window, it will take time for this team to gel. Hopefully we'll start getting some better results to give the squad that time.

Penalties -keeper very good, no poor penalties from our players. Think that's the first time I've seen a RFC team win a shootout. Will take that.


» 14 Aug 2019 08:45

The ground could not cope with a large away support with long queues for food drink etc. Also why make it unreserved when you have a sell out away support? That caused problems with some fans arguing and nearly coming to blows.

I liked the omni queue snaking out the car park when there was another smaller queue through the ticket office just to the right of it.

Also, another food place at the other end of the stand that seemed to work on the principle that hopefully no-one will notice we're here.


» 14 Aug 2019 08:57

West Ham in the league cup?


» 14 Aug 2019 08:59

West Ham in the league cup?

Sept 11, 2001

I was working in a biker pub that night, as the local 'crew' put on tasteless songs about Arabs and bombers.

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