MATCH REPORT: 2005/2006 Season

Reading: Shorey (24 mins), Sidwell (26 mins), Lita (43 mins, 53 mins).
Crewe: Bell (14 mins), Taylor (51 mins), Lunt (68 mins, pen.)
Half Time: 1-3
Attendance: 6,484

Pos Team P Pts GD
1 READING 32 79 +51
2 Sheff Utd 31 69 +30
3 Leeds 31 58 +19
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Sonko, Ingimarsson, Shorey, Little (Gunnarsson 90), Harper, Sidwell, Convey (Hunt 79), Lita (Kitson 81), Doyle. Subs Not Used: Oster, Stack.
Crewe: Turnbull, Otsemobor, Foster, Billy Jones, Tonkin (Moss 87), Lunt, Roberts, Bell (McCready 69), Steve Jones, Taylor, Rodgers. Subs Not Used: Tomlinson, Higdon, Johnson.
Reading: -
Crewe: Lunt (sent off, 90 mins).
Referee: C Webster (Tyne & Wear).

Reading came from an early goal down, and despite letting in three goals, came away with yet another league win after hitting four past Crewe Alexandra. Crewe's achievement was quite something - Reading had only conceeded six goals away from home in fifteen league fixtures before today. The side rooted to the bottom of the championship played some good football in a highly entertaining fixture, but Reading retained the upper hand to record 31 consecutive matches without defeat and move within three games of setting a new record for the second tier of the English league. Leeds United appear to be the only side left capable of chasing the top two and recorded another win - but are clearly running out of games to catch the Royals. United remain a massive twenty-one points behind and only have fifteen games to make up the deficit. Reading's unstoppable form means the gap seems impossible to be closed and Premiership football is now approaching with speed.

Despite Reading's league table superiority of 54 points before kick-off, Crewe made a lively start and after hitting a post moved then ahead within fifteen minutes. Hahnemann saved but couldn't hold the ball and the rebound was stuck home from close range. Reading spent ten mintues behind before Shorey drew Reading level with his second goal of the season and his second in two games. After Lita had hit the post minutes earlier, Convey ran through to be taken down on the edge of the area. Shorey's resulting free-kick was spot on just inside the post, and although the keeper nearly saved it after getting a hand on it, he couldn't prevent it crossing the line to make it 1-1. Moments later Reading were ahead when Little did well down the right to send over the perfect cross for Sidwell to head home.

Crewe's heads failed to drop and they were nearly back in the game before the break when Hahenmann neaded to make a good save. Instead of pulling level, the home found found themselves further behind before half time when Shorey found Lita inside the area who finished with style. After half time carried on in a similar pattern with chances at both ends and both keepers being called into action. It was Crewe who scored the next goal when Hahnemann again made a save but was helpless with the rebound. Crewe's hopes were immediately dashed when Reading made it 4-2 and put the game seemingly out of Crewe's reach. Convey's cross from the left got the slighest touch from Lita in the middle to send the ball into the net for Lita's second. Crewe were allowed a glimer of hope when Shorey's arm made contact with the ball in the area and Lunt scored from the spot to complete the scoring. Lunt then saw red as he picked up a straight red card for a clumsy challenge on Hunt. However, down to ten men, Crewe still finished the last few minutes stronger as Reading had to scramble the ball away in the dying moments to hang on for the full three points.


Not at the game today - but for anyone concerned about leaking those goals... give a thought to the poor Leeds and Sheffield United supporters who were hadn't been keeping up with the match and listened to the final scores... Crewe THREE (huge cheers)... READING FOUR! Almost poetic!
Crowthorne Seb

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