5 May 1996: League Division One
Birmingham 1 READING 2

Att: 16,223
Reading: Sheppard, Jones, Gooding, Caskey (Parkie), Swales, Wdowczyk, Gilkes, Nogan, Quinn, M.Williams, Holsgrove
Birmingham: Griemink, Poole, Grainger, Cornforth, Breen, Edwards, Hunt, Devlin, P Barnes, Peschisolido, Frain.

There's a few reports below...

Reading continued their excellent end of season form with a convincing win over Birmingham that lifted the Royals above Wolves and into a final position of 19th.

Paul Bonds gave Birmingham an early lead after just four minutes after a long move that just walked past all the Reading defence. The rest of the game was Reading's though. The R's drew the game level just six minutes later. Gooding drove an excellent shot onto the bar. When the rebound came down there was Lee Nogan the plant the ball into the net.

With 23 minutes gone Sir Jimmy scored what turned out to be the winner. Caskey played the ball into Martie Williams. His shot came out of the keeper to give Quinn the chance to put Reading into the lead. Which he did.

This was another determined Reading performance. Once again Williams had an excellent game, and Caskey looked far improved from some of his earlier games this year.

So the season is all over. If only we'd played like this all the way through. Still, a vital time to hit our best league form of the season. Well done Reading. I think.


More reports:

Cheers to Gary Deards for this one...

Here is the report from Compuserve on the Royals match against Birmingham - as you can see it is very comprehensive!!

Birmingham 1 Reading 2

Reading celebrated their continued presence in the Endsleigh League first division by sentencing Birmingham to a surprise defeat at St Andrews.

Reading had ensured their survival by beating Wolves in midweek and they ended the season on a high in sharp contrast to Birmingham, who failed to win any of their last four games.

Birmingham should have ended that dismal run, as they were given the perfect start after just four minutes with a Paul Barnes goal.

He had the simple task of turning the ball in from close range after John Frain, Jonathan Hunt, Gary Bleen, Gary Poole and Paul Peschisolido had been involved in a delightful move.

Barnes then squandered another opening after nine minutes, when he shot wide with only Reading keeper Simon Sheppard to beat, and that was to prove a costly miss.

Reading levelled just 60 seconds later, when Lee Nogan pounced to steer the ball home after Mick Gooding had seen his shot crash back off a post.

Barnes was then guilty of wasting another golden chance in the 13th minute, before Reading secured all three points through veteran joint player-manager Jimmy Quinn.

The Northern Ireland international took advantage of Birmingham's failure to clear the ball in the 23rd minute, steering home another close-range shot after Martin Williams had seen his effort from Darren Caskey's cross blocked.

This next report from Jonathan Medd:

Reading got off to a bad start when Paul Barnes moved onto a through pass and comfortably slotted the ball past Shepherd. Birmingham then wasted a number of other chances (mostly quite humorously over the bar!) as the defence was looking quite shakey. Then in the 10th minute an excellent volley by Gooding hit the bar/post and came back out to Nogan, who knocked it into the back of the net. In the 23rd minute Caskey crossed and following confusion in the Birmingham defence Quinn bundled the ball in. Things settled down a bit for the rest of the half although Brimingham hit the bar with Shepherd nowhere. Quinn and Williams both had chances that went over the bar.

The second half was a mainly scrappy affair, with Birmingham's passing moves fizzling out when they reached the box. The most noteable Royals chance was a four against three break culminating with a misplaced Caskey pass trying to find an unmarked Quinn at the far post, when he seemed to have a better chance himself. Shepherd had the best half I've seen him this season in the second half, he didn't have too many difficult shots to save, but was actually coming for crosses and catching the majority of them!

Gooding was my Man of the Match (again!) Martin Williams had a pretty decent game as well.

Finally a report from Paul Kerton:

Reading went down to an early goal from Paul Barnes in the 4th minute which Sheppard was not really to blame for. But Reading rallied, and in the 11th Minute, Lee Nogan blasted the ball into the back of the net after a rebound off of the keeper left him with no chance.

Reading then stepped up a gear, and 13 minutes later Quinn scored an almost identical goal to Nogans', again from a rebound off of the keeper.

In the 32nd minute, JONES was poleaxed by a Birmingham player, who received a yellow card for his trouble.

HT : Birmingham City 1 - 2 Reading

The second half started pretty much as the first had finished, and there were a good few chances by both sides going wide of the mark. Quinn, Nogan and Williams all had good chances fly over the bar, and Caskey made some searing runs down the right.

Caskey was subbed in the 60th minute for Parkinson, who came on as an obvious defensive player.

The game was then played out, to the boo's of the Birmingham fans, and the joy of the Reading fans. The McGoo song rang around the ground, as the Reading fans learned of the Wolves game result which ended in a draw, meaning that Reading finished in the table ABOVE McGoo.

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