MATCH REPORT: 2008/2009 Season

Reading: -
Burnley: Alexander (84 mins, pen).
Half Time: 0-0
Attendance: -

Pos Team P Pts GD
2 Birmingham 46 83 +17
3 Sheff Utd 46 80 +25
4 READING 46 77 +32
5 Burnley 46 76 +12
Reading: Hahnemann, Rosenior, Duberry, Bikey, Harding, Kebe, Matejovsky, Gunnarsson (Cisse 85), Tabb, Long, Doyle (Kitson 40). Subs not used: Federici, Stephen Hunt, Karacan.
Burnley: Jensen, Duff, Carlisle, Caldwell, Kalvenes, Gudjonsson (McDonald 21), Alexander, McCann, Eagles (Thompson 58), Paterson (Rodriguez 87), Blake. Subs not used: Penny, Jordan.
Reading: Matejovsky, Bikey. Sent Off: Bikey (90 mins).
Burnley: -
Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

Once again a game succinctly summarises the season - the possibility of Kebe passing to Kitson and him scoring and then two pathetic pieces of play, giving away a penalty (and a result Burnley didn't deserve) and a sending off. From potential to failure. My surprise was that Burnley weren't very good, I expected them to put the tie beyond doubt at their place. Once again we're just a final pass or two away from being very good and we end up losing. So more agony at Madejski to follow and as I said after the Birmingham game, I don't expect us to get through. But we don't get steam rollered, we keep everyone hoping with the frustration that follows.
The team is on the brink of being good but can't quite do it. I'm fed up seeing professional footballers make such poor decisions time after time during the game - it's simple, if they're wearing an orange shirt, please pass to them. For Bikey, sadly the bad outweighs the good, he shouldn't play for the club again. So is there a great performance just waiting to break out or will Tuesday go the way we all expect it to - sadly the latter but I'll be going with hope of the former - frustration of what might have been awaits I fear.
One final thought for a laugh a la a conspiracy theory, are the players throwing in the towel deliberately (the decisions made were bizarre - Kebe and his non cross, Bikey and the pen, did he have to do it, couldn't he have tracked his man) or are they just no good? Coppell must feel very let down.
Still, when all said and done, we needed a handsome win at Burnley, even at nil nil, Burnley would have been happy coming to our place.
This season (so far?!) has been one of the most annoying that I can recall.
Nick Tilehurst

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When these clubs were paired against each other in the FA Cup two years ago, a cloudburst of biblical proportions forced the game's postponement with the players about to take their places in the tunnel. This time the driving rain mercifully made way for sunshine just before kick-off, though that didn't stop the Lancastrians making heavy weather of Reading, scraping the narrowest of victories courtesy of a late penalty. Indeed, Reading had looked more than capable of securing the draw they would probably have settled for before kick-off. That was until Andre Bikey endured 10 minutes he will not be allowed to forget. When Steven Thompson accelerated into the area six minutes from time, Bikey tugged him back to concede the spot-kick that Graham Alexander converted. Bikey was booked for that indiscretion, but it got worse. The Cameroonian then earned a straight red for stamping on Robbie Blake in injury time. He was so incensed he tore off his shirt and flung it to the ground.
The Guardian