Division One

11th February 1995


(Own goal)

Att: 8,800

Theres two reports here....

(This report is typed by me)

Two away wins on the trot and then at home against Derby. It was bound to be a draw wasn't it? I was expecting a 0-0 draw so when Reading took the lead right until the end I was expecting the Derby equalizer but it never came! Readings third win on the trot lifts them to just one point off the top. The dream of the play-offs is being over-taken by the dream of the championship. Well thats what Gilksey seems to think anyway: "People are giving us an outside chance of a play-off place, but the way we're playing we might even nick the championship. We've hada sticky patch since Christmas but we've been carrying a lot of injuries. Those players are fit again and helping us play the way we did at the start of the season." Well why not? This wasn't the classiest Reading performance of the season by any stretch of the imagination - but then it never was going to be considering the conditions that turned Elm Park into more of a swamp than a football pitch during the second half. We didn't even score the winner ourselves. But all that doesn't matter now - we've got the three points and are even above Middlesbro (ok, so they have a couple of games in hand)

Readings winner came on about the half hour. The ball was floated in from the right hand side and was touched on by a Royal straight across the mouth of the goal. With the keeper stranded on the near post all it needed was someone to get their boot on it and stick it in the net. The Derby defender was closest and obliged nicely by hammering the ball into the roof of the net from a few yards out with a terrific volley. It's rumoured it was supposed to be a clearance over the crossbar but it turned out to be a goal even Jimmy would be jealous of. His misjudgment was probably made under the pressure of Lambert who was storming in from the left side of the box and may or may not have added the finishing touch himself if the defender had not beaten him to it.

We could have already had the lead at this stage though. Just a few minutes earlier Lee Nogan found himself with a clear header at goal. He somehow managed to head the goal down to the floor and it bounced up onto the crossbar and over. Nogan didn't do much throughout the game and didn't look worth 250,000 anyway. The defence played well though. Kerr and Dariusz both had excellent games, and Dyl even proved he could kick the ball straight if he put his mind to it. Viveash had another solid enough game - I assume though he will be released when Williams returns from injury. On the subject of injuries - and one negative note about the game - was Gilksey limping off the pitch after just 15 minutes of play. Fortunately it doesn't seem anything serious.

It pissed it down for the whole of the second half and considering the football wasn't too bad. Reading looked the better team and pushed forward every now and again almost adding a second on several occasions. Derby pushed forward but little except cross the ball over for Shaka to calmly collect. Back at the other end Derby continued to live dangerously, not content with conceeding the own goal they played a number of back passes that got stuck in the mud. They didn't learn from the first time - pitty we didn't get there fast enough to prod a few into the back of the net.

Derby played out the game with ten men after Paul Williams was sent off for a second bookable offence in controversial circumstances. He fouled Scottie Taylor with what the ref saw as a Cantona style two footed tackle. It looked more harmless than that and even Taylor is willing to stand by Williams if he appeals. Meanwhile Quinn picked up a yellow card for mouthing off to the ref. (Hardly setting an example, eh?) He looked as though he had got away with giving the ref a load of stick and the ref just waved him away, but as Jimmy walked off he couldn't help mouthing off a bit more and so picked up a card for his troubles. Micky Gooding (injured and so on the bench managing the action) promptly substitued Quinn. Maybe having one manager on the bench and the other on the pitch is quite a good arangement.

Tranmere next Saturday. It seems confidence is high, and the game is away, so maybe 3 more points and a little bit closer if not in that automatic promotion place.


This next report is from Chris Price...

I awoke Saturday to find it cat and dogging. Half hoped it would be off because I couldn't be bothered to drive down from Oxford. Still I couldn't help myself and went. I'm addicted.

The pitch didn't look to bad until someone kicked a ball, it went nowhere fast in some patches and skidding miles in others. Obviously not condusive to the passing game both the Royals and Rams like to play.

To be honest the football was spoilt by the pitch both teams tried to pass it (possibly a bit stupid given the conditions) but one goal was always going to decide. And what a volley to be proud of by Kavanagh, just a shame it was at the wrong end. Scott had already headed against the bar when it would have been easier to score. Derby had one golden opportuniy that Stannard some how put wide. Second half Reading were really up for it making the tackles and chasing back, a really determined performance. Williams was sent off for a second offence (should have been off for the first really). This was welcomed by the seats by holding up Red sheets of cardboard given to them for a Yuri Geller trick. I thick fans should be given them every week. Several more bookings followed, mainly for Derby, but Jimmy got one for not shutting his mouth.

Anyway Reading one, football was understandbly shite but they wanted the win and got it very professional performance.

Man of the match: Craig Short (Derby) I know, but without him we would have probably one by more. The class player on the pitch.

Does anyone know why Gilksey was subbed so early, is he injured? Also does anyone read Heaven 11?

See you at Tranmere, is anyone going, surely it can't be missed! Chris.

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