MATCH REPORT: 2006/2007 Season

Reading: Seol Ki-Hyeon (36 mins), Doyle (58 mins), Gunnarsson (77 mins).
Blackburn: McCarthy (21 mins), Bentley (56 mins), Derbyshire (67 mins).
Half Time: 1-1
Attendance: 22,671

Pos Team P Pts GD
7 Bolton 38 56 -5
8 READING 38 55 +5
9 Portsmouth 38 54 +3
Reading: Hahnemann (Federici 23), De la Cruz, Duberry, Ingimarsson, Shorey, Ki-Hyeon, Harper, Gunnarsson, Hunt (Oster 70), Long (Lita 66), Doyle. Subs Not Used: Kitson, Bikey.
Blackburn: Friedel, Emerton, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock, Bentley, Kerimoglu (Dunn 69), Mokoena, Pedersen, Nonda (Derbyshire 66), McCarthy. Subs Not Used: Brown, Henchoz, Treacy.
Reading: -
Blackburn: Samba, McCarthy.
Ref: A Wiley (Staffordshire).
Reading's fantastic season finished with a thrilling 3-3 draw at Blackburn Rovers as the Royals missed out on a UEFA Cup qualification finish by a single point. Bolton secured seventh place in the table, and edged Reading out, by drawing at home with Aston Villa. Reading came from behind three times to take an impressive point. If we had managed to score another goal it would have sealed a European place, but the draw still meant Reading finished eighth - an indication of just how successful this season has been.

This game typified Reading under Coppell as we battled back each time we went behind and refused to be beaten. It was an entertaining end to end game with plenty of action that included six goals and two goals ruled out. Reading immediately set about trying to win this fixture and won a series of corners for their efforts. Nicky Shorey twice went close in the opening fifteen minutes including one effort that come off the inside of the post. Despite Reading's early pressure it was the home side that moved ahead when Hahnemann come off second best under a challenge that forced him to leave the field injured. The ball came loose with Marcus in a heap leaving an easy finish. However, Reading were level before the break when the lively Hunt swung the ball across and Seol was there to head home at the far post.

The second half saw more goals as Blackburn restored their lead before the hour mark when the ball came back out off the post and was put home at the second attempt. But just two minutes later and Reading had fought level again when De La Cruz crossed and Doyle confidently headed home for his thirteenth of the season. Again Blackburn took the lead and again Reading equalised - this time Lita fired the ball into the wall from a free-kick before Gunnarsson blasted the ball home. Reading had four minutes of injury time to try and turn the game into a vital win but couldn't conjure up a final piece of magic to end a magical season.

What a fabulous game to end what has been a fabulous season! Who would have dreamt when we were two down to Middlesborough that we would end up being that close to Europe. The game showed everything that was good about us. A determination not to be beaten and a desire to attack other teams. Blackburn were a good team. They had pace used the wings well and their third goal; was a gem. We had Shorey and strikers that are always likely to create something and Seol showing that he can offer something different. Inevitable thoughts will turn to next season, but let's just dwell on the last two. They have been fantastic!
Ken C

We started this fairy tale of a season with a five goal thriller and we've ended it with a six goal thriller. In a way, for those of us who've supported Reading football club for many years, this amazing season has been like one long happy dream and sadly we have to wake up and realise the dream that was this season where we finished an unbelievable eighth in the Premiership is over and it all starts again in August. The game at Blackburn typified everything that this season and club is all about, never say die attitude, attacking with wonderful flair, players running themselves into the ground, great goals, lapses in concentration when defending that were clinically punished and witnessed by a superb band of loyal Reading supporters. The display of inflatables before the game was a sight to behold from giant beachballs, a JCB, rubber rings, paddling pools and even a giant willy, priceless. So we missed Europe by one point, we actually threw it away against Watford last week, and yes that does rankle in the back of the mind, but we must realise that long term, a journey into Europe next season would have a detrimental effect on our league games and that of course is the prime requisite of this club, retaining our Premiership status. Our time will come for Europe. Every single Reading player who has worn a Reading shirt this season deserves the highest credit and recognition imaginable. Yes there have been heroes, stars in Shorey, Doyle, Sidwell, Harper, Ingimarsson, Hunt, Lita, Murty but it is every Reading player who are heroes just take Gunny Gunnarsson yesterday, what a performance, what a goal, the bloke is a flipping underrated superstar who never lets anybody down and is typical of all his team-mates and Reading Football Club. As for Sir Steve Coppell, where do you start, he should at least have the freedom of Reading whatever that entails, but the bloke is simply a genius, long may it continue. Thank you Reading Football Club, thanks for the best times I've ever had in my l life watching football. Along with my good mates we've watched and experienced things we've never dreamt we'd see in our lifetimes and all along the way win lose or draw we were so proud to support Reading Football Club. Who will ever forget the that first home game against Boro where it all started being two down and coming back to win 3-2, it set the tone for the season and never disappointed. Roll on August ....URZ.
Nick Newbury

Proud to be a Royal. Nick Newbury says it all. Not many supporters of clubs can say they've experienced all four divisions and in this day of money and superstardom, say that their club could have done any more over 46 league games err sorry make that 38. Okay so we lost at home to Watford and failed miserably at Pompey and Wigan but over the course of the season, our boys have tried to play attacking football no matter who the oppo was. Reserve sides in the cup? Yes that was the right decision because we wanted to stay in this league and like last year, mission was accomplished before the clocks went forward. Whether you've seen every game live, just a few games or seen it all on telly; whether you've supported them since the sixties or just come on board more recently (Tarrant and Parkinson don't count), welcome to Sir Steve Coppell and his band of men who never stop grafting for 90 minutes. Whatever happens next season, it's been an honour and a pleasure.
Worzel, West Sussex

Well, what a way to finish. And as has already been said many a time, it started all the way back in August with that home game against Boro. I certainly spent the first 20 minutes wondering what had hit us and what was going to hit us throughout the season. But to look at where we are now, what the club has achieved in the past nine months, is simply awesome. It wasn't long ago that Tuesday evening fixtures against the like of Bury meant being huddled under a leaky roof - if you were lucky! - with only a crush barrier for company. To think what has been achieved in the last few years, well it's like a dream. Yes next season will be really tough, no doubt about it - no momentum, no first-season feel-good-factor, etc., etc - but we're well placed to make the best of it. RFC seems to have caught the imagination of the whole country (with the notable exception of a couple of reprehensible individuals on MOTD) and made many friends up and down the motorways and in railway station bars and buffets, and I don't even begrudge Virgin Trains or BP the vast profit they've made at our expense. Long may our sojourn in the top flight, with whatever ups and downs it will undoubtedly bring, continue; and roll on August.
Kris, Muswell Hill

This was much more like it. Reading battled well in the middle, looked dangerous going forward & came back from a goal down three times. For the neutral, it was an extremely entertaining game with both sides going for the win at all times & either could have won it by the end. Personally, I'm not altogether fussed about Europe. After last week's dross, what I was really hoping for was the team would give the fans a performance worthy of all their considerable achievements this season & end the season on a real positive. And that's what they did. Who would have thought Reading could finish 8th in their first Premiership season?? Shame on all those smug 'experts' (especially those on Match of the Day) that predicted we would be cannon fodder for the rest of the league. The magnitude of the team's achievement is further shown by the fact that both of the other two teams that went up with us have now gone straight back down. As with last season, I am proud to be a Reading fan.
Mark Lawrenson's Humble Pie

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