MATCH REPORT: 2005/2006 Season

20 September 2005: LEAGUE CUP - ROUND TWO
Reading:Oster (90 mins).
Luton Town: -
Half Time: 0-0
Attendance: 6,941

Pos Team P Pts GD
1 Sheff Utd 9 24 +11
2 READING 9 20 +12
3 Watford 9 17 +7
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Sonko, Hunt, Oster, Harper, Ingimarsson, Doyle (Lita 57), Makin, Obinna (Cox 85), Baradji. Subs Not Used: Gunnarsson, Little, Federici.
Luton Town: Brill, Edwards, Davis, Coyne, Barnett (Keane 55), Nicholls, Holmes, Brkovic, Howard, Feeney, Morgan. Subs Not Used: Seremet, O'Leary, Andrew, Stevens.
Reading: -
Luton Town: Howard
Referee: M Fletcher (Worcestershire).

Reading progressed to the 3rd Round of the Carling Cup courtesy of a soft goal from John Oster. It has often been said that winning is a habit and tonight that habit continued fro Reading although Luton could reasonably argue they did not deserve to lose. Coppell got his selection right, leaving out several key players and still securing a win. There was never more than six first choice players on the field at any time and in view of the existing injuries, it was a wise move. In terms of entertainment it was a disaster. Only the back four remained in tact and it proved to be quite a good workout for them as they were subjected to more pressure than they have been accustomed by a Royals midfield which did not get a grip on the game, and a forward line frequently caught offside. They looked solid unit again with Makin proving to be a shrewd signing as defensive cover for Shorey.

Reading opened brightly but gradually Luton began to impose themselves on the game. Doyle was working tremendously hard and looking as sharp as ever, and constantly put the Luton back four under pressure. Obinna was finding it difficult to get into the game. He showed a good turn of pace at times and put in a couple of dangerous crosses, but he won little in the air, his touch was not quite sharp enough, and he was caught offside too often. Hunt scurried around but was fairly ineffective, squandering several dead ball kicks, and losing possession by running into trouble. Baradji clearly has the potential to become a good player. He has excellent touch and is quick, but this was not the best introduction to first team football for him and he needed to get more involved. The game had developed into a stalemate by half time. I can't remember either 'keeper having to do much more than catch crosses or receive back passes.

Luton took the initiative in the second half and looked far more likely to open the scoring with some neat passing and a series of tempting crosses. Morgan fired a good long range effort just over the bar. Somewhat against the run of play Oster curled a free kick goalwards. It drifted past so many players Brill was probably unsighted or surprised to see the ball swirl past him into the net. Oster looked apologetic and the small crowd celebrated.

After the game Coppell made it clear it was not a priority to progress in the competition, which is probably how everyone feels about it, although a draw against a Premiership side in the next round might spark a bit of interest.



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