MATCH REPORT: 2007/2008 Season

20 October 2007: FA PREMIER LEAGUE
Reading: Doyle (80 mins, 90 mins).
Blackburn: McCarthy (18 mins), Santa Cruz (22 mins), Kerimoglu (32 mins), McCarthy (82 mins, pen).
Half Time: 3-0
Attendance: 19,425

Pos Team P Pts GD
11 Everton 10 13 0
12 READING 10 10 -10
13 Fulham 10 8 -4
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Sonko, Duberry, Shorey, Bikey (Lita 46), Harper, Fae (Doyle 64), Rosenior (Gunnarsson 46), Kitson, Hunt. Subs Not Used: Federici, Ingimarsson.
Blackburn: Friedel, Emerton, Samba, Ooijer, Warnock (Khizanishvili 54), Bentley, Savage, Kerimoglu, Dunn (Pedersen 66), Santa Cruz (Derbyshire 77), McCarthy. Subs Not Used: Brown, Mokoena.
Reading: -.
Blackburn: -.
Ref: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).
Reading were never close to picking up any points at Blackburn, despite an improved second half performance. The was all over for Reading as early as the 32nd minute with the home side already three goals up. Reading's bad start saw Blackburn take the lead on 18 minutes and they quickly added two more to effectively end the game long before half time. The first two goals followed some impressive play from Rovers and the third was a long range effort that flew into the top of the net. Defensively Rovers made Reading look poor, but Hahnemann really should have done much better with the third goal which he appeared to let slip through his hands. Reading were hardly competing in the first half with Blackburn recording the only other shots of note. We were probably lucky to go in just three down after Rovers missed a free header just before the break.

At half time Coppell changed it around drastically in an attempt to get back into the game. Lita and Gunnarsson came off the bench, replacing Bikey and the ineffective Rosenior. Although it was too late to mount a serious come-back, Reading started to finally get into the game and created some reasonable chances up front. Lita forced a save while Hunt should have done better from close range. Reading hit the bar before Doyle eventually got on the scoresheet when he headed home a cross. Sonko's long awaited return from injury saw him conceed a late penalty for Rovers to restore their lead before Doyle headed home his second of the game with a similar header in the final minute.


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Steve Coppell, the Reading manager, is still able to smile when he hears the phrase “second-season syndrome”, but his team are doing little to disprove the theory. Soon to become an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary, it is becoming an accepted truth that teams always find life harder in their second campaign after promotion and Reading are showing all the symptoms. Poor at the back – they have conceded 16 goals in four successive defeats away from home – they only became an attacking force once the game was over at Ewood Park. They do, however, have players who can win them matches at home, which is partly why Coppell is untroubled by his team’s underwhelming start.
Graham Chase, The Times

...Reading had never previously won at Ewood Park and it quickly became apparent that unfortunate record was not going to change in this fixture. ...Coppell's men deservedly got on the scoresheet when Doyle brushed off the attentions of the Rovers defence to nod in.
BBC Sport

"It's me, it's my fault. I chose the wrong way of playing, 100%. I fiddled around with the team and the consequences were all too evident. At half-time we changed to a more familiar shape and did a lot better.
Steve Coppell, speaking to the Press