Lovell (15th Min), Nogan (87th min)
I'm going to remember this game forever as one of the most amazing atmospheres every witnessed at Elm Park. The Reading faithful were brilliant and the South Bank sung the Royals to a memorable victory over a team who were supposed to be the best in the division. Second best maybe over the Royals. 'We are on our way to Wembley' and the classic 'are you watching Mark McGhee' echoed across Reading. The chants of 'Blue Army' rung out around Elm Park for about 15 minutes solid in the second half. Shortly after Nogan scored the goal that toppled Bolton and put Reading points clear of Bolton and ever closer to securing a play off place.
The players responded to the noise by playing their guts out. The first 15 minutes was all Reading as the lads sliced the Bolton defense to bits and created chance after chance. The goal came after solid Reading pressure and was about time too. Archie Lovell got the ball with just the goalie to beat and two defenders on his tail. He could have hit it first time maybe but chose to control the ball before unleashing his shot. He stopped, confusing the defenders, and put the ball through one of the defenders legs, it took a deflection of the defender and was in the bottom left of the net.
In the second half Bolton came out looking more like title contenders. But Reading managed to soak up the pressure until a cock-up by Shaka in the Reading goal. A cross came over and Shaka totally mis-handled the thing into the path of a Bolton striker who lobbed the ball into the air. Where I was stood everyone thought it was over and we all breathed a sigh of relief until it dawned on us the ball had somehow dipped down at the last moment and just creaped in under the crossbar. So all our hard work was undone and the Bolton supporters had something to cheer about at last. With the damage done Reading could have lost the game. I'm not sure what Jimmy 'Biscuit Tin' Quinn told the lads at half time but everytime they got the ball inside their own half they passed back to Shaka. Even with a Bolton striker just yards away Shaka was given the ball at his feet on several occasions. Shaka then had to move himself so he could kick the ball with his only foot (his right one), and twice it went straight out on the floor to a Bolton player. Luckily Bolton didn't make the most of it.
Reading had their chances in the second half as well, forcing the Bolton keeper to make a couple of good saves, and despite a few cock-ups Reading continued to play like they wanted to win the game. Everyone on the pitch, yes even Gilksey, showing shit loads of commitment. Bolton almost took the lead when a shot that looked like it was in was saved by a Simon Osbourn head on the line which appeared from nowhere. Reading continued to soak up the pressure well and apply plenty of their own until it really paid off three minutes from the end.
With 87 minutes on the clock Osbourn played the ball forward to Lee 'worth a couple of million at least' Nogan who unleashed a mighty shot we all went wild. The entire of the South bank leapt about 20 foot in the air and started to celebrate with a chorus of 'We Are Going Up!'. And I think we are on this performance. Theres no reason why we can't win the Play offs at wembley - the only team up the top we haven't beaten so far this season is Tranmere. The last three minutes Reading soaked up a bit more pressure before pushing forward themselves. Reading were brilliant, the atmosphere was great. This has got to be the best Reading team of all time. See you at Wembley!
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