MATCH REPORT: 2002/2003 Season

Reading: Forster (66 mins).
Bradford City:
Half Time: 0-0
Attendance: 11,385

DIVISION ONE  22 Mar 2003
Pos Team P Pts GD
3 Sheff Utd 37 68 +20
4 READING 39 67 +11
5 Nottm F 38 65 +32
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Brown, Viveash, Shorey, Harper, Newman, Hughes, Tyson (sent off 45), Salako (Igoe 67), Forster (Henderson 89). Subs not used: Watson, Cureton, Ashdown.
Bradford City:
Davison, Uhlenbeek, Wetherall, Bower, Jorgensen, Francis, Atherton, Lawrence, Reid (Standing 75), Gray, Forrest (Muirhead 70). Subs not used: Walsh, Fishlock, Ekoku.
Reading: Forster, Igoe, Tyson (sent off 45 mins).
Bradford City:
Bower, Wetherall.
Referee: S W Mathieson (Stockport).

Reading's push towards securing a play-off spot come the end of the season took a massive boost at Bradford with a 1-0 victory despite playing the entire second half with just ten men after Nathan Tyson received his marching orders just before the half time break. Tyson appeared to be harsly dismissed for a second yellow card after a home player went down in the centre circle and was judged to have been taken down by Tyson. Despite City having the extra man they failed to really threaten a Reading side that look good for their win with a second half goal from Nicky Forster to wrap up another deserved away victory.

With Luke Chadwick making a temporary technical return to Manchester United while he awaits his second loan spell to begin both Tyson and Salako started for Reading in midfield with Forster the usual loan striker. Despite Tyson's red card before the break he put in a decent first half display and could well be disappointed to have been forced to leave the field. Salako also had a decent game helping Reading creating a series of chances up front. Although Salako might have been disappointed to not have completed the entire game it allowed the return of Sammy Igoe into the Reading side as he hopped off the bench with a bit over twenty minutes left to play.

Reading showed how the game was going to go with a period of early pressure on the Bradford goal. Right from kick-off Reading were on the attack and they immediately won a corner for their efforts. John Salako and James Harper were both involved early on as Reading supplied a few crosses into the box giving an early supply to Nicky Forster in the middle. Salako followed up his cross with a free-kick within the opening ten minutes that was clumsily saved by the City goalkeeper and moments later got in another effort that needed a save. Forster and Tyson continued the run of shots down the right end with two efforts that weren't far over the crossbar as Reading looked likely to grab a first half lead. Down the other end the chances were few and far between as Bradford failed to really get going against a well organised Reading side that looked like a team far above them in the table.

With the end of the opening forty-five minutes approaching Reading came the closest yet with a Nicky Forster effort from the left of the box that hit the post - and Tyson had another shot on goal that needed a save. With Bradford looking lost at home they appeared to be handed the lifeline they needed when Tyson was shown the red card on the stroke of half time. The second half promised to be a different affair with Reading looking up against it after failing to take the chances from the first half. Thankfully this wasn't the case. As soon as the second half kicked off it was Reading on the attack with Nicky Forster getting in the first shot of the half which flew over the Bradford City crossbar. City looked poor in midfield and poor in attack as their passing moves continued to break down without making an impression on the Reading defence. Hahnemann in goal for Reading was having a very quiet day.

The lack of any City pressure allowed Reading to grab the victory with the only goal of the game on sixty-six minutes. The goal summed up Bradford City's performance as a series of defensive errors saw a back pass bounce free in the area allowing Forster to run onto it in the centre of the Bradford area and drive the ball home into the bottom right corner of the net. 1-0 to Reading and it didn't seem likely the home side would ever stage a comeback. The victory saw Reading make it eleven away league wins in the season so far - the best performance of any side in the Division.

nick newbury
What a result ! Having just got back today from a week attempting to break every bone in my body hurtling out of control down the French Alps, this was just what we needed after the result midweek against the Tractor Boys. As for Fossie , I know he's getting stick about his finishing, but ask yourself, where would we be in the league without his goals, well done Caversham for the pre match voodoo spell! To win today with ten men for most of the second half speak volumes for the spirit and quality of the super Royals. I reckon we need another ten points to guarantee the play offs, though we must never take our foot off the pedal, something I'm sure Pards won't allow. Eleven away wins so far is quite amazing. His post match interview was a credit to the man. Just learnt about the Preston game being called off because of their international call ups. I'm supposed to be in Dublin on business for the rearranged date of the 15th April and I'm well pissed off I can tell you. Bloody Preston internationals! Who are they? Tin pot jocks I expect. Oh well, never mind, April looks like being a very exciting month to be a Reading fan. We won't even think about May yet... .U Chuffing Rrzz!!
caversham royal
I can remember saying after the Palace away win that the sorting of our away form was something Pardew should take great credit for, and so it continues. 11 away wins in our first season in Div 1 for some time, an excellent record. And achieving this with a man less makes it much the better. Obviously my 'clever reverse psychology' is working on Forster, so he is a jammy overated weasle who can only get the ball in the net when gifted it by a poor defensive balls-up. Hope he remembers that until Brighton at home. I was glad to see Igoe and Cureton have finally clawed their way out of the hole they've been stuck in for so long, and Igoe even found his way onto the I'm also not about for the re-arranged Preston match. Flippin' pain, and who's bright idea was it to put it just 3 days before the Forest match? I wonder how much say RFC had in the re-arranging of this game, because surely they would'nt have wanted both matches so close together, especially with Pompey on the Monday as well. Oh, and beware one and all, for strange cosmic forces seem to be at work amongst us......Yes, Rougier scored AGAIN.TWO goals in his time at Brighton.....gosh, you never know our luck they might want to sign him in the summer. COME ON....
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