MATCH REPORT: 2002/2003 Season

Reading: Cureton (22 minutes, penalty)
Deane (3 mins), Dickov (5 mins, penalty)
Half Time: 2-1
Attendance: 22,978

DIVISION ONE   24 Aug 02
Pos Team P Pts GD
19 Bradford 4 3 -1
20 READING 4 3 -4
21 Grimsby 4 2 -5
Reading: Whitehead, Murty, Mackie, Williams, Shorey (Smith 81), Forster, Watson, Hughes, Salako, Cureton, Butler (Rougier 74). Subs not used: Parkinson, Gamble, Hahnemann.
Walker, Impey, Elliott, Taggart, Rogers, Scowcroft, McKinlay, Lewis, Stewart (Oakes 69), Dickov, Deane (Wright 74). Subs not used: Heath, Williamson, Stevenson.
Reading: Butler , Mackie. Leicester: Dickov , Wright.
Referee:D R Elleray (Harrow-on-the-Hill)

Reading lost out again at Leicester this weekend with a 1-2 defeat at the Walkers Stadium. It was another promising performance from the Royals who certainly don't look out of place in this Division - despite this being their third defeat from four Division One fixtures. A disasterous opening five minutes were enough to condemn Reading to defeat with a goal after three minutes being following up by a penalty to Leicester just two minutes later. Reading could never come back from going two goals behind so early on, but worked hard to get back into the game. Jamie Cureton made it 1-2 from the penalty spot mid-way through the first half with his fourth goal of the season. However the Royals couldn't find the equaliser. Reading will look to Tuesday night and the opportunity to beat bottom side Burnley at the Madejski Stadium.

ken c
Usually we start games well. Today that lasted for one minute. By the time we had played for five minutes we had effectively lost this match. For the rest of the game we played the better football, but could not turn that superior style of play into goals. The result was another defeat which our football did not deserve. That mad five minutes was the result of our central defenders being caught cold. We were always going to have trouble with their superior ability in the air, but Williams should not loose the first header to Dickov which resulted in Deane being given an easy chance. Whilst Mackie may have protested his innocence about the penalty he should have been more concerned with his starting position which contributed to the trouble. The fans were terrific and, although the chant of winning 6 2 may have been a little optimistic, they got behind the team who could not be faulted in terms of effort and commitment. The midfield did much better today and in Forster we had a potential match winner and it was his pace that won us the penalty that Cureton stuck away. Butler worked as only he can, but he must have got sick of trying to win the ball against Elliott.
Leicester were an effective team.
They played to their strength which was their size, which meant they preferred the ball in the air and we were never comfortable against that. The contrast was seen at one corner when Murty was marking Elliot and Shorey trying to control Scowcroft. In truth had they had aplayer who could have delivered quality balls into our box, then we would have had little chance. The best balls in were played by us, and three times we saw the ball pass through the six yard box with reading players just failing to get on the end of it. In the end though we failed to score from open play again, and concede from poor defending.What we need is a surer touch in the final third. Murty summed it all up for me in his performance. I thought he was easily our best defender and he broke well, but his final ball let him down too often. Watson showed up well, and moved the ball on to some effect, but he does not hurt the opposition.
The players who have the ability to do that are Solako, Hughes and Forster and their end product was not quite good enough. Whitehead made some good saves, and he dealt with crosses better than for awhile. His distribution though was poor. Every time he kicked it, it was doomed to come straight back. He must be more accurate and look to use others more quickly.
What we need now is a good result on Tuesday!
nick newbury
We may have lost but I thought this was a great performance from Reading in front of yet another magnificent away support, and a performance we can take great heart from. Yet again sloppy defending and a bent referee saw us almost surrealy 2-0 down after five minutes. Bollocks we all thought, that's that, but the Royals showed great character and spirit in so nearly getting a much deserved point from an average Leicester side.
Of course are weaknesses are being cruelly exposed at this level, particularly in the opposition last quarter where half chances have to be converted and crosses have to be much better, but make no mistake, Reading certainly did not look out of place today. The passing was slick, the movement good and work rate could not be faulted. We just don't have those quality players at the moment who make that big difference. We certainly do have a front line that has great potential, especially Nicky Forster who looked very sharp going forward with great pace. You're never going to get much out of a back two like Elliott and Taggat but they can't deal with pace nor can any defender look at our penalty.
I feel for Buts at the moment, he's trying so hard but his first touch and ability to hold the ball up is poor. A goal will boost his confidence and hopefully spur him on to better things. No sick for any players today as they all tried their best and you can't ask for much more. When the fixture list came out, most of us would have probably settled for four draws from the four very difficult opening games, so three points isn't too bad.
The true test and probably the benchmark for our first half of the season comes in out next three games, with respect, its Walsall, Rotherham and Burnley that we have to get results from. No excuses for these games, at least five points is a must from these games, starting with three against bottom of the league Burnley on Tuesday night. If we perform like we did today, three points are there for the taking.
Let's hope we get a decent crowd and the right result so we can have an excuse for a late night celebration and a few beers... URZ!
leicester royal
I was so happy to get a ticket for this game. A guy in the church I am Minister of up here gave me his Leicester season ticket, only problem was... I arrived to find that I was plonked right in the middle of the Leicester Kop end! Nevermind, even though I was totally surrounded by Leicester fans the Reading fans were by far the better supporters, outsinging Leicester by some margin. Before the match I thought that a 2-1 loss would be a disaster but I came away quite happy with the way Reading played. Apart from five minutes of madness at the start we were as good as, if not better than Leicester. As I said to my mates (Leicester fans) when we met up afterwards: "could you tell who had just come down from the premier league and who had just come up from division two?" At the end I came away thinking that we could have got the draw and if we were really lucky, a win. For Leicester, Taggart and Elliot were superb in defence, if JM has got a spare bit of cash he would do well to get Matt Elliott as he is up for sale. For Reading, the whole team was superb, I could not pick anyone out above anyone else. Certainly my Leicester mates were impressed, especially by the speed of the Reading attack. We've got the more difficult fixtures out of the way, now we need to build on it. C'mon you RRZZZ!
darren hall
Mixing in the social circles that I do, I recently spoke to a wily old ex-international manager who, when I quizzed him on the secret his success told me, "Darren, there is only one golden rule to follow in football, when you are faced with an away game against a recently relegated ex-premiership side, filled with current and ex-international stars, who have just been tonked 6-1 the week before by one of their likely promotion rivals and have a point to prove in front of their own fans in a brand new stadium, for f*$% sake don't give them a 2-0 headstart after the first 5 minutes, as invariably this makes the game harder to win". Wise words indeed, in fact the self same guy then proceeded to explain, "when next faced with a home game against the bottom team with no points and who have only scored once all season, don't f*$% that one up as well, oh and do try and keep a clean sheet as this invariably means you are guaranteed at least a draw". Nuff said...Reading 'til I die.
Got an opinion? E-Mail us at
Appropriate submissions will appear on match report pages

Quick Links:
  [Match Reports Index]   [Match Previews Index]   [Current League Table]

Link to Hob Nob Anyone? Home Page
Copyright Hob Nob Anyone? © 1994-2003
The Original Reading Football Club Internet Site