Attendance: 10,044
Scorers: - Date: 25 March 2000
Team: Howie, Murty (Hunter), A.Williams, Primus, Robinson, Caskey, Newman, Smith, McIntyre (Igoe), Butler (Scott), Forster.

Match Heroes:

Jason Bowen's goal on the hour - the first scored by an away side at the Madejski Stadium since early January - was enough to end Reading's run of five straight home victories, and saw all three points go to Cardiff City. It was typical that a disappointing performance from the Royals was rounded off by a goal created and scored by two ex-Reading players. It was an Andy Legg long throw special into the Reading area that set up the goal and ex-Royal Bowen had the simple task of putting it past Howie. With Reading failing to create chances it was Cardiff who could have made it two-nil, when another Bowen shot beat Howie but didn't manage to stay under the crossbar. Sammy Igoe, Reading's deadline day signing from Portsmouth came on to replace McIntyre when the Royals were already a goal down. But even his debut in front of a decent home crowd could do nothing to salvage a point with a whole Reading team performance seriously lacking.

Post Match Opinions

The match......what match. The game was overshadowed by what happened at the end of the match concerning the people from Cardiff. I was considering calling them fans, but I doubt they are. What are Reading FC doing? They put up a flimsy fence and they expect it to keep these people at bay. Why don't Reading FC let us leave the ground first? Everytime, the people go round, get the stones and start throwing them at us. It has happened against Millwall, Bristol Rovers and now Cardiff. The police are so incompetent. After they let us leave, why were there Cardiff people still there? I know that are attendance's have been pretty good recently but if Reading don't sort out this problem, the attendance's are going to fall, as supporters won't come because they fear for their safety.
-- Pete

1. Reading cannot do throw-ins. Just watch - they lose 90% of their own. Cardiff's tactics came straight from Welsh rugby: kick the ball off in the corner, give Reading the throw and get the ball back in the Reading penalty area. Simple! (this is not new - I first noticed it about 18 months ago). Mad Dog apparently does the set pieces. See to this one please.
2. Reading never EVER win heading tennis duels, so stop bloody doing it. Near the end Matthew Robinson had a high ball with nobody within 30 yards of him. He must have been hypnotised by the ball bobbing backwards and forwards, so instead of bringing it down and doing something useful with it he headed it straight back into the centre circle to begin a new set. 15 love to Cardiff.
3. Forster and Butler are fast, mobile incisive forwards who can cause havoc with the ball at their feet and a panicky defense in front of them, so we spend 90 minutes hoofing the ball high to them, with their backs to the goal, when even my granny knows that the defence, 6-footers facing the ball are ALWAYS going to head it away. Don't blame FAB, blame the tactics.
4. I'd love us to be successful next year and get Mr Mad's wish for a full stadium and I even think we've got the players and the managerial staff - just please get the basics right.

Inept, Boring, Sorry, Woeful, Hopeless, Gutless, Need I go on!!!!!! Who recommended Newman ??? Why o why can we not beat teams at the bottom of the table. On this display we should thank our lucky stars that we are away from the relegation zone otherwise the drop would be inevitable.
-- PJW

I, like a number of others, left a couple of minutes early, so I didn't get involved in any problems with the away "fans" but I would agree with Pete, it's a bomb waiting to go off, so hold the away fans back after the match.....10 minutes can't be too much to ask. Why did I leave early...I'd had enough! The problem seems to me that we play at the level of the opposition and if we compare the Rovers match it's like the sublime to the ridiculous. I also felt the place and the team seemed a bit flat, maybe a case of after the Lord's Mayor's show. I can't think why - we still need the points and we should be full of confidence. We haven't got the consistency yet, and it might be unrealistic to expect it after the season we've had, but on paper the players seem to me as good as any in the division. However, we're not a Wimbledon, so get the ball on the ground. We've got two smallish players up front so why give it to them in the air. I don't think we're getting the best out of Butler, he was good at Cambridge playing off Benjamin ( a big bloke!) maybe we need him as well with Forster playing in the hole behind the two of them. Would it be dreaming to think of Jason Roberts coming in the summer! The final insult was seeing Bowen score of all people, when he was with us, let's just say I was never impressed! What it all underlines, and I guess we all know this, is that there's much work to Pardew and Allen to do but what we got on Saturday was simply unacceptable.
-- Chris.

I would like to agree with Pete's opinion. The amount of crowd trouble at the Reading games these days is ridiculous it makes me fed up I go there to see the football and support my team with friends and family and as we are leaving we now have to practically run to the car park to avoid getting hit by a brick or stones. Why time and time again do the police stand there focussing on the Reading fans, when we are the sensible ones who are football fans, and let these mindless idiots get away with insighting pointless violence its unecessary and crude. On today's performance, yes it was bad its just another blip, every team has them but next week three points for the royals.

Following on from Pete's comments, where do the Millwall, Bristol Rovers and Cardiff City hooligans (NB I did not call them fans!) get the stones/bricks/rocks from? If it was only a matter of picking them up from the ground/pavement then why are they not removed - or cemented in place so that they can not become missiles. As for the match, I'm afraid that our favourite team never got out of second gear. Cardiff were better in all departments and the two major players in my opinion were Bowen and Legg - two of a number of players who were so readily discarded by Tommy Burns. True, they each had a point to prove and may well have played above themselves. I had to admire the support given by the majority of well behaved Cardiff fans, which was deafening at times. ('Well behaved' automatically excludes those who confront police, stewards and rival fans)
I wondered why some of our own fans sit and watch in near silence, in spite of the band's efforts, and then boo the team or one of our team players when a mistake is made. Surely the cycle of the fans lifting the players, and vice-versa, is a self perpetuating cycle; negative vibes from the crowd produce a nervous reaction and therefore more and more mistakes on the pitch.
I have watched Reading for 10 years now (I was brought up overseas) and, like last Saturday, I have left the ground feeling disappointed by the team's result and/or performance:
I have never yet found cause to vent my disapproval at the performance of Reading player(s) because I have always believed that the Manager, or the players themselves, will do that.
In spite of Saturday's match, I believe that we will be well placed to challenge for the top of the Second Division.
-- Richard, Caversham

We are as good in the air as an over weight Kiwi, so why did we insist on playing the long ball for the whole game?
-- Stephen

Look I never went to the game on Saturday and admittedly it was a bad result but what is the point in condemning the effort the players made when they have been getting points at a rate of two points a game for the last two months ? The result simply says to me that the players were intent on having a rest after what has to be called a great result on Wednesday. Looking at the teamsheet on Saturday we are starting to get the makings of a good team together and I'm 100% positive that we are going to win at Wrexham.
Stop being so NEGATIVE everyone!

-- Chris Lash.

What a difference a couple of days makes in the world of football. Wednesday night, brilliant against one of the best, if not the best team in the division and then we turn up on Saturday and are treated to that load of rubbish against one of the worst teams in the division. I believe the reason why Cardiff won was that they wanted the victory more than we did, they were first to everything in midfield and were the harder tacklers in the challenge.
Now, it may have just have been me, but did Newman actually do anything in the whole game. I think he made one tackle which nearly got him booked and that was about it. Yeah, as Pards says, he may run through a brick wall for him, but that doesn't really help on the football field, personally I think we would have been much better off with Grant in the middle of the midfield as i think he is a better player and would have been able to get everyone else going seeing as Caskey as captain was doing nothing to get his fellow team mates motivated, why wasn't Adie captain? All this motivation and desire to win that we saw on wednesday was not evident, and they are going to have to be able to show it against the lower teams if they are going to be serious challengers next season, that was certainly the case of Fulham last season.
Finally, why does the team continually play the long ball up the butler and forster ? ther are both pacey strikers and not that good in the air when challenging 50-50s, surley the ball along the floor in behind the defense would be a far better option. lets hope for better at the weekend, come on URZ!!!!

-- Sam Sargant

Oooooffff! About the only thing that I said all game - and it applied to both teams. What a pile of poo. (The difference being that Cardiff actually had some tall players - we had, erm, Nicky Forster and Martin Butler.) Were the players scared of the slightly greasy pitch? All it did was rain a bit in the morning. It's what happens in this country. And what was Barry Hunter on?!!
Anyway, I'm calling for the Stadium Manager to resign. After the horrendous scenes on Saturday and against Millwall, he evidently doesn't have a clue. All in all - everyone has bad days. We'll bounce back - and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the difference. A Royals side 12 months (6 months!) ago would have let Saturday get to them and wouldn't give their all next time. Now, however, Mad Dog won't let them!

-- Ferret.

Bit of a shambles on Saturday but inthe end Cardiff wanted it more than Reading!
This is the third recent match where we have been faced by "battling" teams, Chesterfield, Burnley and now Cardiff. In all three Caskey has been exposed for his lack of bite and inability to tackle. I would therefore question his appointment as captain, as when the going gets tough he has no idea. As Parky is out apparently for the rest of the season the leadership needs to come from the likes of Williams (Adrian, that is) or Grant.
Richard, like many others from the East Bank, questions the lack of noise particularly from the West Bank. I sit this side with my wife and 11 year old son. Around us are lots of similar family groups. We do shout and normally with the innocence of youth it is all supportive and encouraging. We sing along with Terry and June and other songs the band play. However I have no wish to hear them chant You F@*Ģing RRRs, which seems to be the battle song of the other side, nor do we continually want to Stand Up If We Hate Swindon, Oxford or any other opponent. Very little of the output from the choir is positive support and perhaps that is where it falls down.

-- Pebejay

I did Bournemouth, and Bristol Rovers, and really thought we had turned the corner. We were not at the races on Saturday, we seemed tired and exhausted after that brilliant Bristol Rovers performance. Infact it was similar to the Chesterfield game, a poor opposition who frustrated us like we did Rovers and their only tactic was the long throw and their fans were complete idiots.
Butler works hard, Robinson looks good until someone runs at him, At one time we three centre halves on the pitch playing in the same position. Igoe must have wondered why he had to play right back, right midfield and right wing. All I can say is that I spent a lot of money and the lads turned a pretty dreadful performance. One day Butler will let rip and score several in one game.

-- Pete Turner

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