Match Report: 2009/2010 Season

25 August 2009: LEAGUE CUP ROUND 2
Reading: Kozluk (90 mins, own goal).
Barnsley: Bogdanovic (56 mins, 90 mins (pen).
Half Time: 0-0
Attendance: 5,576

Pos Team P Pts GD
20 N Forest 4 2 -3
21 READING 4 2 -5
22 Peterborough 4 1 -4
Reading: Hamer, Kelly (Hunt, 70), Pearce, Gunnarsson, Bertrand (Tabb, 46), Matejovsky, Harper, Davies, Henry, Mooney, Bignall (Antonio, 55) Subs not used: Andersen, Mills, Robson-Kanu, Sigurdsson.
Barnsley: Steele, Kozluk, Potter, Foster, El Haimour, Bogdanovic, Colace, Hallfredsson, Campbell-Ryce (De Silva, 77), Odejayi, Macken. Subs not used: Preece, Hume, Devaney, Noble-Lazarus, Hammill.
Reading: Pearce.
Barnsley: Bogdanovic, El Haimour, Foster.
Ref: G Horwood.
A penalty conceded in the fifth minute of stoppage time left Reading fans feeling deflated after Barnsley had gifted the Royals a last minute equaliser with a Kozluk own goal. In front of a subdued crowd of just over 5000 Reading once again passed the ball around neatly in midfield but failed to score. Defeat was also once again much to do with fundamental defensive errors rather than the attacking qualities of their opponents. Reading gave Matjovsky, Harper and Gunnarsson a place in the starting eleven and, as in the last round, paired Mooney and Bignall up front. Barsnley fielded close to their strongest team clearly intent on a morale boosting victory.

Reading had the better of the first half without testing the Barnsley 'keeper. Barnsley were troubling Bertrand and Kelly with their tall and aggressive wide players Bogdanovic and Odeyayi and had a couple of half chances which they were unable to convert including a Macken shot straight at Hamer. Reading's best chance fell to Mooney from a superb through ball by Matejovsky but the big striker also hit his shot tamely at the 'keeper. Henry got behind the Barnsley defence but ran the ball wide with only the 'keeper to beat and the ball was cleared. It has to be said it was a fairly dull half.

The second half started brightly with Reading looking to pick the pace up. Bignall, who had just begun to show some inventive touches was replaced by Antonio after fifty five minutes to play wide on the right and run at the left back. Following the substitution Barnsley took the lead. Gunnarsson was caught in possession on the half way line and Bogdanovic found himself in on goal. Kelly raced back and appeared to have made a great saving tackle but he failed to win the ball cleanly and Boganovic took full advantage. Antonio was eager to run with the ball but in truth he did not look quite ready for first team action. With twenty minutes to go Hunt was brought on the liven up the attack and from that point Reading began to mount some sustained pressure for the first time in the game. It was Hunt who produced the best save of the night from Steele with a sweet left foot volley. Earlier he had hit a less powerful effort which was easily saved. Harper was given a good chance but he too hit a fairly tame shot at the 'keeper. Nevertheless chances were coming. Henry forced a diving save from a free kick after a surging run from Davies, now playing at right back, had been halted with a desperate challenge. With time running out Henry found himself in a great position to score from close range but blasted it straight at Steele. In the last minute Kozluk managed to do what Reading seemed incapable of, and beat Steele with a header. It was soft goal as neither player was under any kind of pressure. So as Reading fans rubbed their hands expectantly at the prospect of extra time with their team in the ascendency Harper lost the ball on the half way line, Odejayi ran onto Macken's through ball and Pearce brought him down in the box. Bogdanovic calmly planted the penalty kick into the net and Reading slumped to yet another defeat.

With the news of Tommy Smith's transfer from Watford falling through it made for a gloomy end to the evening for Reading fans. I don't envy Brendan Rodgers at all. He has inherited a team which has been on the slide since January, only now he has also lost the few decent experienced players left in the squad at the end of last season. I am sure the club will be desperate to sign players this week but there is no guarantee they will be found. The balance is not good at the moment, We have added defenders to the squad, although we have two good left backs but on the right, neither Rosenior nor Kelly seem quite good enough. There are plenty of midfield players who can pass the ball well enough but none apart from Sigurdsson have really threatened to score. The best striker is clearly Hunt but he needs another strong striker to play off to get the best out of him. As well as inexperience in the squad, low confidence is really beginning to become a significant issue. It goes without saying, a win is desperately needed soon.
John Wells

Sorry but the Championship is not a place to experiment and there is no substitute for proven goal scorers. We surely could have afforded a quality striker? It is goals that win games, and I firmly believe we have enough in defence to maintain a lead in any league game this season, if score goals and early. Brendon will soon discover that Royals fans in general will not tolerate a ‘building process’ over two to three seasons, as he so anticipates! This may be a ‘model’ philosophy, which he has sold to John Madjeski, but such an experiment could cost us our Championship status. Now our departure from the Carling Cup signals a very urgent need for a re-think if our club is to prosper on and off the field this season.
S. Island

Got an opinion? E-Mail us at
Appropriate submissions will appear on match report pages

Daniel Bogdanovic scored from the spot in injury time to give Barnsley a morale boosting Carling Cup win. Bogdanovic had put the struggling Championship side ahead with a low shot after a goalless first-half. Barnsley right-back Robert Kozluk headed Reading back into it with an own-goal on 90 minutes. Extra-time loomed but when Kayode Odejayi was fouled in the box by Alex Pearce, Bogdanovic stepped up to slot the ball beyond keeper Ben Hamer.
BBC Sport