26 September 1998
Macclesfield 2 Reading 1
Howie, Booty, Primus, McPherson, Casper, Houghton, Brebner, Parkinson, Williams, Glasgow, Reilly.
(No subs used)
In a dull (how many times have you heard that word associated with the Royals this season) bottom of Division Two clash it was no suprise that Reading once again came away with absolutely nothing. 15 straight away league defeats from 15 now. It's hard to see that run ever ending.
Report from Phil Newton:
Macclesfield. Ok, you wanna judge how good they were / how upset to be about our 16th (?) away defeat on the trot. Well, lets put it this way.....
Imagine, if you will, (and i'm sure you have) that sometime around late April 1995 they changed the rules: "who can be arsed to play for 90 minutes, lets just play for 85", so Mixu Scumbag and Fabian Handball didn't happen, and The Mighty Royals went to the Premiership. 2 divisions in 2 seasons, sending out Hopkins and Lovell to face Fowler, Cantona, ,Adams etc at Elm Park. We'd have been shite, ground and team 2 divisions below standard, good luck and a following wind bringing up for a season of total humiliation.........
Well, this is Macclesfield, For those of you unfortunate enough to have been to Wokingham Towns old ground (I've seen it from the train!) imagine if they built a giant marquee down one side of it, and that is Moss Rose. The team, well, they were Bad, never mind no wins at home this season, they've not even scored a goal!!!! I mean, come on! But, just as we'd have had thumpings by Man Utd and Arsenal, so we'd have had to play the Evertons (managed by scotsman, spent loads of money on scottish players, still absolute shite).
And here we were...... Reverton. No wins, no goals at home plays no wins, one goal away. the team: 3-6-1, no problem with our big, ball winning, holding up, strong, plays the ball out wide to arrive in the box nodding in the cross Centre Forward: Martin "5ft 9 but jumps like a frog" Williams. Nope. Macca, Linvoy and Casper at the back, Booty and The Invisible Mark Reilly Show out wide, Parky knocking people over, Brebner doing his Midfield Maestro thing, Houghton doing, er, the Houghton thing, and Byron Glasgow doing The Nippy thing. We played well enough for 75 minutes, we came forward, Williams even managed to hold the ball up, and go on a run or two, but most of out attacks went thus: 1. Out of defence to Brebner/Houghton 2. Up to Williams 3a: End 3b: Across the box ending up out wide 4: Back across 5. End We have Booty, Ray and Brebner who could cross the ball, we have Nippy Byron who DID cross the ball, those tasty, whippy, danger area type crosses, for............. No-one They came forward a bit, but were even more inept, eventually, their full back was set free for a bit of a run, Macca (?) dived in, Fullback dived over, free kick in that "even better than a corner" type area. In it comes, bing bing bing keystone cops defending falls to macclesfieldbloke who pokes it past Howie (oh, I forgot to mention he was playing, probably 'cos he might as well not have been).
Against the run of play! No worries! It'll be fine! I still thought we'd win it! Byron and Brebner had a shot or two, er, i dunno, it was all up the other end. 2nd half started even brighter, our attacks had an extra option, Brebner/Houghton did their 60 yard crossfield thing to Little Byron On The Break, who jinked a bit, allowing the rest of the team to catch up, so it could go back across the box, then out wide.......zzzzzzzz This was exactly how our goal came about, Byron doing his Jinxy thing, past one, past another, well in the box, and the big bully comes and kicks him up in the air. "No ref, I just wanted him to see the world from the same height as everyone else" "sorry mate, penalty" All the R's fans went wild, except me, I was shiteing it, why? 'cos Williams picked up the ball.
Anyway, the goalie tried some pre-kick kidology "look, this half of the goal is bigger, kick it here" but Williams fired up the brain cell and positively stroked it home. Mate! how could I doubt you? Now there was no doubt, we would win, and we looked good for the next 15 minutes, still no outlet, but hey, we looked good. So they've got a corner, so what. So that guys unmarked, so what. So the balls going to him, so what. So Howies nowhere, so what. So they've scored. Agh! Then it was all over, they came alive, even went for the 3rd. We had a shot. From Linvoy. Do you see what I'm saying?
So, how did they fare? the Reverton players? Howie: hopeless, no presence, no anything. Booty: he was OK! honest! it wasn't all his fault this time, he was left alone 2 on 1 too often at the back, but I didn't get The Fear whenever he got the ball. Reilly: (Invisible man, Invisible text) Macca, Linvoy, Casper: Ok, but couldn't one of them have picked up Mr Secondgoal? Generally not great, but not bad. Parky: He was good, I was expecting to write "so he knocks people over? so what?" but he got the ball, and used it effectively. Brebner: can we have a song for him please? all you Eltons, Rices and Webbers, surely something (original) can be made from "Grant Brebner" he was good, but not as good as usual. Houghton: Why do we knock this guy? can you not see he has more Footballing ability in his little toe than the rest of the team put together? he was the real captain, organising the team, showing up for the ball, I'd rather have him than Caskey anyday. Williams:, (sigh), ok, did his bit, not a striker really, and definitely not a lone striker, 4 goals in 7 games though?
Little Nippy New Hero Byron Glasgow: Hooray! he ran, he jinxed, he shimmied, our man of the match, he even headed the ball, which was worth the admission price alone, he scared them, honest, and not just 'cos they feared for their ankles. No subs were used, which was good 'cos they wouldn't really have offered anything, except maybe Hadland on the left for __________.
We need to cut the wage bill. We have an underacheiving overpaid waster keeping the bench warm, 'cos Houghton Brebner Glasgow and _________ (!!!) are keeping him out of the team (disciplinary reasons? we need the points, Tommy knows that, and he's not going to compromise our chances of winning, however, if an excuse to leave his new, overpaid captain on the bench came along.......")
Please, can't we put some Ads in the paper? "FOR SALE: Ex-england U18 captain, really talented on the training ground, er, eats a pie or 2...er......" Bournemouth, or Luton or someone, don't you want him? Caskey has had chance after chance, and not taken it, we could raise a few quid and buy....... A Striker! the most obvious thing we needed on saturday was A Target Man.
No, No, I'm not saying we should be playing hit and run shite, but with an Ian Marshall, a Niall Quinn, a Gareth Taylor, we could do everything we do at the moment, and then have something to aim for in the box. can McIntyre do this? I dunno, but without this option we are not going to score goals, and without goals and our comedy defending we'll still be playing at Moss Rose next season...............in div 3. Phil
A report from Ferret:
I've done it for yesterday's game, and I want you lot to know what I REALLY think, before it gets to the EP. (So that we can get the bitching over and done with.) Yet again, I seem to be out numbered re. our performance. I think that yesterday just proved what we've all known for months - we need a striker.
Apart from the lack of a bulging onion-bag (as usual) and the sloppy defending for the goals (ditto), we were not as bad as previous away games. The midfield looked solid, apart from Houghton, who was complete b*llocks. However, Macclesfield were/are/will always be a pile of sh*te and a Conference side at best. I hope that our players feel sh*te for letting us down and not applauding us at the end. (Did anyone else think that the stand to our right looked like Henley Regatta?!) Apparently, Parky was very angry, which is the kind of player that we need now - a fighter who hates to lose. The team are lacking in spirit and enthusiasm.
It was left to our youngest players (Brebs and Glasgow) to take the responsibility and get the ball in the box. Sadly, it was only these two, and the forever battling Parky that seemed to want the game - the rest looked as if they couldn't be arsed. (Casper was also a bit good, but not as solid as other games.) Value for money is a 7, purely because we're getting there. (I was going to say 6 - but it wasn't that bad.)
The referee made one shocker - not sending off the tw*t that kicked the ball at Brebs. The assistant made one shocker - the "foul" that led to their 1st goal. (If contact had been made at that height, he would have made contact with the shin pads and a noise would hae been heard. No noise - no contact. Simple.)
The Macclesfield Homepage report:
This time last year Reading were playing the likes of Forest and Middlesborough, while Macclesfield were playing the likes of Doncaster and Brighton. Reading moved to a new all - seater stadium in the close season, while Macclesfield only slightly increased their capacity. Reading's number 8, has played and scored in the world cup finals, Macclesfield have only been professional for just over a year. Everybody could see the difference between the clubs as kick-off approached.
Macclesfield gave debuts to Smith and Holt, both on loan, and 18 year old Peter Griffiths. Both sides began with little ambition, as the stadium was nearly as quiet as a library in the first 20 minutes. On 25 minutes the ball was knocked about the Reading area before it was crossed for Holt to score, on his debut, Macclesfield's first home league goal of the season.
Macclesfield could have gone on and made it more before half time, but failed to do so, Steve Hitchen looked the liveliest in the first half. There were not so many chances early on in the second half, Macclesfield and Reading were happy to pass it about when they had possession.
Reading started putting more and more pressure on the Macclesfield defence, and managed to get a penalty on the hour. Martin Williams stepped up and sent the Reading support wild. The game was now evenly balanced, either side could have gone onto win it, Sammy decided to bring on Whittaker and Askey, to try and get Macclesfield the 3 points. Macclesfield soon got a corner, Whittaker banged in the ball and Askey was disappointed to see his header cleared off the line. Then soon after some good work down the left with Man of the Match Hitchen and Whittaker, saw Whittaker's cross find Askey at the back post, who this time made no mistake and made it 2-1 to Macc.
An Average [Macclesfield] crowd went home happy, after seeing Macclesfield's first home win of the season, there's more to come...
Tony Ella's view of the game:
Created more chances? How can you create less chances than one? The only, ONLY, shot on target we had all day was when Williams placed the ball to the right of the 'keeper FROM THE PENALTY SPOT. Not wishing to be negative I seriously think Michael Owen and Ronaldo would struggle to score in our side at the moment - Owen would naturally appeal to TB2 as he's only 4 foot 2 and no doubt Ronaldo would tear a hamstring walking into the Mad Stad.
Depressed, you bet. Don't watch Nationwide League extra if you want to keep the contents of your stomach in your stomach.
It doesn't matter who we buy up front if he doesn't get the support and when our midfield "play-maker" seems intent on passing it either sideways or backwards then we're f**ked. The whole day was summed up for me when we managed to get a free kick just on the (from behind the goal) right hand edge of the penalty area in the second half. The Macclesfield defence moved to the right to cover it leaving a huge gap in the middle of the park, which Byron Glasgow was moving into. Reading fans, seeing this (because the team hadn't) we're screaming at Houghton, who obviously suffering from a nose bleed being so far up the pitch, to pass the ball to Glasgow. Houghton looks up, sort of startled, and the plays the ball 5 yards BEHIND Glasgow. By the time he gets the ball he's closed down and is forced to pass the ball back. Eventually the ball ends up with Howie. Complete and utter bo**ocks.
Brebner looked way short of the mark fitness wise, Williams and Glasgow ran their socks off, Macca looked 2 yards short of pace and Linvoy seemed to be on the right wing most of the game! Parkie tried but other than that we've got a bunch of gutless losers playing for us - Houghton being the biggest and most gutless of the lot. Houghton, you're a pansy - piss off back to Poxford and get them relegated - that's where you belong. Better still, apply for the Swine job as player manager. Never in my life have I seen such a string of negative passing in midfield. Ray Wilkins - after watching Houghton I'd have him in my squad any day. It (literally) brings a tear to my eye when I remember the likes of Kevin Dillon, Mick Gooding and Simon Osbourne, Osbourne in particluar as he we had players Gilkesy, Taylor, Lambert (yes!), Quinny and Lovell who could feed off of him. That's the way to do it. IF YOU PASS THE BALL FORWARDS YOU GET NEARER THE OPPOSITION GOAL. THE NEARER YOU GET THE MORE LIKELY YOU ARE TO SCORE.
Am I over complicating things? If a leg goes gangrenous you have to amputate to save the life of the patient. Unless something drastic is done soon (paying the odd contract or two off) our free-fall could engulf the home as well as away matches. These players clearly don't want to be here so get rid.
Gloves are off now, no more Mr. Nice Guy.
The Nationwide Site Report:
Veteran striker John Askey proved a point with his measured 77th-minute header which earned Macclesfield a vital three points in their bottom-of-the-table clash. The 34-year-old came on as a substitute after being replaced by an on-loan baby-faced strikeforce, but proved to manager Sammy McIroy that he should still be his number one pick. One of the youngsters on loan, striker Mike Holt, opened the scoring in the 27th minute with a neat shot on the turn from 12 yards.
Reading then equalised controversially in the 60th minute when Efe Sodje was ruled to have brought down Byron Glasgow. Martin Williams converted from the spot but thereafter Reading went to sleep to give away the game.