The Royals had a fair share of the first half and will consider themselves unlucky to be two goals down by half time. By the time Skippy got his red card it was all over for Reading, however Barnsley finished the job off 8 minutes from time when they made it 0-3. Sal Bibbo, making his debut for the Royals in place of Mihaylov off on international duty, had a good game in goal but was overpowered by the Barnsley attack. The only other change to the starting team was Hopkins replacing Hunter who was off playing for Wales. Amazingly enough neither Archie or Gilkes were on the bench - interesting since both these players were in the first team when we marched all the way to the play offs two years ago.
Heres a better report from: Mark Firmager Cheers Mark!
Reading Started this game quite lively but unfortunately it didn't last too long. Lee Nogan was clean through early on but hit his shot wide with just the keeper to beat. Barnsley looked quite impressive and always moved forward in numbers and it was no real surprise when they scored. Sheridian picked the ball up all the edge of the box and sent a screamer into the top right hand corner, which gave keeper Sal Bibbo on his debut no chance at all. 1-0. Lee Nogan then had another good chance after being sent through the centre, but this time didn't even get a shot off, instead he fell to the ground inside the penalty area looking for a penalty, something that Nog's has done too many times this season already.
Barnsley continued to push on and had several good chance to increase there lead but most of there shots seemed to end up high over the bar. Barnsley however did increase lead after a good break down the left. Liddell out paced Dariusz and cut into the penalty area and let fly with a shot, which Sal Bibbo did well to save but luck wasn't on his side as the ball cannoned off the strikers legs over the keeper and into the unguarded net. 2-0. At this point the Barsnley fans thought it might actually be a good idea to start making some noise. Talk about sing when your winning.
The second half kicked off with neither team really troubling the keepers. Reading swapped the team around Playing with a back four and took off Paul Bodin and brought on Micheal Meeker who played on the right side of Midfield. Reading pushed on the attack looking for a goal but looked likely to be caught on the break. The only break of any real threat cam e to Lee Nogan who once again fell in the penalty area but this time under quite a bit pressure but the referee wasn't interested. Reading decided to make a 2nd substitution this time bringing on Trevor Morley in place of Martin Booty (Much to the surprise of the small travelling away support). The formation seemed to be a 3-4-3.
Barnsley continued to put Reading under pressure and after a long clearance upfield found Andy Bernal the only defender being pressurised by a Barnsley forward. Andy failed to deal with the bouncing ball and the forward whipped in front and tried to make a break for goal. Andy was trying his best to get back in front of the attacker but unfortunately they both fell to the ground. And surprise, surprise the Ref decided that it warranted a Red card to make Reading's total Red card count 3 in 3 League games. At least we are top of one League !
Barnsley forced a corner a few minutes later and the kick was floated into the centre of the 6 yard box which Liddell side footed in. 3-0. Talk about bad defending. The Barnsley fans really did find there voice now.
Barnsley had one more good chance cracking a 25 yard curler against the crossbar which left Sal Bibbo stranded but this time the rebound was cleared.
The final whistle went much to the relief of the travelling support who must have been wondering why they bothered making the long midweek trek. Still that's football for you. Reading lacked invention in midfield and failed to break down a well organised defence and Jimmy Quinn looked totally uninterested in playing. Barnsley played well and deserved there win.