MATCH REPORT: 2004/2005 Season

28 September 2004: LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: Kitson (26 mins).
Ipswich Town:
Kuqi (10 mins).
Half Time: 1-1
Attendance: 23,167

Pos Team P Pts GD
1 READING 11 22 +6
2 Wigan 11 21 +12
3 Ipswich 11 21 +7
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Williams (Sonko 35), Ingimarsson, Shorey, Hughes, Sidwell, Harper, Brooker (Convey 81), Kitson, Forster. Subs Not Used: Young, Newman, Goater.
Ipswich Town: Davis (Price 45), Diallo, De Vos, Naylor, Richards, Miller, Magilton, Horlock, Westlake, Bent, Kuqi. Subs Not Used: Counago, Dinning, Bowditch, Sobers.
Reading: Sidwell.
Ipswich Town:
Referee: M Jones (Cheshire).

Reading became the first side not to be defeated at Portman Road in the league this season and came away with an excellent point to maintain our position as Championship leaders. Reading's first draw of the season was another excellent result generated from another hard working performance. Added to our current sequence of results it's all the more impressive - we now have three home league games from the next four to defend our place as table toppers.

It was the home side that got off to the better start, looking for their sixth straight home league win of the season and a possible chance to take leadership of the league themselves. It wasn't long before their early pressure paid off. Despite Reading winning the first corner of the game it was just ten minutes before Ipswich took the lead. A long ball from Ipswich saw confusion between Ingimarsson and Hahnemann in the Reading defence, allowing Town striker Kuqi to finish with a low effort.

The Royals soon settled down with Hughes causing some problems up front for Ipswich - first earning another Reading corner and then getting in a shot just wide of the target. Just after Ipswich nearly made it two with a shot just over the crossbar, top of the table Reading were level. With just less than half an hour played Forster threaded the ball through to Dave Kitson who took on the keeper before curling it into the base of the net from the middle of the penalty area to make it 1-1. It may well have been a close call with Kitson looking very narrowly on-side but the goal stood. With Reading back on level terms the game was developing into a lively fixture - with Adie Williams being the first casualty being forced to limp off in the first half to be replaced by Sonko. Sonko, having a rare appearance in the league, put in an excellent performance to fill the gap left by Williams with some decisive defending - including a perfectly time last ditch tackle to prevent a certain Ipswich goal. With Reading continually getting caught offside it was Ipswich that looked more likely to pull back ahead - and Hahnemann made two great saves to keep the scores level - one from a close range effort and another following a powerful header from an Ipswich corner.

Ipswich replaced their keeper at the break - but the new keeper wasn't involved to the same level as Hahnemann. The second half saw chances for both Kitson and Forster but it was Ipswich that were more likely to grab a winner. However, more solid defending including some excellent saves from Marcus in the Reading game eventually saw the Ipswich challenge fall apart. As time wore on the home side were restricted to more and more long range efforts as they failed to find a way through. Sonko continued to impress in defence alongside Ingimarsson, and nearly found the winner himself with a decent header on target. Lets hope Adie isn't out on Saturday - but if he is there's no reason to panic.



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