Match Report vs Bradford City

30 August 1997 (League Division One)

Att: 7,100

Team: Mautone, Booty, Bodin, McPherson, Primus, Bernal, Houghton, Robins, Asaba, Hodges, Lambert.

More bollocks from the Royals....

Strap's report follows.....

Finally managed to get Daniel & Christopher to bed having driven back from an attempt at a football match! Just had to get my thoughts down before I start swearing uncontrollably again!

Proudly entered Elm Park with my brand new season ticket, already two games wasted due to late arrival of ticket, but with general feelings high - the list's reports of our shit start to the season just couldn't be true! Besides, we'd just signed Mark Robins on loan, another semi- name! No, things were going to be different from now on!!!!

How f***ing right I was!!

First couple of minutes seemed fine, a bit of inter-passing, ball going to feet, Robins appearing to settle in quite well, then it all just went! Bradford got two slick well worked goals, and all we could do was look around wondering what we were supoosed to do! The whole team looked absolutely clueless! I have never seen us perform so badly. No passion, no idea as to a game plan, no idea how to break down a not too convincng visiting defence, just a vague feeling that we should pass the ball across field to each other three or four times before ever so accurately handing the ball back to Bradford!

We must have had 10 corners to their 2 or 3, but each time did the same thing - hoof it into the area, aiming for Asaba, (who couldn't head a football if his life depended on it), or Robins, who's 5ft and a fart if he's an inch! And why oh why did we do the same thing when it was clear that their 6ft 19inch keeper was going to pick up everything in the air, without even so much as needing to jump! Shit he was big! It seemed his head almost touched the bar, with out him eveing moving! Agile too for such a big bastard!!

Then there was Hodges, who actually makes Holsgrove look a first team contender. I've said in the past that Holsgrove shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the first team - well Hodges shouldn't ever be allowed near a Raeding shirt again!

By far the best player was Jamie Lambert, and he had no supoprt so most of his forays came to nought.

Ray Houghton went AWOL after the first minute. Booty has never looked the same player since his injury. Macca is just lost with this sytem and Primus stove may well be able to get a foot in at opportune times, but each time he does so I wince, waiting fo rthe ref to blow for a tackle from behind and give him a red card! Oh, and his heading ability probably comes from the Asaba coaching manual on the subject!

Bernal tried hard bless him, careering between penalty boxes, but he's no Mick Gooding, as we all know!

Bodin probably comes in second for MoM, which will tell you just how bad we were. Robins was clearly on a different planet, no-one else knew what he was doing.

Asaba is a total waste of money. He looks what he is - a fair to middling lower division journeyman, nothing more. Hodges - forget it! Primus Stove, maybe, just has enough to cut it.

Ladies and gentleman, we are in DEEP DEEP shit. Bradford remember finished one place above relegation last term. They are a footballing non-entity. THEY WIPED THE FLOOR WITH US TODAY.

I have reviewed the league standings of all the clubs last season, comparing where they were after 5 saturdays of the season with where they finished. 51% (read that again, 47 of 92!) teams finished no more than 3 places above or below where they were after just 5 saturdays of play last year. We've had, what, 3 saturdays so far? And we're bottom right? (I can't bear to check teletext to see if Norwich managed to break their duck, bit I've assumed the worst - it's been a bad day all round). So by my reckoning, we've got some serious worrying to do for the next 9 months!

IF Terry Bullivant, Allan Harris et al are trying to instill some master plan in our players, it is obvious that they just do not have the mental ability to take in what is being taught. All we were doing today was posing - passing the ball around, with the air of someone saying "look at me, I am as one with the ball. It is my friend!". Great - but what happens when you've lost it? I lost count of how many times a Bradford playet had the surrounded by 4 Royals, who all behaved like startled rabbits caught in a set of on-coming headlights!!! Not one player made a serious tackle all day!!

If Jimmy Quinn had seen this shower of shit, he would have pissed himself. Christ, when he was around, at least we showed as we cared!! I'm off to put a bet on him getting a hatrick next time he's at EP!

Where on earth do we go from here? Someone please help me, because I'm really struggling to hold onto this! More words from a song (and I really will buy you a Red Rock if you know the anwser!) .....

Report from Daily Mail's Soccernet...

City were such comfortable winners at Elm Park that boss Chris Kamara rebuked his players afterwards for treating the closing stages like a testimonial game.

'It was too easy for us,' he said. 'We could have scored half-a-dozen.'

Three were enough to preserve City's unbeaten start to the League season and anchor Reading at the foot of the table.

It was so different in the opening minutes when a string of fine saves by Aussie keeper Robert Zabica kept Reading at bay.

Bradford then took control, with Jamie Lawrence heading them in front after nine minutes, and Nigel Pepper scoring from a free-kick seven minutes later.

Pepper's second goal, midway through the second half, slammed the door on any chances of a Reading revival.

The only clouds on the horizon for City were a couple of glaring misses by Brazilian striker Edhino, who was substituted.

This was City's first away League game, and before the kick-off supporters were worried that they might not travel well. Long before the end they were roaring with delight, as Bradford taunted their opponents by keeping possession.

They were inviting Reading to come and get the ball, but the home side, without a League win this season, just could not compete.

Oh shit.

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