Reading Football Club News: September 2017

First Half Goal But Still No Points

30 September 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading's dismal start to the season continued today with another home defeat against an in-form City who chalked up their fourth successive away win. In a tight game neither goalkeeper had much to do. All three goals came from set pieces with City's winner coming after some extremely poor making from Tyler Blackett allowed Jerome to head past Manone unmarked at the far post.

Reading fell behind after ten minutes to a superbly struck free-kick by Maddison. Their lead lasted only three minutes, the Reading equaliser coming from a determined header by Moore getting on the end of an Aluko free-kick floated invitingly to the far post. Jerome's winner came early in the second half and Reading struggled to find any rhythm and rarely threatened to find a second equaliser as Norwich controlled the game well to maintain their lead and secure the points. Reading worryingly slipped further down the table into twentieth place.

Fans Hope For Different Approach Against Norwich

29 September 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

In form Norwich City come to Reading this weekend on the back of two straight away wins in a run of five league games undefeated. Ominously for Reading, the Canaries have kept five straight clean sheets in the League - which could be a problem for a Reading side that has struggled to find the net this season. Reading are nine Championship games into the season and are yet to score a league goal in the opening 45 minutes of a match. With that in mind, and Jaap Stam asking negative fans not to attend, there's not a big incentive to rush to this fixture. On top of that kick-off is at 5:30pm at the Madejski Stadium to allow Sky TV to screen the game live. It feels a strange choice of fixture given Reading's recent lack of entertainment.

Unless something is dramatically different with this match, it seems a reasonable bet it could develop into a big switch off for the neutral fan. However, something has to change, and hopefully this is the match where Reading can start positive and actually take a lead in at the half time break. It has to happen at some point this season. Things will have to change if Reading fans are going to be satisfied at half time. The Royals have gone five games without a win in all competitions and have scored just three goals in those five games. The Royals have scored just one goal in their last three home games, and that was an 87th minute equaliser from the boot of Bodvarsson, who Stam seems so keen to leave on the bench. Reading are clear leaders of the Championship possession table, but are 21st for goals scored and have only scored 4 goals in the league from open play all season. Possession alone does not win points.

After a poor run of form, Stam finds himself under some unexpected early season pressure. It may be early days still, but another Reading defeat would leave Reading fans looking at the relegation positions and Stam forced to justify himself to both fans and owners. There is expectation that the Reading manager will shuffle his squad around again for this match to try and earn some points. Will that mean that Reading will play a striker? With Kermorgant and Mendes still both out through injury, will Bodvarsson get a start? Stam may well have Mo Barrow back in his squad after the player completes his return from a knee injury, but Jordan Obita remains out after being stretched off the pitch at the end of the home draw against Hull City.

The last time Reading faced Norwich was in April when we were on the wrong end of a 1-7 scoreline at Carrow Road after being 1-6 down after just 41 minutes. Earlier last season we had much more success with a 3-1 home win. Kermorgant, McCleary and Harriott scored the goals for Reading on Boxing Day - but only after a very poor first half of entertainment. Kermorgant's goal came just before the break and Reading then went on to secure an impressive victory. So, perhaps the same again isn't that unlikely after all, and would provide much relief all round at Reading FC.

Recent Games Against Norwich City

08 April 2017 Championship Norwich (Away) L: 1-7 Read report...
26 December 2016 Championship Norwich (HOME) W: 3-1 Read report...
28 December 2014 Championship Norwich (HOME) W: 2-1 Read report...
29 November 2014 Championship Norwich (Away) W: 2-1 Read report...
20 April 2013 Premier League Norwich (Away) L: 1-2 Read report...
10 November 2012 Premier League Norwich (HOME) D: 0-0 Read report...
12 February 2011 Championship Norwich (Away) L: 1-2 Read report...

Another Defeat On The Road For Reading

26 September 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Just three days after Jaap Stam asked negative fans to stay away the Madejski Stadium, it was business as usual as Reading dominated possession against Millwall but came away from The Den with nothing. Stam's radio rant after the 1-1 home draw with Hull City focused the spotlight on him and his tactics as Reading's sluggish start to the season continued. He would have done little to relieve the pressure as Reading looked to be heading for a very rare away win only to conceed two late goals as Millwall claimed victory. It was a familiar story with Reading failing to take their chances and once again failing to find the net in the first half.

Things had looked bright for Reading when Dave Edwards put Reading ahead with just 17 minutes left to play. Sone Aluko's corner was headed home by Edwards for his first Reading goal. It appeared to be a vital goal for the Royals but the lead only last 7 minutes. Another header saw Millwall pull it back to 1-1 and that was followed up with the winner for the home side five minutes later. As usual we dominated possession, but also recorded more shots and corners than Millwall, however failed to make that advantage count.

Despite coming off the bench to secure a late point on Saturday, Bodvarsson was again left out of the starting eleven. He eventually appeared from the bench inside the last ten minutes when the game had already swung Millwall's way. With a lack of a striker once again, it's not obvious how Stam expects to win matches. There was also no game time for the excellent Liam Kelly. It is of course early days in the season, but after nine games the Royals are averaging a point a game, which is hardly the form of team that were expected to be pushing for promotion this season.

Late Draw As Royals Continue To Struggle

23 September 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading seemed destined to succumb to a third successive home defeat without scoring until Jon Dadi Bodvarsson came off the bench to salvage a point with a superb late strike, and had Liam Moore made better contact with the last kick of the match, would have taken all three points. It was however not a Reading performance worthy of a victory in spite of a staggering seventy-four percent possession. In fact Tomori came close to wrapping the game up immediately before Bovarsson's equaliser running through Reading's defence with relative ease before dragging his shot wide. A draw was fair result mainly because neither side played well enough to deserve to win.

Royals Limp Out Of League Cup

19 September 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Swansea progressed to the last sixteen of the Caraboa Cup with a comfortable victory over a Reading side with insufficient fire power to mount any kind of sustained pressure on their Premier League opponents defence. After a goalless first half Swansea took the lead early in the second half when Mawson was allowed sufficient space to flick home a Sanches corner at the near post. Swansea looked in control from that point and secured their victory courtesy of a refereeing blunder from Andy Davies. Davies' poor positioning resulted in him deflecting an Evans pass to Fer on the half way line. With the Reading defence pushing forward Fer slid the ball to Ayew who ran through to curl the ball past Jaakkola. Reading had looked unlikely to find and equaliser and the second goal put the result beyond doubt.

Reading Scramble Point At Brentford

16 September 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading came away from Griffin Park with just a point, after another disappointing afternoon in the Championship. The Royals were perhaps lucky to secure even that point after being behind for most of the game to a well worked 16th minute goal from Brentford.

The home side might have expected their first win of the League season against a poor Reading side after having much the better of the first half, and thoroughly deserved their lead at the break. The Royals were improved in the second half and drew level when Moore was tripped inside the area with seventy minutes on the clock. Liam Kelly, who had a lively game for the Royals, stepped up to score the penalty to make it 1-1.

Despite coming from behind, it was Brenford that finished the stronger side. Mannone was forced to make a couple of save to keep Reading in the game, and Brentford would have won it if a further couple of efforts hadn't been put wide and high.

Brentford successfully limited Reading's possession football in the first half and should have made more of their chances. However, throughout the game, it remained a familiar story for Reading with a lack of power up front. Bodvarsson managed just a half before being substituted at the break as manager Jaap Stam tried to inject some life into the Royals. On this performance there is plenty of work for Stam to do to bring this season to life.

Reading Travel To Winless Brentford

15 September 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading travel the short distance to Brentford this weekend hoping to improve on recent results. Both Reading and Brentford have suffered slow starts to the season, with Brentford still without a league win after seven games. The Bees are favourites with That's a Goal's accumulator tips to be relegated and are one off the bottom of the table with their only points of the campaign coming from three draws. Brentford fans will see this as a great opportunity for their first full three points, playing against a 17th placed Reading side who have only picked up two wins themselves in the league.

Despite securing up some impressive signings before the transfer window closed, the Royals were unable to find the net last Saturday and slumped to a 0-1 home defeat against Bristol City. It was a frustrating afternoon for Reading who did most things right but failed to convert their chances. The game saw new signings Aluko and Edwards both involved, and they will both be hoping to build on their debuts. Aluko played the full 90 minutes, but Dave Edwards came off the bench to replace Liam Kelly and will be hoping to claim a starting place.

Bodvarsson, back from injury, started the fixture but was guilty of wasting our best chances. Manager Jaap Stam may well vary things up front for the trip to Brentford but will still be missing Kermorgant who finished last season so strongly and is seriously missed this term. Reading will almost certainly need more than one goal if they are to collect three points from this fixutre - which is a huge ask. Our last clean sheet at Griffin Park was 23 games ago.

Last season we were on the wrong end of a 1-4 scoreline, with Kermorgant scoring our only goal from the penalty spot. However, the season before that, back in the summer of 2015 we were 3-1 winners with two goals from Blackman and one from Sa. A similar result feels hard to imagine right now even against a Brentford side that is well off the form they were expecting this season. The Bees should be desperate for the win, so it could be another frustrating afternoon for the travelling Reading fans.

Recent Meetings With Brentford

14 February 2017 Championship Brentford (HOME) W: 3-2 Read report...
27 September 2016 Championship Brentford (Away) L: 1-4 Read report...
28 December 2015 Championship Brentford (HOME) L: 1-2 Read report...
29 August 2015 Championship Brentford (Away) W: 3-1 Read report...
25 April 2015 Championship Brentford (HOME) L: 0-2 Read report...
04 October 2014 Championship Brentford (Away) L: 1-3 Read report...

An Evening With Trevor Senior and Jamie Cureton

15 September 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

The Reading FC Former Players' Association will soon be hosting an evening with two goal scoring club legends. On Thursday 5th October, at the Tilehurst British Legion Club, Trevor Senior and Jamie Cureton are sure to strike the right chord with Reading fans as they discuss their time at Reading, before taking questions from fans. Both players need little introduction with their vast haul of goals that proved so vital in Reading promotions.

Trevor Senior is the highest goalscorer in Reading Football Club's history, amassing a huge 191 goals in 362 appearances during two spells with the Royals. After signing from Portsmouth, Trevor was the leading goalscorer across all four Divisions of the English league in the 1983/84 season, hitting 41 goals in all competitions. His goals helped Reading earn promotion out of the Fourth Division as Reading embarked on the best spell of their history at that time. Trevor's incredible ability to find the net led to another promotion just two years later as Reading went up as Third Division Champions with Trevor scoring 27 times.

Very few players have a career record as extensive as Jamie Cureton. Jamie has continued to score goals into his 40s and has over 300 career goals to his name. Cureton will have plenty of goals to recall, but out of all those goals the firm fans favourite is likely to be the flick past the goalkeeper in front of a packed away end at Brentford in 2002. That goal was decisive in sealing automatic promotion to send Reading back up to Division One. Having already scored 4 goals in just 20 minutes for Bristol Rovers at the Madejski Stadium in 1999, Jamie turned to Reading hero after signing in 2000. Jamie spent three memorable seasons with the Royals, scoring 55 times.

The two players will offer a rare insight into two great periods at Reading FC. It is sure to be a fascinating evening and a great opportunity to celebrate the success of two of Reading's most prolific strikers.

The perfect host for the evening is of course former Reading FC defender, and Welsh international, BBC Berkshire's Ady Williams. Like Trevor Senior, Ady had two spells at Reading Football Club. During his first spell Ady played alongside Trevor, and on return he found himself in the same team as Jamie Cureton. Ady is sure to relish his reunion with both players and provide some questions guaranteed to entertain the audience.

Tickets for the evening are on-sale for £20, which includes entry and fish and chip supper. Doors and Bar opens at 6.30pm for a 7.30pm start. After a break for food, a question and answer session between the players and the audience will get underway. This event seems certain to be popular so please book early on the Association's website

The Reading FC Former Players' Association aims to reunite colleagues, former players and managers of Reading Football Club. We provide a voice and help to our members, including, but not limited to, social and welfare support. The Association continues to run as a non-profit organisation with any surplus donated to local charities connected to the Association or Reading Football Club.

Bristol City Take All Three Points

09 September 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

The disappointment of losing to a late goal is always hard to take, but even more so when expectations had been raised by a good away performance at Birmingham and new additions to the squad. Typically Reading enjoyed a lot of possession throughout, but a well organised City pressed high up the pitch from the kick-off denying Reading time and space all over the pitch. Ultimately though, it was poor finishing and good goalkeeping which prevented the Royals from taking anything from this game.

In their best spell just after the interval, new signing Bodvarsson wasted two excellent opportunities to give them the lead. City 'keeper Fielding made excellent saves from Kelly in the first half and Bacuna in the second. As so often happens in football Reading were punished for their inability to convert chances into goals. With six minutes to go the Reading defence failed to deal with a high ball into the box and it fell to Flint who drilled it goalwards low and hard, and although Manone got a hand to it the ball trickled agonising just inside the post. Reading never looked likely to find a way through the City defence in the closing stages and City left with the points.