Well, I wasn't at the game I'm afraid, so my stunningly detailed usual report isn't available for this game! It seems no-one else was there either - or maybe we just don't want to talk about it! :-( So here's some reports from the Southend Internet Pages.... Sorry! Cheers to Andy and Paul for mailing these, and of course the original authors (even if they do support Southend ;-)
Inspired by the lively Lee Nogan, Reading made most of the early running. Twice Nogan got in crosses from the right flank which severely tested the Southend defence. From the first it need a magnificent tackle by Mike Marsh to prevent Mick Gooding providing the finishing touch from four yards out, and his second low centre was only hacked away to safety by Mark McNally at the second attempt.
Southend's best effort came in the 17th minute when Reading keeper Tommy Wright turned away a close range effort from Andy Rammell after the striker had ceased upon a poor back-pass by Michael Gilkes As Reading continued to press forward, Southend were rescued by Simon Royce as he launched into a dive to turn away an effort from Lee Nogan. When Southend did launch one of their more dangerous moves, Paul Williams drove wide of the upright. Three minutes before half-time, Royce again pulled off a magnificent save, this time diving at the feet of James Lambert after a flick from Trevor Morley had set up the opportunity.
Southend scored twice in the space of seven minutes late in the second half to claim victory having looking decidedly second best for just over an hour of the first division clash. Nogan broke the deadlock in the 50th minute. Nogan pounced to drive the ball in from close range after the Southend defence had failed to clear a right wing corner. But then came a drastic transformation as John Nielsen rifled home a spectacular equaliser from 25 yards in the 63rd minute, and seven minutes later Mike Marsh converted a penalty. The spot-kick was awarded after Barry Hunter had brought down Paul Williams -- and Marsh's successful effort left Reading deflated. Despite a late flourish by the visitors, the Southend defenders held firm for a victory which had looked so unlikely much earlier.
A modest performance moved southend united into mid table medicority. The first half was an unimpressive performance from both sides. Rammell having the first opportunity in the first minute struck it wide after chasing the ball into the six yard box. Reading also had their chances with Nogan and Morley forcing fine saves from Roycey.
In the second half southend appeared to be going to sleep. They were soon awoken when Lee Nogan picked up Lappers near post flick on with time and space in the six yard box to place his shot into the net for the first goal of the afternoon. Unlike Tuesday against Man City it did not take a further two goals to wake united and the home fans up. With Nielson and Marsh running midfield and the tireless Williams up front we did not have to wait long for the inevitable equaliser.
From fully thirty five yards Nielson drove home a low screamer past the unsighted Reading keeper. From where I was in the west stand I saw no deflection.
And it was Williams who created the winning penalty by catching the Reading defence square he was alone in the six yard box only to be bundled off the ball. Strangely no red or yellow card for the offending defender. But I have yet to see Mike marsh miss from the spot. Today was no exception.
And the the substitution we all love to see (not). Sponsors man of the match Nielson replaced for local hero Gridelet. Im sure we will play better and lose, but it is refreshing to see us winning the games against the so called lesser clubs (Reading and Grimsby). And its also refreshing to see Rammell in the starting line up.
[Do we want those Southend team ratings here? No, I think not...!]