Match Report vs Stockport

3 March 1998 (League Division One)
Stockport 5 READING 1

Att: 6,000

Report from The Electronic Telegraph:

READING crushed Manchester City a week ago, but they were no match for Greater Manchester's premier First Division club, Stockport County, last night at Edgeley Park, almost dead and buried when trailing 4-0 at half-time.

The first 45 minutes were Stockport's best spell of attacking football and fluid passing since beating Manchester City here in November, and it puts them solidly back into the promotion play-off shake-up again.

Angry at an anaemic performance on Saturday against Oxford, Stockport manager Gary Megson had threatened: "Heads will roll if there is not an improvement," and the response was fervent and incisive.

Chris Byrne, whose goals played a major part in Macclesfield's election to the Football League this season, started the landslide with a 10th-minute opportunist goal after Brett Angell's shot, from a Sean Connelly cross, had been blocked on the line.

Reading, whose biggest defeat of the season was a six-goal thrashing on another trip to the North West at Tranmere, had looked fairly bright in the opening exchanges and brought one good save at the near post out of Eric Nixon from Martin Williams.

BUT THEIR DEFENCE WAS QUITE APPALLING, leaving gaps big enough to drive a coach and horses through, and it was no surprise when Angell made it 2-0 in the 12th minute with the willing Stephen Grant and Byrne adding goals in the 23rd and 32nd minutes to produce a humiliating half-time scoreline for Reading.

Michael O'Neill, on loan from Coventry, brought the almost redundant Nixon into life in the 59th minute as he blocked a stinging right-foot drive; but Stockport maintained their supremacy with Angell scoring his second of the match and his 20th of the season in the 70th minute after yet another defence-splitting ball from right-back Connelly.

Williams scored a consolation goal for Reading 10 minutes from time with a penalty after Martin McIntosh had floored substitute Darren Caskey.

Said Megson: "There was a lot to get excited about tonight over the performance, but the downside was that if we can perform like that how we can peform as badly as we did on Saturday at Oxford? Then everybody was below par. Tonight everybody was above par."

- Gossip - Latest - Reports - Articles - Piccies - Interact - Links - About -