MATCH REPORT: 2003/2004 Season

7 February 2004: LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
Reading: Goater (20 mins pen).
Proctor (24 mins pen, 79 mins), Monkhouse (36 mins), Butler (47 mins), Barker (90 mins).
Half Time: 2-1
Attendance: 6,405

Pos Team P Pts GD
8 Preston 29 46 +11
9 READING 30 45 -4
10 Millwall 30 44 +5
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Brown, Williams, Shorey, Hughes, Sidwell, Watson, Salako, Goater, Owusu. Subs: Murray, Kitson, Harper, Newman, Young.
Pollitt, Hurst, Shaun Barker, Swailes, Minto, Sedgwick, Mullin, Garner, Monkhouse, Butler, Proctor. Subs: Montgomery, Talbot, Warne, Baudet.

Referee: Richard Beeby (Northampton)

Reading took the lead at Millmoor with a Goater penalty after twenty minutes only to end up on the wrong end of a 1-5 thrashing. Rotherham, who had gone six games without a win and were struggling in the bottom half of the table were convincing winners in the end over a Reading side that had won the last two games. There was no sign of Nicky Forster as the game got underway but again the duo of Owusu and Goater looked like it might just do the job. After a slow start it was Reading that looked the more likely side early on with Owusu providing a cross to Salako that required a decent save. The Royals then took the lead when Owusu was clearly taken down inside the area, allowing his strike partner Shaun Goater to step up to make it 1-0. The lead was short lived when a suspect penalty down the other end signalled the start of the home side's comeback. Ex-Reading striker Martin Butler went down in the area as he chased the ball away from goal with Martin Williams and the resulting penalty kick beat was put past Hahnemann. Monkhouse volleyed home to give Rotherham a half time lead and the game was over after the break when Butler scored from close range against his old team mates after a defensive mistake by Nicky Shorey. Reading pushed forward to try and get back into the game but became stretched at the back and were caught out by a free-kick that was chipped over Hahnemann with eleven minutes left to play. In the last minute a big defeat became a thrashing as Rotherham poured forward to add a fifth and end a miserable afternoon.


Been on holiday, while away two victories. Yippee. Back to earth with a bump today. Listened to game on radio, all I can say is Forest and Derby must be really crap. What a thrashing, looks like mid table doldrums for us this season, definitely missing Forster. Oh well two week break for the players to dwell on yet another embarrassing whopping by a so called lower team. No doubt Coppell will protect his players and wrap them in cotton wool defending them from any criticism, get them in for training first thing tomorrow morning I say. It won't happen!
Nick Newbury

When will Mr Madejeski finally wake up to the fact he has employed a manager who has never achieved anything and not likely to.Sorry Mr Coppell you have lot to learn about being a motivator and both player and fans responsive.If you get down from the stands and really get amongst it and stop this constance patrionising of the management of the opposition and roll your own sleeves up we just might achieve something.
Terry I.O.W.

Here we go again! I can't put my finger on what the problem is,or so Mr.Coppell will say.We`re stale,that`s what I think.We don`t appear to have a leader within the club.Just look at the side when we are playing,who is directing,encouraging or motivating the players? Nobody. As for the Manager,he ought to take a deckchair and a drink with him to save him standing all of the second half. After all,he spends the first half sat on his backside,so why should we expect him to be any different in the second half? He seems to have the personality of a plastic duck and as much enthusiasm as a manic depressive. Look around at a lot of the other sides in this division who are near the top. Their manager's show some passion and look as if they want to win, ours looks like he is on his fourth spliff, hey man peace and love, this game is groovy, what day is it?
What happened to the play and move style that made us so exciting and dangerous? Now it`s a case of don`t give it to me ---hoof. We lack a game plan,we lack ideas and we lack the bottle. I wonder if the players really want to gain promotion because most of them would be out of a job as hardly any of them would last in the Premier League. Makes you think,doesn`t it? We will bumble along until the end of the season. The Manager and players will pick up their nice fat pay cheques and see the season out, then have a nice break. To be honest, I think RFC are quite content in the 1st division. They don't want to go to expense of promotion when they can be comfortable in this league.
Big Steve, Reading

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