CUP ROUND TWO
YORK CITY 2 READING 0 (Half Time: 2-0)
York Scorers: Richardson (4 mins), Potter (41 mins).
8 December 2001
Reading: Ashdown, Murty, Viveash (Mackie 69), Williams, Shorey, Hughes (Tyson 80), Jones, Harper, Rougier (Igoe 72), Cureton, Henderson. Subs not used: Malessa, Parkinson.
York: Fettis, Edmondson, Basham, Smith, Maley, Cooper, Brass, Richardson, Potter, Bullock, Proctor. Subs not used: Mathie, Howarth, Hocking, Stamp, O'Kane.
Bookings: Murty (Reading); Cooper, Proctor (York).
Reading's third straight defeat gives a real indication that our good run of form has definately come to an end. And what a time to come to an end - just before our visit to table toppers Brighton next Friday. Pardew said after the Chesterfield defeat that we needed a couple of good games to set us up for that. In the two games that followed we've managed to exit two cup competitions against non-league and lower league opposition, scoring just one goal and letting in a massive six in the process. Going by the form book we should expect a serious thrashing at Brighton. But then this is Reading we're talking about, so it's impossible to know what's going to happen.
Reading were well beaten again today by a York City team struggling at the wrong end of the Third Division table. The home fans probably expected a stuffing themselves, but instead saw their team outplay the Royals in all departments. At the back Reading looked shakey and conceeded two first half goals through poor defending. That had already lost the game, but up front we failed to really test their goalkeeper, so could never get back in the game. Jamie Cureton was consistantly off-side all afternoon and never looked likely to find the net. Henderson also worked hard but failed to have a major impact. The game was really lost in the midfield where Reading lost out all too often and failed to build fast enough in the right direction. This was a poor game that was probably more suited to Division Three. York have an excuse, Reading do not. We deserved to lose.
With a number of injuries to the squad Reading started with a different line up yet again. Rougier, despite being crap in his last performance, made another start but playing further forward. With Murty returning from injury, Shorey and Murty were selected as full backs with Viveash and Williams in the centre of defence. Viveash was to limp off injured later in the game - another concern for Alan Pardew with Whitbread still out injured. With Reading trailing 0-2 in the second half Igoe and Tyson were both brought on to add something into Reading's attack. Both players showed some bright signs but were unable to seriously break through the York defence.
The Royals got off to the worst possible start - and never really recovered. After just four minutes we found ourselves a goal down. York broke down the left and found it all to easy to cross into the centre of the box where the ball was driven home. 0-1. Reading then spent most of the rest of the game in possession but doing nothing with it. We sent in a few crosses throughout the first half but never got on the end of them. Cureton found himself off-side more often than he found the ball. A couple of Rougier crosses nearly found Henderson but he just midded out on connecting. The ball was bouncing off all body parts of the York defence as they kept Reading out, but the pressure wasn't intense enough.
The game was over just before the break. Reading played for off-side and it never came as the ball was crossed into the box from the right. Ashdown got to it but could do nothing as the ball came out to an unmarked player who stuck it home for York's second of the game. Reading might have got something from the game if we'd scored at the start of the second half - and we might have done but Harper was denied by the post after hitting in a free-kick from the edge of the area. York spent most of the second half letting Reading have the ball, but shut the Royals out when they got close. Henderson had a couple of shots but failed to force a save out of the keeper. Henderson did look like he'd scored right at the end of the game when Murty crossed for Henderson to put it into the net, but the goal was ruled out for a foul as Henderson barged his way through. We might have been unlucky there, but we only had ourselves to blame for the defeat.
Last season the Royals were able to score two at Bootham Crescent as the sides
played out a 2-2 draw. This season we went down 0-2. This could be the clearest
sign yet that Reading aren't going forwards. Already the seven game winning
streak is a distant memory. Looking at the results right now all that's visable
is a three game losing streak. So who knows what'll happen at Brighton then.
Post Match Opinions
Anorak that I am, I have been on a North Yorkshire FA Cup odyssey
that has so far taken in Pickering Town and Harrogate Railway Athletic
in the qualifying rounds and Whitby Town in the first round. And so to
a match between my adoptive home town (York) and my hometown (Reading).
What a disappointment. A shapeless performance from Reading and a shapeless
contest all round. It was one of those scrappy, going nowhere matches
it was hard to concentrate on. Both sides were similarly woeful but York
at least managed to take a couple of chances and so deserved to win.
Spirit, tenacity & flair....just 3 of the things that Reading lack
at the moment.
I didn't travel to the game yesterday as I had other commitments,
however I usually attend matches in the north as I am a royal exiled in
Rochdale. the last match I attended was the Oldham game which we won but
in all honesty we were woeful. My father-in-law supports Oldham and takes
every opportunity to mention that Reading are the worst team to visit
Boundary Park so far this year. He still cant believe that I took the
fiver off him, well a bets a bet!
Missed this one, thank God. Three defeats on the bounce, and Zamora
and Hove Albion at the Withdean Theatre of Dreams on Friday. Let us hope
that Micky Adams finally takes Brighton's goal machine to Leicester before
that one. Everybody has bad runs in any season. Quite why Reading have
to have another one so soon, is unfortunate, although not that surprising.
I am not blaming poor Jamie Ashdown for the goals he has conceded, but
it is surely wrong to throw him to the lions in the way Alan has, when
until now, he has been kept in cotton wool in the reserves.
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