BRADFORD CITY 1 READING 1 Attendance: (approx 100 away)
Scorers: Caskey Date: 14 September 1999
Team: Howie, Gray, Bernal, Casper, Gurney, Smith, Grant, Caskey, Crawford, McIntyre, Forster.
Audio: Nope / Not yet Match Hero: McIntyre

Report from Simon Hutt:

However we didn't beat Bradford last night I will never know. We controlled the play for most of the game and created enough chances to have taken at least a two goal lead back for the second leg.

The defence was the same as Saturday although they looked really solid and restricted Bradford to one serious goalscoring opportunity (apart from their dodgy penalty) which Howie superbly saved in a one on one with Dean Saunders.

The midfield consisted of Crawford on the right, Caskey and Grant in the middle and Smith out left. Crawford and Smith particurarly impressed me with their work rate.

Up front were Forster and McIntyre (after Williams sensational suspension at the start of the week) and they combined very effectively. Now McIntyre has come in for a lot of stick recently but last night he showed that he can be a good player, working hard, holding up the ball well, winning most of the headers and proving to be the perfect foil for Forster who scared the crap out of the defence all night long with his directness and pace. I would give Nicky man of the match but he was run close by McIntyre. It was good to see him get a well deserved ovation when he was subbed shortly before the end and he definetly deserves a place in the starting line up on Saturday.

As for the chances missed, McIntyre hit a couple of shots which just flashed past the back post in the first half, Forster forced a good save out of Clarke and also just missed the far post in the second and we also nearly had two own goals of our own when Moore nearly put in to his own net and late on when Forster outpaced the entire defence after picking the ball up on the half way line and putting in a superb cross which the defender somehow managed to put over his bar from about four yards out as he slid in for the ball with Hodges who had replaced Caskey for the last 15 minutes.

Neither penalties should have been awarded, Blake winning Bradford's with a Mark Steinesque dive over Crawford or Smith's leg and McIntyre getting Reading's after he played the ball a bit to far in front of him and he just fell over. I think the ref knew he made a mistake with the first penalty so he was looking to even up the score.

Overall it was a very encouraging performance and sets it up nicely for the second leg.