Match Report vs NORWICH CITY

16 November 1996 (League)
Norwich City 1 READING 1
Att: 14,412

Team: Wright, Bernal, Bodin, McPherson, Hunter, Parkinson, Gilkes, Caskey, Morley (Williams) , Nogan (Meaker) , Gooding. Subs not used: Quinn

Report by Mark Firmager:

Reading opted for a 4-4-2 formation bringing in Parky and Caskey into the middle of the field to try and hassle the Norwich team, there was no place for Lambert even on the bench.

Reading drew first blood with a shot at goal from Gooding but unfortunately his effort went over. Norwich started to take control of the game for a spell, which started when the lively Fleck broke free on the Norwich right and from an angle tried to lob Tommy Wright but it was a comfortable catch for the Reading keeper. This brought a burst of 'Chelsea Reject' from the 800 or so travelling Royals which resulted in Fleck sportingly waving back at us. Norwich continued to press on and a speculative pass to the their right wing seemed an easy cut out for Macca but like a repeat of last week against Southend he slipped at the crucial moment which allowed Fleck to break free. From a tight angle fleck shot at goal which Wright did well to save with his feet.

Reading then started to take control of the game with out really threatening the Norwich goal with the only shot of note coming from Gooding who shot well wide from 20 yards.

Norwich had time for one more shot before half time which brought a great save from Wright (It will be criminal if we don't buy him !). Just before half time Morley had to leave the field for what was probably a few stitches after an earlier clash of heads.

Reading started the 2nd half brightly with Morley heading a corner back across goal to Andy Bernal who headed over. Reading pressed on and from a free kick expertly taken by Bodin, Morley powered in a header into the corner of the net. 1-0 to the Blue whites.

Next came the turning point of the game Norwich hit a ball through the middle of Reading defence, the ball bounced up and Gooding tried to head the ball back to Wright but just didn't get enough power behind it, there was then a race to the ball between Gooding and the Norwich forward, there was a bit of a tussle and they both went over and keeping up the tradition of Referees and Reading players Gooding was sent off !!! (this was an exact repeat of Bernal's sending off at Barnsley). Norwich shot just over from the resultant free kick.

Reading's game plan changed now and it was all out defence. Tommy Wright was rather fortunate after a cross evaded all and bounced off the cross bar, the rebound was cleared to the edge of the box where a Norwich player had a shot which went wide. Norwich decided it was time for a change and brought on Scum reject Scott. Soon after Norwich had a free kick from near enough the corner flag, this was whipped over and was headed in by none other the Scum reject. 1-1. Norwich continued to pile on the pressure but Reading held firm and used ever opportunity to waste time. Norwich forced one more save out of Wright which was a deflected shot from Fleck.

The final whistle was then blown not long after.

My man of the match was Parkinson who battled non stop in the centre, Gooding was a close 2nd having his usual terrier like game as well. Pity he got sent off !

The referee was crap ! the booking count was as follows Norwich 3 booked Reading 5 booked and 1 sent off.....and it wasn't even a dirty game.

One final point, The Police at Norwich are complete Arseholes. They seemed to take objection to the slightest thing that any Reading Fan did but turned a complete Blind eye to anything Norwich did. Maybe these Police use the same training school as the Wycombe Police !

On the plus side Norwich folk are so friendly (Except the Police), we eventually found a pub before the game and at least 3 separate Norwich fans came over and chatted to us and had a good laugh. Why can't all football fans be like this ?

Mark Firmager

Thanks to Jon Hanford for this next report! Cheers!

Substitute Keith Scott came to Norwich's rescue with a 79th minute equaliser to deny Reading a shock victory at Carrow Road. Scott had only been on the field for two minutes when he rose well to head in Darren Eadie's fiercely driven free kick from the right to spare the blushes of the home team.

The Royals had been reduced to ten men for the last 21 minutes after joint player-manager Mick Gooding was sent off for hauling down Eadie as the England under-21 winger bore down on goal. But Mike Walker's side, with two successive defeats behind them, struggled to make their dominance tell until the manager's decision to replace defender Carl Bradshaw with Scott gave his side the boost they so desperately needed. Reading had taken the lead in the 56th minute through Trevor Morley with what proved to be their only on target effort in the entire match.

Morley, who needed half time treatment on a head wound sustained in an aerial challenge, rose bravely to head home Paul Bodin's free kick with keeper Bryan Gunn only managing to help the ball into the net. Tommy Wright was by far the busier of the two keepers and produced two excellent first half saves to keep out efforts from Robert Fleck and Eadie. As well as sending off Gooding, referee Alan Butler also saw fit to book eight players three for Norwich and five for Reading in what was keenly contested though rarely dirty encounter.

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