MILLWALL 5 READING 0 Attendance: 5,202 (approx 350 away)
Scorers: Nope Date: 16 November 1999
Team: Whitehead, Casper (Caskey), Polston, Hunter, Gurney (Bernal), Gray, Murty, Parkinson, Evers (Smith), Williams, McIntyre.
Audio: Supplied by Classic Gold
1-0 - 2-0 - 3-0 - 4-0 - 5-0 - Final Whistle
Match Hero:

Yet another humiliating stuffing in the recent history of Reading FC. Reading's slide shows no sign of slowing up, and on performances like this the only excitement we can expect this season is a relegation fight. With Reading haunted once again by injuries it was a rather unusual 4-4-2 formation that took to the pitch, and after a reasonable opening five minutes there was only going to be one result. So low is the spirit at the club we showed little sign of a fight back. The only miracle was that it was only 5-0 in the end.

Ex-Reading player Michael Gilkes showed exactly what we've been missing. Pace down the wing, even at well into his thirties, and the ability to put in telling crosses. Millwall looked dangerous coming forward, Reading, once again, did not.

It took Millwall seven minutes to take the lead when Gilkes down down the left wing. He beat the off-form Barry Hunter with ease and delivered a high cross into the box where the header looped over Whitehead and into the back of the net. There was to be no way back for Reading despite a brief bright spell after the goal. Midway through the second half Millwall added two goals in two minutes to effectively end the game. The second was a low cross driven in from a few yards out. The third was a shot from inside the area going in off the post with Whitehead beaten. 3-0.

Reading's best attempt of the first half came from Martin Williams up front whose long rangeish shot found the bottom of the Millwall crossbar before bouncing to safety. But Reading really didn't look like scoring. No supply down the wings, no playing the ball forward along the ground, no power up front with McIntyre having a very poor game. All hit and hope stuff. Long ball game without the players up front to win the ball. Pointless.

The second half saw the ineffective Gurney and Casper replaced by Bernal and Caskey to produce a slightly more play-making formation. It didn't work and it was clear Reading had given up on fighting back. The first half repeated itself with Millwall making it 4-0 eight minutes into the second half. And it was Gilkes yet again getting down the left and delivering the cross for another header over Whitehead and into the back of the Reading net. Bollocks.

And it got worse. With over 20 minutes left it was 5-0. The defence were sliced apart yet again with ease and the shot from inside the box found the net.

McIntyre was forced to score one with his hand in the dying moments when a Caskey corner was pushed in. Instead of a goal McIntyre was awarded a yellow card for his efforts. Gray had a shot tipped wide at the end - a great save - but it didn't matter.

The score was right, apart from it could have been more. Reading were terrible and seem to be able to do nothing to entertain their fans - and sometimes it seems like they just can't be arsed. Things need to change but there's no sign of things changing. Expect another struggle against Halifax this Saturday in a Madejski Stadium only around a quarter full. It used to be fun supporting Reading.

Post Match Opinions

Being Reading through and through I think I have permission to embark on the following critique of the performance last night at the New Den, where Reading were part of a game with a very ordinary Millwall side (who battled). This season I am only supporting Reading in away games (for personal reasons), and last night I was one of 350 brave supporters that watched the most heartless performance that has ever been my displeasure to witness. Not one of the 'players' can put his hand up and say he tried to get involved physically (i.e. battle); I am sorry to say they all have the look of dispair and do not give a damn. If they did they would have at least come off the pitch with some Millwall stud marks. I spent 7 hours and nearly 30 quid to witness a cowardly display by blokes supposedly proud to wear a Reading shirt. They should all be taken down to one of our local parks to see how much commitment many players from local clubs give week-in week-out. The plastic circus called the Madjeski Stadium has turned them into plastic prima donnas who are paid far too much ruddy money to ponce around in our town. I am so upset at the experience last night that it will be some time before I return to watch Madjeski's plastic men, and then it will be away because that is where we are all watching Reading these days due to Mr. Madjeski and his helpful councellors who sold Elm Park to line their pockets. -- Stuart Marsh

I am disgusted that a team like Millwall can do us at all, much less, do us 5-0. I was worried when Pardew was confirmed as Manager as he does not strike me as someone who can motivate or inspire and he does not have a successful track record as a manager at this level. We are the laughing stock of the division - fantastic ground - better than most 1st division teams and some premier ones and yet we cannot seem to beat team which, on balance, we should be thrashing 5-0. The Chairman promises a team capable of propmotion to the Premiership!!! Its time to wake up Mr Madjeski. We have a relegation battle on our hands and I fear its your lack of vision in the choice of manager and failure to spend proper money on good players that will be Readings undoing. Sack Pardew and appoint someone like Spackman, Todd or Kinnear and then clear out the dross in the playing staff - you know who they are and then we can "do a Fulham" - raid the 1st division of its top players and only then will we start winning games. If you want a full stadium - start by offering your customers what they want - a team worthy of our support and our hard earned cash. -- Paul Cleveland

The defending was so bad it was funny ! At least it was funny after 3 goals from 3 crosses ( and probably 3 attacks) in 20 minutes. Sadly it reminded me of watching Reading in the 4th Div during the 70s. -- Alan Prudden

This had to be one of the most woeful defensive displays from Reading I have ever seen. Millwall looked like they would score from every attack and did from most, if anything the scoreline flattered us. Whitehead, Hunter and Casper were abysmal, there seemed to be no understanding across the back at all. Possibly the worst thing is the complete lack of pace, Millwall split us open with one two's time and time again. -- Andy Wilson

When will Reading start playing to win? I am fed-up with Reading starting games looking like they have already played for ninety minutes. Pathetic, the players should be totally ashamed of themselves. When Reading can be bothered to play football again I will bother to watch them again! I've been a season ticket holder for thirteen years but I'm afraid I've had enough misery and embarrasment. My season ticket is for sale on the discussion board if anyone is interested. -- Lance Edwards

Thankfully I never made it to this match, but settled down to listen to the commentary on Classic Gold and BBC TVFM. This is the first time ever that i've turned the radio off before the end of the match. In fact it was off shortly after goal number 3. I cannot believe this is the same team that entertained me at Brentford just a few weeks ago. We are still not playing with any real pride or passion, I think I was more full of emotion last night than the players were. My feeling is that they do not really care about the club as long as they are paid there hugely inflated salaries. I will have to stop now or I shall start crying again. Let us hope we can avoid relegation this season. -- Trevor Gibson

Bollocks -- Steve Rudd

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