21st March 1995
Nogan (84th Min), Lovell (92nd Min!)
First a bit from me, then a bit from Jerry, then one from Simon Bird...
Reading provided a spirited performance in the last 10 minutes to pull the game round when all looked lost. Oldham took the lead in the fourth minute with a shot from about 30 yards out. The rest of the half and most of the second drifted slowly away an d it looked like Reading were going to slump to their 5th defeat in 7 games, but instead an incredible end to the game gave the lads all three points and we've soared up to fourth in the table. Back in a play off slot again! Hurray!
Halle scored for Oldham after four minutes when Reading thought it was christmas and handed Oldham a head start. Bernal obviously knew that Reading were going to stage a remarkable comeback in the dying minutes when he blocked Shaka convincingly to give Halle an easy target. Oldham were beginning to look worthy of their three points until Reading started to battle hard late into the second half...
Lee '0.25 million and worth every penny, honest' Nogan came on the pitch with ten minutes left to play replacing the Quinn and managed to score just four minutes later. Gilkes got the ball on the left hand side and took it wide before crossing the ball i nto the path of Lee 'about to prove I'm worth all that money really' Nogan who headed the ball into the net to make the scores level. I was dead pleased we were going to be getting a point. But the Royals didn't settle for that and it set up a thrilling last six minutes as Reading pushed forward looking for all three points. Deep into injury time transfer listed Archie Lovell bundled the ball into the net and the South Bank went wild. Taylor crossed from the right of the pitch and Oldham failed to cle ar it leaving Lovell with a tap in from close range.
This report from Jerry Morley...
Ater the match Steve Beddow of BBC Radio Berkshire interviewed Jimmy Quinn. Jim confirmed that the apparent substitution of (There's Only One) Lee Nogan for Archie was a cock-up. Jim was always the one that was going to come off and he asked the bench to raise the 9 card. They raised the 10 and after loads of boos from the crowd rapidly changed it to 9.
So Archie stayed on to score the winner after Lee (that's made a dent in the 0.25 million) Nogan was seriously brave in diving into the flying boots to head home a glorious Gilkesy cross.
Reading Man of the Match by far for me was Scotty Taylor. I thought Shaka had one of his less dominant games but after the goal was conceded did everything that was needed.
A very satisfying result that showed some of the "never give up" attitude that we know is out there.
My hands were still stinging by the time I got home, about 30 mins after the final whistle. I had to drink some beer then stayed up to watch the highlights on Meridian at 11:40. It wasn't really worth the wait because they only showed a few minutes but at least I could see the goals again.
Anyway 4th in the league, we are ahead of Wolves and bring on the Sheffield United.
And finally a report from Simon....
Before the start I thought we were in for a 0-0 draw, something of a frequent occurence at home this season. Four minutes after the start I resigned myself to a second year in the first division. A slippery surface let down Andy Bernals effort to contribute to the Reading offside trap allowing the Oldham number 10 (9?) in to slip an easy ball past Shaka Hislop who was by now well on his way to the half way line. Scott Taylor almost made it back in the box in time to prevent Oldhams early lead.
A very anxious first half showed that Reading had the upper hand but that Oldham were determined to hang on to their slim lead. Good chances by Lovell and Quinn (amazingly) were squandered, Michael Gilkes providing a lot of support from some fine crosses into the box.
Into the second half both sides were pressing hard for a goal. Parkinson showed his physical side in preventing Oldham's attacks from building, Kerr's form was the third poor display in a row that I have seen at home. He seems to have lost his bottle and gave Oldham the ball several times through poor passing. Macca proved that he is able to play at this level, we haven't seen enough of him this season.
The first substitution of Gooding for Bernal was puzzling. It came early in the second half and I can only think that Bernal was injured as he was playing well. A fine save from Shaka tipped the ball past the net to prevent Oldhams attempt. That was the last effort we saw from them.
On 80 minutes Reading prepared for another substitution. Nogan prepared to come on. The bench got out the board with number 10. Not Lovel!!! The South Bank responded with "Archie, Archie, Archie" which appeared to have the desired effect. Jimmy Quinn took himself off bringing Nogan on. Quinn should hopefully now stay on the bench for the remainder of the season. A few minutes later Archie passed the ball from midfield to Gilkes on the left. An accurate cross allowed Nogan to dive into a posse of Oldham boots to head home Reading's first. This was it...the comeback had started. It was still unbelievable when Taylor battled for the ball on the Oldham goal line and managed to get a low cross into the goalmouth where Lovell, Holsgrove and Nogan were all waiting. Lovell gave a gentle tap in and we were 2-1 up in injury time.
Lovell was the hero of the match for me but my man of the match would have to be Parkinson who is showing a lot of commitment. It seems we will have to rely on the results of other matches involving teams in the play-off positions to remain there. Lets hope for a good result on Saturday against Sheffield.
-- Simon Bird
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