MATCH REPORT: 2004/2005 Season

Reading: Kitson (45 mins, penalty).
Half Time: 1-0
Attendance: 11,404

Pos Team P Pts GD
2 Plymouth 4 10 +4
3 READING 4 9 +2
4 Stoke City 4 8 +3
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Shorey, Williams, Ingimarsson, Hughes, Sidwell, Harper, Convey, Forster (Goater 88), Kitson. Subs not used: Young, Brooker, Newman, Sonko.
Pollitt, Stockdale, Minto, Swailes, Shaun Barker, Sedgwick (Warne 82), Vernazza, Garner (Proctor 60), Mullin, Shaw, Richard Barker (Scott 82). Subs not used: Montgomery, Hurst.
Reading: None
Scott, Sedgwick, Shaun Barker.
Referee: Lee Probert

Report by John Wells
There was little to get excited about today as Reading deservedly collected another three points. Although the margin of victory was narrow, and the visitors were given a lot of time and space in to build attacks in the second half, they never really looked likely to break down Reading's solid defence. Kitson and Forster always looked likely to produce something, and the deciding goal came from the penalty spot after Forster was taken down by Shaun Barker as he shaped to shoot with only the keeper to beat. Barker was lucky to escape with a only a yellow card. Kitson powered the spot kick low into the net.

The pattern of the game was set early in the first half with a high percentage of long balls out of defence being dealt with comfortably by defenders at either end of the pitch. When the ball was played to feet both sides looked capable of creating chances. It was Reading however that looked sharper up front. Kitson had an effort disallowed for offside, and both he and Forster came close after showing good touch and a sharp turn. On each occasion the ball whistled just wide of the post. Hughes put over a couple of crosses which troubled the Rotherham defence, Convey flitted in and out of the game, Harper and Sidwell were mainly concerned with defensive duties. Williams made a crucial interception after an error of judgement by Murty left Reading outnumbered by three to two at the back. Rotherham's best chance came on seven minutes when Convey lost possession, and from the resulting attack a poor clearance presented a good chance which was ballooned over by Sedgwick, who must be given some credit for having the courage to have a go with what is clearly his weaker foot! Kitson's converted penalty gave Reading the lead they deserved just before half time.

The second half didn't produce a great deal of high quality play. Rotherham had more possession as they pressed forward looking for an equaliser. The ball bobbled about in the Reading area on a couple of occasions but there were few chances created. Rotherham tried unsuccessfully to pass their way through the centre of the Reading defence but invariably failed as the Royals defence and midfield closed in to stifle their attacks. Williams and Ingimarssson dealt easily with the anything in the air. The best opportunity for Rotherham to get back into the game came when Barker chested the ball skilfully into the path of Shaw who fortunately for Reading fired wide. At the other end Sidwell struck a drive from over thirty yards which produced a save from Pollitt. Hughes' crossing gradually deteriorated and Reading didn't produce any real threat on either wing. The best chance of the half came when a clever flick from Kitson put Forster in with only the 'keeper to beat, but Pollitt saved well.


Well at least it was three points. Such were the comments of the players afterwards and that was about all that could be said about a game that we might have won more easily. We did not because we let the opposition have more of the ball than we did. Collectively we were disappointing though one or two individuals did OK. Hughes started well and put in some very telling balls into the box. At the end he could be seen working hard to help out the defence. In between we saw a display of very poor crossing from him, but he will never let you down in terms of effort and today it was that sort of performance that was needed. I thought Williams looked better but we did not create and that was due to our weakness and their willingness to work. Convey showed some nice touches and made some basic mistakes but there is more to come from him. That is true of many of the team. Murty was not 100%, Shorey is not back to his best yet and is having to work with different people in front of him. The Kitson Forster partnership should get better and better. Last season this performance would not have given us three points!!
Ken C

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