Another 0-0 draw. Oh dear.
With the inclusion of Gilkes, Lambert and Williams in the starting line up you would be forgiven for thinking this would be a ball-on-the-floor breaking forward exciting type formation. Bollocks. All long balls very hopefully pumped upfield in a random direction usually hitting an away player.
This was a truely disasterous performance by the Royals. The first half was so bad I almost chuckled. Pompey really should have been 3 or 4 up by half time - only their dodgy shooting ability and Wright's skill in the Reading goal kept the score level. Pompey came forward well a number of times and completely split the defence. One away forward got between our two centre backs in loads of space and entered into a one-on-one with Tommy Wright. He should have scored but Tommy got on the floor and saved well with his legs. A few minutes later on the left Wright came out and seemed to just pick the ball of the feet of the forward when he was the only one left to beat.
Bodin was having a nightmare - beaten every time by that speedy winger. When we got the ball it just went anywhere. Williams seemed to have no idea - hoofing it into Pompey players. Gooding was also playing it nowhere everytime. Normal determination but his skill non-existant. Long balls, no midfield and the forward line not getting a chance to do a thing. Archie went off injured just before half time, after doing nothing for almost 45 minutes, and Nogs came on.
Best attempts for the first half came from Williams and Morley crosses and one good move early in the half which had given Gooding a difficult chance.
At the start of the second half the in-effective Lambert was replaced by Bass. Then we started the second half just the same - shit. The ball was all over the place and I don't remember us stringing more than two passes together. Wright continued where he left of to keep us in it. With a clear chance close in in the middle the Pompey forward somehow put it wide. The best Reading chance came from a Hunter cross.
Then the game got a bit dirty - mainly thanks to that lanky Norwegian Pompey player who should have been sent off way before he went for a second booking after punching Hunter. The cheat then decided to lay down on the pitch and go off on a stretcher instead of getting his marching orders. Cheat. Hunter then was told to go after a big bundle in the middle of the pitch with 20 players pushing each other around. So ten players each for the last 15 minutes.
Morley picked up a yellow for starting another fight. Then as the refeering got more and more bizarre Gooding conceeded a foul without actually making any contact in a sliding tackle. Eh?
Despite being shit, ironically, we could have won it in the last 10 minutes in our best spell of the game. Reading at last seemed to command the posession although continued to do very little with it. Morley almost gave us a late victory when he made contact with the ball in the middle just off the goal line. The keeper seemed to miss it and it hit the corner of the crossbar and the post. The ball came back right across the face of the goal. Nogan was in the middle but somehow failed to get a touch which would have put it in.
So 0-0 and the Royals drop back to 19th again.