MATCH REPORT: 2003/2004 Season

Reading: Goater (16 mins).
Half Time: 0-1
Attendance: 12,535

DIVISION ONE 24 Apr 2004
Pos Team P Pts GD
8 Sheff Utd 44 69 +9
9 READING 44 67 -2
10 Millwall 44 66 +8
Reading: Ashdown, Hughes, Murty, Newman, Williams, Salako, Sidwell, Harper, Kitson, Goater (Owusu 81), Savage (Morgan 73). Subs not used: Boucaud, Brooker, Young.
Marshall, Ryan, Lawrence, Ward, Livermore, Ifill, Elliott, Wise, Chadwick, Dichio (Harris 45), McCammon (Sweeney 66). Subs not used: Gueret, Braniff, Hearn.
Reading: Newman
Cardiff City:
Referee: A R Hall (Birmingham)

Shaun Goater scored the only goal of the game to give Reading three points at FA Cup finalists Millwall this weekend. Goater was called back into the starting line-up, alongside both Kitson and Savage, and re-paid Coppell with the winning goal after only 16 minutes when he met a John Salako corner with an impressive volley. Reading looked the sharper side early on against a team that were clearly focused only on the game coming up against Manchester United. The Royals sat back after their lead allowing Millwall to force a couple of saves from Ashdown and hit the post but they failed to keep up the pressure in the second half. Reading could have doubled their lead towards the end when Kitson turned his defender and broke free only to shoot wide of the target. This defeat for Millwall ended their play-off hopes, when a win would have kept them firmly in touch with the play-off race. Reading can still mathematically make the play-offs but even two straight wins in the remaining games (West Brom at home followed by Watford away) will probably not be enough unless a series of results go our way.


Much better performance to grind out an important away win. After the continual slating he gets from certain quarters, Goater again showed what he can do with decent service. Had the service to our forwards not been as inconsistent as our general performances, I reckon Goater would've done better than the 14 he's got so far (which isn't bad considering the departure of Pardew who was instrumental in persuading him to uproot & come here in the first place, his knee injury earlier this season & the seeming squad rotation going on with all our strikers bar Kitson of late). A good defensive performance with Hughes (someone else who's name should be an anagram for scapegoat) & Newman stepping in again to great affect. Ashdown continues to do well also. We have to rely on those above us slipping up this Saturday to take things to the last day of the season, as well as putting in a decent (or even half decent as long as we win!) performance against West Brom. And with Div1 still a woefully inconsistent place all round, it could still happen.
Caversham Royal

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