Attendance: 2,986
Scorers: - Date: 26 February 2000
Team: Howie, Gurney (Evers), A.Williams, Hunter, Robinson, Grant, Parkinson (Hodges), Caskey, McIntyre (Scott), Butler, Forster.

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Post Match Opinions

Chesterfield were a very poor team, and their lack of confidence was evident from the start as their nervy players found nowt but the throw-in line every time they tried to make a pass. Reading looked the more assured side, but struggled to make passes stick on a bobbly surface. It seemed only a matter of time, though, before we took the lead and then coasted the rest of the game.
Then - disaster.
It was difficult to see exactly who was to blame from our end of the pitch with the sun in our eyes, but Howie seemed to come racing out of his goal unnecessarily AGAIN (just like the first goal at Bristol City), a couple of defenders got in each other's way, and the ball richoched goalwards, seemingly to be cleared easily. Not the case! A Chesterfield forward showed greater hunger to get to the ball, and squeezed it in 41 mins - 1-0 down. Utterly preposterous.
Reading then camped in the Chesterfield goal for the remainder of the half and were unlucky not to draw level when, after a spell of intense goalmouth pressure, Parky fired narrowly over. Whistle goes. Half time. No problem, we'll definitely come back in the second half and take all three points. Chesterfield are that poor. Again - not to be! In the second half Reading were second best for the whole 45 minutes and never looked like causing the home defence any problems. It got blooming cold watching such drivel, and the final whistle was almost a relief.
Reading were back to their worst, and Butler was the invisible man in the second half.
Chesterfield deserved a third, but Howie superbly tipped over one effort, whist another clipped the crossbar. Chesterfield will go down, as they're very poor. Shame really, as it's a nice club even though the ground looks like it has had no money spent on it in 50 years. The gents' toilet area is uncovered, and the ladies' has no wash basin, I'm reliably informed by my girlfriend. One consolation was that the club bar was open to away supporters and a pint of Mansfield Original Bitter is cheap and cheerful.
-- Alec MacKechnie

What a disappointment.
Travelling in hope and buoyed by recent results, we were expecting the new tough Royals to walk away from Saltergate with the points with no problems. Unfortunately Chesterfield hadn't read the script although for half an hour we were the better side without actually managing a shot of note. Then the comedy season set in and we gave a goal of incredibly farcical proportions. Still with our strike force......... We have invested in pacy forwards to get behind defences, so why do we insist on making them play with their backs to the goal they are attacking and pump high balls at them. Blatherwick thought it was Christmas as he gobbled up present after present, and Reeves showed that 90 minutes of hard effort will at this level will compensate for limited technique.
What saddened me was our inability to change the tactics (if there were any) once we saw Chesterfield's game plan. How can our playmaker be rated at 1m+ when he can't change the course of the game?
I hope that we learn from this quickly and get the revival going again on Saturday.
-- "Pebejay"

Having been quiet for a couple of months due to lack of cash I haven't seen the Royals play until Bristol City because I was actually in Bristol for work. I thought that was a blip. By all accounts things in the league have gone reasonably well. So I decide a visit to Sheffield to coincide with the Chesterfield game would mean at least my son and I would get to see our beloved team.
Oh dear.
The performance at the start was similar to that at Bristol City, lots of possession and a team passing the ball with confidence showing signs that they are moving in the right direction. But three quarters way through the first half we conceed a scrappy goal and from there on it's an afternoon of misery, compounded by some twat who was slagging off everything Reading were doing. Yes he was a "loyal Royal". A shame really because what he was saying was right, but it was the way he went about it.
We had one serious shot on target in the first half and I think in the second half Forster had a shot come cross pushed over by a goalkeeper who was only half fit. More worrying than anything is that Butler worked his socks off looking like a loan attacker who wasn't given any service what so ever with an end result that a prolific goal machine has dried up.
We spent to much time making it look nice, Butler was itching for one over the top, but it never came.
The second Chesterfield goal was a joke as I still can't work out why they were given a free kick. But Gurney's marking and Howies judgement gave Chesterfield three points and the opportunity for the Chesterfield fans to sing abuse at us about our performance.
Overall very disappointed.
Lets hope I can get enough money to get to the Bournemouth game as I have loads of Beach balls.
-- Pete Turner

What a disappointing performance!
Things started well, with Caskey, Guerney and Forster linking well together. It looked like it would not take Reading long to unlock an unconvincing Chesterfield defence who were OK in the air but not the most nimble on the floor. That opening ten minutes was the only time that we threatened anything.
The team were disjointed and basically out thought by a Chesterfield side who were able to knock Reading out of their stride. Forster was the only one to come out of the match with any real credit. Caskey was good in patches but did not get onto the ball enough. This will always be a problem if he is going to play on the right. We spent too long looking at the ball in the air and certainly missed Primus at the back.
I hope that this performance is only a slight blip on what has been a terrific improvement.
We have two quality strikers but they need the ball played to them better than this!
-- Ken Chennells

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