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Reading 1-2 Wigan

So the first game I've been to in a while, scheduling my coming back from university in time to make it.

What an idiot.

Two goals within the first 12 minutes of a game against a team in the bottom half of the table is not good enough. Okay, so yes their first goal - a lovely flowing counter attack which ended in a goal after two defenders blocked an earlier cross, leaving a man free on the edge of the area - was nice, but it highlighted the fact that Reading were playing without a midfield. Both Dannys (DD) were pushed up far too high, and with Gunter attacking up the wing as he normally does with no cover, it was far too easy to exploit all the space on our right hand side. The exact position which Jem Karacan was so adept at filling was where at least one-half of DD should have been. It was more Pearce at fault for the second goal, who was pulled off early in the second half for McCleary - but we have no other choices at CB, something which should have been addressed in the clos…

Nottingham Forest 2-3 Reading

My trip to Nottingham didn't start exactly to plan, with me and my mate losing our tickets for the match but after making our way towards the City Ground it turns out they beat us there - and we somehow ran into the steward that had a hold of them. Thank goodness!

The Reading end was one of the better atmosphere's I've been in in a while, lots of chanting - and very quickly rewarded with Pavel and Kaspars both seeing the ball cross the line in the opening 15 minutes. The first saw McCleary with some nice play down the wing before sliding across to Pog who bundled the ball in. The latter a well worked corner routine with Gorkss getting his head on the end of it, as so often before.

After the quick start Nottingham came back into the game a bit, and although Reading had some nice passing there was never any killer ball, and never really threatened the Forest goal other than one occasion when McCleary broke through but couldn't score against his old team - striking it fro…

Burnley 2-1 Reading

An away trip to league leaders Burnley proved fruitless for Reading, who inflicted only the second defeat of the campaign. Reading came into the game having not lost in six, but with only a draw from the midweek game against Barnsley.

Burnley quickly pressed Reading and some poor defending left the in-form Danny Ings with a simple finish. A flat ball went over Pearce's head, and Morrison couldn't get a foot on it to leave Ings with a one-on-one with the keeper, and somebody who already has ten goals this season rarely misses chances like that. Burnley had a spell of pressure until Sam Vokes went down to give the away side a respite.

From there Reading looked safe, never really troubling Heaton in the opposition goal - apart from one looping Pogrebnyak header that was tipped over - but also managing to dispel Burnley. In the second half the action was again mostly around Alex McCarthy, who once again showed his worth with some terrific saves. In the 80th minutes Danny Guthrie f…

Barnsley 1-1 Reading

A dismal performance against bottom of the league Barnsley saw Reading somewhat fortuitously clinch a draw. The home side had more possession (55-45), more shots (19-8), more shots on target (6-3), and more corners (7-3) than The Royals and that really sums up the game.

In the first period Barnsley dominated, having 10 shots to Reading's 2 but there was a spark at the start of the second half that saw Hal-Robson Kanu strike from 25 yards out right into the corner of The Tykes net on the 51st minute. Le Fondre was also clean through just prior to the goal, but Butland managed to repel the forward before the follow up was shot wide. Later in the half ALF was through again, this time set-up by Akpan but again the goalkeeper was up to the poacher's effort.

In the battle of the young English goalkeeper it seemed as if though McCarthy had come off better. Butland, although being a good shot stopper, wasn't overly good at coming and claiming balls, a few times miscalculating. How…

Reading 2-0 Birmingham

So, being stuck in Peterborough - the home of nightmares for Reading fans - I had my first foray into the world of Reading Player to listen to the beautiful Tim Dellor and Mick Gooding narrate today's match hosting a Birmingham side who seemed to have kicked into gear in the last week, hammering Sheffield Wednesday 4-1 - all the goals from on-loan youngster Jesse Lingard - before beating holders Swansea in the League Cup 3-1 during midweek. Reading on the other hand had no mid-week game after being knocked out in the opening round, but since then the Royals have picked up 10 points from 12, and only conceded once. Birmingham's only away points were picked up against Yeovil, a 1-0 win, and they also drew 3-3 at Huish Park, before winning 3-2 on penalties. This then, should all make for a fairly easy Reading win.

 And, it was. In the first half Birmingham hardly threatened the Reading defence, and a free-kick from Danny Guthrie found its way directly into the net. Almost the exac…

Derby 1-3 Reading

So I took my seats rather late today, the players were already out on the pitch and the team was just being read out, but I couldn't manage to miss the lack of Billy Sharp. Widely reported yesterday to sign for Reading in time for the game today, but instead up front was our Russian striker who, up to this point, had seen red more times than he'd found the back of the net this year. Also notable was a first league start for academy graduate, Jordan Obita.

In a largely dull first period there were glimpses of hope for Reading. McCleary having a few good runs down the right side, reunited on that wing with ex-Nottingham Forest team-mate Chris Gunter. It was also noticeable how Jordan Obita, supposedly playing in the Drenthe free-role, enjoyed sticking to the left-half of the pitch. The new-boy did play well, even if he didn't look anything special he didn't look like a young player coming into a team in transition.

Alex McCarthy pulled off a couple of good saves, general…

Billy Sharp to Reading

So, some very reliable sources are finally starting to say that a loan deal for Billy Sharp is close to done. One even saying that he'll be in our XI to face Derby tomorrow at Pride Park. Sharp played under Adkins at Southampton, and they just missed each other in their Scunthorpe days. Obviously many Reading fans have been calling out for a striker and it's no secret that Southampton are willing to let the 27-year-old go to whichever club is willing to pay his wages.

For a team that hasn't scored from open play in over a month since the three-all draw against Watford you would think that a striker who has a record of a goal almost every other game would be invaluable. With a strike force of Pogrebnyak, Adam Le Fondre and Billy Sharp I think most Reading fans will be thrilled. Especially if the big Russian can find the net on a consistent basis this year.

Also, Chris Baird to the club was confirmed earlier on twitter. He's joined us until January.

Chris Baird to Reading

In the tradition of only signing players who play well against us it sounds like Reading will today announce the signing of Chris Baird. Royals fans may remember him best for putting Fulham 2-1 up last year at the Madejski in the thrilling 3-3 draw. It sounds like Baird's been training with QPR while they left a deal on the table, but he appears to have snubbed them in favour of us.

Obviously not the goalscorer so many have been crying out for, only finding the net 4 times in 127 matches for Fulham, but on the face of it can provide cover in central midfield, center defence, and right back. Baird played a crucial role in Fulham's Europa cup second place finish, and he's also been capped 61 times by his native Northern Ireland.

Personally I wonder how the likes of former captain Steve Sidwell, and current player Stephen Kelly - both of whom Baird played with at Fulham - influenced his move to the Madejski. Either way, any signing that QPR have been sniffing at is worth havi…

Reading 1-0 Leeds

There was always two questions going into this game; How would the return of McDermott and Hunt be received, and would Brian be able to replicate the tactical victories that saw us take this division two years ago?  The first question was answered pretty much straight away with both of our former employees being warmly welcomed back to our humble abode, although that stopped almost the instant Leeds took a very familiar kick-off routine to the wing.

Everything looked bleak within five minutes as a poor pass from Guthrie was collected by Ross McCormack, and in fouling him Jem managed to injure himself. Post-match Adkins and Pearce have both come out and the sounds coming out of the Reading camp are concerning. Looks like Karacan could be out for a long time, which is a shame as he was one of the only decent things to come out of the Brighton game. The poor guy must hate playing against Leeds.  This did, however, give Hope Akpan his first chance to impress in the league this season. Som…

Reading 0-0 Brighton

So, back from a game that the majority of people seemed to class as awful. I honestly didn't think it was that bad, and there's a lot of unnecessary doom and gloom around a club who tends to pick up after the start of the season. Especially seeing as in our first six games we've played three rivals for promotion and another who currently tops the league. Yes, maybe we should have won a couple of our earlier games - and there's no way we should have lost against Blackpool - but really it's the 6-0 cup defeat to Peterborough that's casting shadows, and our inability to sign the players promised by Adkins and Anton during the transfer window.

We have to put that to the back of our minds, and there's no better way to do that than with the first game since the window closed. With Pogrebnyak starting up front alongside Drenthe and Le Fondre in what appeared to be a 4-3-3, and our record of beating Brighton in our previous six meetings with The Seagulls there seem…