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Showing posts from April, 2014

Doncaster 1-3 Reading

For only the second time this season Reading managed to come from behind to win, this time at lowly Doncaster. After a win from promotion contenders Brighton last night, it was necessary for The Royals to match the result for our fate to be in our own hands next weekend against Burnley. Losses for Ipswich, and Nottingham Forest, means that two from Wigan, Reading, and Brighton will secure play-off places next weekend - with Wigan also playing midweek against a relegation threatened Birmingham. There's also a slim chance of Blackburn snatching a place - should Wigan lose midweek, Blackburn beat them by 3 goals on Saturday, with Brighton losing at Forest - but it's quite evidently a longshot.

Back to this weekend, and as is normal with Reading's away performances as of late, a poor opening half saw James Coppinger sneak in unmarked at the far post to turn in a Billy Sharp pass across the face of goal. Oddly reminiscent of Bournemouth, the marking of players coming into the b…

Reading 2-0 Middelsbrough

A win, somehow, would propel Reading back into the top six, and thankfully The Royals managed to find their first win in eight at home to put themselves firmly back in the driving seat ahead of the final two games of the season.

Two goals in the first fifteen minutes kickstarted the home side, a good cross from Jordan Obita was put across goal by Garath McCleary before finally being turned in by serial-poacher Adam Le Fondre - who ended his thirteen game goalless streak since his hat-tricks against Blackpool and Bolton in January. Five minutes later another good cross from Obita brushed the head of George Friend who managed to put the ball past his own goalkeeper. Between the two goals Danny Graham had a gilt-edged chance to equalise, after a beautiful ball through from Luke Williams.

Hal Robson-Kanu looked lively, but unfortunately went off within the first half hour after, what seemed like, a broken nose bloodied the front of his shirt. Replaced by a slightly unfit Pavel Pogrebnyak…

Wigan 3-0 Reading

After a good point against Leicester it was interesting to see how the team would react to - potentially - one of the biggest games of the season away at Wigan; and the answer is they didn't. They reverted back to the team against Bournemouth, who had absolutely no attacking creativity, and bottled any move that managed to make it past the halfway line. A couple of times a slip would break down the move - players were sliding all over the place - but, more often than not, it'd be a misplaced pass to the home side.

I've given up analysing opposition goals, but what I would say about the first is that Jordi Gomez must love playing against us, what with the acre of space we give to him, and the second saw  McCarthy parry right into the middle of the box - it's something I noticed him doing at Bournemouth, and in the warm-up before the game which is always going to cost goals. It was difficult to do much more with it, but not impossible.

Reading just were completely non-exi…

Re-Evaluating: Last 5 Games

The last five games of the season are upon us, and Reading – somehow – are still masters of their own destiny when it comes to gaining a playoff place. With a few teams in the mix I’m going to look at how our chances rate since I last wrote about the topic.

Wigan
Reading (H)
Burnley (A)
Blackpool (H)
Birmingham (A)
Blackburn (H)
Another of the clubs with a game in hand over some of the others after playing in the FA Cup at the weekend.Realistically Wigan are almost assured of a place in the playoffs, but do have some tricky ties with Reading, Burnley, and Blackburn all to come.
Prediction: 13 pts, 
Brighton
Huddersfield (A)
Blackpool (H)
Yeovil (H)
Nottingham Forest (A)
By far have the easiest run-in, especially with Forrest dropping like a stone, and not having anything to play for by the last game of the season. They definitely have the capability of winning all four matches, and I think if they do they’ll be playing in the post-season.
Prediction: 12 pts
Ipswich
Watford (A)
Bournemout…

Bournemouth 3-1 Reading

Reading allowed the chasing pack to move within two points with another disappointing defeat, this time away at AFC Bournemouth. Although the loss isn't exactly surprising, given the two sides' recent form, the manner of defeat was particularly frustrating.

The opening two minutes was all Reading, with Gorkss eventually putting a free header over the bar after getting completely underneath the ball - but that's where Reading stopped playing football, and started imploding. Matt Ritchie scored with less than ten minutes gone, when a ball into the left channel was pulled across the six yard box by Lewis Grabban.

Royston Drenthe made a blistering run down the right-wing at 1-0, but only ended getting bundled off the ball with ALF screaming for it in the middle. 1-1 is a completely different game, and Drenthe's aversion to passing the ball so often ends with the team on the defensive after losing possession. However the reason the fans chant his name is, not only because h…

Charlton 0-1 Reading

Somehow with Reading faltering at home without a win in six they've managed to remain in the playoffs; it's fortunate that they've managed to pick up 16 points from 18 away from the Madejski. A game against Charlton should be a certain three points for The Royals sitting in the play-off places, but as a hard-fought game against Birmingham a fortnight ago showed it's not always that simple.

The first half was completely devoid of any sort of quality, or passion. Drenthe overhit several crosses, and everything was so rushed. Charlton looked like a side who had the ability to cause problems, with pace and skill all over the pitch. Half an hour in and Reading started to take more time in possession, and play the ball around on the floor. There was no way through, and no chances, but it was a much better way to end the first forty-five minutes.

The most excitement came when Gorkss wasn't allowed on the field for a couple of minutes after taking a knock to the head. I…