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Showing posts from February, 2015

The Magic of the FA Cup

Reading are into a quarter final of the FA Cup for the third time in the past five years, but this time they've been drawn against the lowest ranked team left in the competition. Now is the perfect time to look back at the near misses of 2010 and 2011.
2010 Reading 2-4 Aston Villa Reading: 18th Championship || Aston Villa: 7th Premier League
Possibly the most heartbreaking match I've ever had the pleasure of attending. I was too young for our 1995 play-off final with Bolton and away from home when Walcott's hat-trick of stoppage time goals helped overturn a 4-0 deficit for Arsenal in the league cup. It's always the hope that kills you, and 2010 was no different.
It had all started so well when Brian Howard's corner was flicked on by Simon Church to Shane Long, who nodded in at the back post just inside half an hour. Before the break the lead was doubled when Jimmy Kebe broke down the right and pulled it across the box for Long to convert again. The Royals were in…

Reading 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday

Reading faced off against Sheffield Wednesday in the Thai Consortium derby, and managed to come away from it with a first league win of the year. Chalobah scored on his home debut, and Pogrebnyak scored only his third goal of the season. Again Reading started quickly, but unlike in other games they eventually managed to get the breakthrough.

Before that, though, a pinpoint cross by McCleary was grabbed by Keiren Westwood before it found its way to Pogrebnyak. Cox also found himself clean through, but put his shot too close to the Wednesday keeper. Reading could have been punished down the other end as Wednesday went close; the ball pulled back across the box was thankfully scuffed into Federici's arms.

Pogrebnyak got his head to an absolutely perfect cross from Kelly - an area of his game that is probably above his competition for the right back spot - and sent the ball crashing into the net. Ten minutes later The Royal's lead was doubled after McCleary broke, ran pretty much …

Cardiff 1-2 Reading

Steve Clarke equalled the Cup wins of his predecessor with a late win over a Cardiff. For a large parts of the game Reading dominated but still found themselves 1-0 before half-time when Kenwyne Jones headed home a Peter Whittingham corner. In the second half the visitors were the better team, and levelled through a somewhat mishit Norwood free-kick before Hal Robson-Kanu nicked the game in the dying minutes after an Obita cross.

As I've left this a bit late, I'll just run through some major points.

Obita's crossing is awful far too often, it destroys good moves. That said, he did manage to put in an inch perfect ball for HRK's goal which may redeem him slightly.I can't describe just how badly Norwood struck his free-kick, but the keeper took a step the wrong way and couldn't get back; at which point he just needed to hit the target. Definitely not a classic but did what it needed.I thought there were occasions in the game where Blackman was running absolutely e…