READING 1 CHARLTON 3
|Scorers: Tyson||Date: 5 August 2000|
Team: Whitehead, Haddow, Viveash, Hunter, Parkinson (Evers), Caskey (Igoe), Newman, Igoe (Gamble), Hodges, McIntyre (Henderson (Scott)), Forster (Tyson)
In the end this was a disappointing afternoon for Reading - not only losing their unbeaten pre-season run at the last game but with a couple of injuries that cast doubt over the start of the season. When Reading travel to Millwall for the first game of the season this coming Saturday they're likely to be without several key players - and possibly missing the entire set of first choice strikers. With Martin Butler already side-lined things went horribly wrong when both Nicky Forster and Jim McIntyre limped off injured during the first half. Neither injury looked too serious but Forster's knee injury and McIntyre's hamstring injury could be enough to keep them out of the team as the season kicks-off. With Murty and Jones also set to miss the start of the season it could be a young side that travel to Millwall - much like the one that were beaten 1-3 by Charlton at the Madejski Stadium.
Reading started brightly against last season's Division Two champions and could have taken an early lead. Forster put in some great work on the wing and crossed for Jimmy McIntyre to get a header on target which was saved by the keeper. Minutes later Forster was supplied the ball in the box and headed wide. However it was Charlton that took the lead after 12 minutes when a cross from the right was fired home from close range.
In a game filled with Reading substitutions Tyson and Henderson got a rare chance to play together for the Reading first team early on in the first half with Forster and McIntyre leaving the pitch injured. With Haddow in for the injured Matt Robinson (and Newman moving into right back) it was a young Reading side that showed some promising signs. However, Charlton could have been two goals up before the break after blasting a shot wide when it might have been easier to score.
The second half began to swing more and more Charlton's way until against the run of play Reading equalised. Nathan Tyson was rewarded for putting in some good pacey runs up front by getting his first senior goal for the Royals with twenty minutes left. Haddow whipped the ball into the box from the left and the ball fell for Tyson to prod it home. 1-1, but Reading weren't level for long. On 75 minutes Reading conceeded a simple goal as the ball was crossed low from the right and stuck into the corner past Whitehead. Then right at the end Charlton sealed their win with a break away goal. Hunt legged it clear of the Reading defence and stuck it home.