Attendance: 2,613
Scorers: Butler Date: 1 April 2000
Team: Howie, Murty, A.Williams, Hunter, Robinson, Caskey, Grant, Smith, Hodges (Igoe), Butler (Scott), Forster (M.Williams).

Match Heroes: Forster

Reading made up for last Saturday's home defeat against Cardiff with a well deserved away victory at Wrexham - only our fourth of the season. Reading's amazing run of form just goes on and on and this win almost sees us safe in Division Two for another year. Reading probably need just one more victory this season to guarantee survival, and that could well happen this week with Tuesday's visit to Bristol Rovers and Friday's visit of Gillingham. That should give Alan Pardew plenty of time to try out a few youngsters - but it might be nice to continue this run of form so we can start next season at the right end of the table for a change. Reading are just a few points from the top half of the table now, which is a realistic target for the end of our season if we can continue our pattern of results since the start of the year.

The Royals always looked likely to win this game against a poor Wrexham side who couldn't break down a solid Reading defence. With Adie Williams back in the centre of defence and Barry Hunter who continues to improve with each game, we looked as solid as anything. With Forster's runs up front and a midfield not scared to win the ball Reading were a decent team unit. The home side had most of the ball but failed to use it, and ended up confused and annoyed at their inability to break Reading down.

One of Wrexham's best chances was in the opening few minutes but they shot straight at Howie. Following that it was Reading that looked the most dangerous going forward - mostly thanks to Forster's work down the wing. With the game only eight minutes old Forster set up Butler for what would be the winning goal. Forster legged it down the right wing, beat his man, and got right to the touchline before delivering a low cross to Butler at the near post. Butler, just a few yards out, stuck it home with his second attempt to give Reading the lead. Although a simple goal for Butler it must have been massive relief for him. He may have scored twenty-two goals this season, but it was his first for eleven games and only his third for the Royals. It's all about confidence though, and for a quality player like Butler with Forster in such good form, it could be the start of a run of goals. Forster did his best to get Reading further ahead with continual hard work down the wing, with runs that the Wrexham defence found hard to cope with. He delivered a couple more excellent crosses that with a bit more luck could have created goals.

Reading could have moved further ahead in the second half, but didn't find the net despite getting close. Caskey let rip with one of his specials from a free-kick just outside the Wrexham area. It beat the wall and started to dip nicely - but was just over the crossbar. Wrexham continued to get frustrated and despite getting plenty of the ball failed to cause any real panic in a well organised Reading defence. Hunter and Williams just couldn't be beaten, nor could Howie, and Murty and Robinson were looking as tight as they needed to be.

Martin Williams made his return from injury - and will be a fantastic secret weapon to keep on the bench.
However, at the moment, we should all be happy to see this starting eleven every week.

Post Match Opinions

We won this game at an absolute canter. Don't get me wrong we weren't classy or particularly brilliant it was just that Wrexham were so dire. I only remember them having one shot on target which was straight at Howie.You had the impression that had they have scored we would have given the ball to Forster and he would have run up the other end and squared it for a second which is exactly how we scored,and I was pleased for Butler as he's showed signs of frustration lately.The delight on his face was very evident as well. All in all we only played as well as we had to and you could see we had a couple of gears left. I doubt if we broke sweat. I had a couple of people who didn't go tell me that the local radio in Reading said there were 500 Reading there. Well either he had been drinking Stella before the game making his vision very impaired or he was only 2 years old and hadn't learnt to count yet,there were barely 200 there and I'm being generous. But who cares we won and thats anoher 3 points nearer to safety.
-- Russ.Essex Royal.

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