Match Report vs PORT VALE

7 December 1996 (League)
READING 0 Port Vale 1

Att: 6,445
Team: Subs not used:

Well I've been very busy and have had no time at all to give you my usual thorough coverage ;-) of the game, but luckily Jon Hanford has popped up as usual to send in a quick report.... A very dissapointing result which sees the Royals drop back down to 19th in the first division table. Still, we should have won it. Honestly!

Stewart Talbot's first league goal gave Vale only their second success at Elm Park in 14 visits. Talbot, signed from Midlands non-league side Moor Green, had been out of luck twice from long range, but he made no mistake after 73 minutes.7 Tony Naylor's through ball dropped nicely into Talbot's path and he dummied the Reading defence before striding clear and striking the ball high past Tommy Wright's left hand.

Talbot was unlucky after four minutes when he turned on a misdirected knockdown from Reading striker Stuart Lovell and hit a cracking effort from 35 yards which skimmed the top of the crossbar. And early in the second half, he again pounced on a lose ball to see a 25-yard effort bounce back off the chest of keeper Wright.

Reading threatened little but they could have taken the lead on six minutes when 11-goal top scorer Trevor Morley nudged Gareth Griffiths off the ball on the edge of the area, but then lost control and Paul Musselwhite was able to gather.

Reading caused Vale problems in the air through Morley, the most dangerous moment coming on 27 minutes when the former West Ham striker glanced a header which the Vale keeper fumbled and had to grab the ball at the second attempt.

On the hour, Musselwhite lost a high free kick in a crowd, Barry Hunter laid the loose ball back and Mick Gooding saw his effort clip the top of the crossbar.

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