(Half Time: 1-2)
Reading Scorers: A.Smith (32 mins).
Cardiff City Scorers: Fortune-West (13 mins, 36 mins)
Date: 8 September 2001
Attendance: 13,017

Reading: Whitehead, Murty, Williams, Whitbread, Robinson, Igoe, Harper, Parkinson, A.Smith (Butler 56), Rougier (Henderson 71), Cureton. Subs not used: Viveash, Jones, Ashdown.

Cardiff City: Alexander, Weston, Prior, Gabbidon, Simpkins, Hamilton (Maxwell 71), Kavanagh, Bonner, Brayson (Low 88), Fortune-West, Earnshaw (Legg 54). Subs not used: Nugent, Hughes.
Harper, Rougier, Williams (Reading). Fortune-West, Hamilton, Prior, Simpkins, Weston (Cardiff).
Sent Off:
Parkinson (82 mins)
D Pugh (Wirral)

This was a very disappointing result against a side that's likely to be competing with us for the promotion places come the end of the season. It's the kind of defeat that could be costly when a small number of points seperate us later in the season - lets hope it doesn't mean something as bad as pushing us into the play-off positions. It was even more disappointing given the huge expectation with Reading's fantastic start to the season. Cardiff's two goals were the first scored against Reading all season long - and more importantly it was our first defeat of the season. Reading weren't actually that bad. We weren't that great either - but Cardiff seemed just that bit better than Reading throughout the game and deserved to take home the full three points.

It would be easy to blame the referee for never letting the game flow which seemed to hamper the Royals more than it did Cardiff. However the real reason for defeat was Cardiff's dangerous front line that caused Reading troubles all afternoon. Whitbread, Williams and Robinson have been solid up until now, but today they had real difficulty coping with a fast and powerful Cardiff attack. Williams had a poor game, and looked uncomfortable when defending and in possession of the ball - the number of mis-hit passes continued to add up throughout the afternoon. Robinson should also be disappointed - he all too often failed to cope with a very tame ex-Reading player - Paul Brayson. We might have done better if we'd been prepared to tackle quicker and harder. Perhaps the referee's willingness to book players made us a bit too cautious. Phil Parkinson was a casualty late in the game of tackling too hard - getting a straight red card after a late challenge that was followed with a full on bundle involving players from both sides.

Perhaps Reading under estimated Cardiff. It took us a long time to get going - we only started to look like the home side after we'd gone a goal behind after just thirteen minutes. We could have been a goal behind even earlier - but were saved by the linesman's flag which indicated offside after the ball from cross to the far post and headed firmly into the back of the net. The away fans behind the goal went mental for long after play had restarted from the offside position. Cardiff's pacey start had the Reading defence all at sea, and it wasn't much of a suprise to see City take the lead. Harper conceeded a free kick and picked up a booking - presumably for kicking the ball away - and the ball was moved right to the edge of the Reading box. The ball was pushed forward and the strike was on target. Whitehead made the save but didn't hold it and the rebound was stuck in the back of the net. 0-1.

Cardiff could then have increased the lead with Phil Whithead failing to look comfortable in the Reading goal and not holding the ball when he should have doen. However, the goal, and Cardiff's bright start, bought Reading to life. Reading appeared to be back in the game just after the half hour mark. The ball was played out from the middle of the pitch to Graeme Murty on the right wing. Murty, who had a very solid game and always looked like creating a chance when coming forward, took it forward and played it into the box for Jamie Cureton. Cureton did well and got the shot in, the keeper saved it but it spilled out to Alex Smith who was advancing into the centre of the box. Smith picked up the loose ball from the keeper and stuck it home. 1-1, and a well worked goal from the Royals.

At this point the confidence was back with the team and the fans and conversation was back to discussion of another Reading win. Cardiff, however certainly had other ideas, and Reading being level was a short experience. Cardiff went straight on the attack causing Reading to conceed a whole string of corners. We were looking very slow and shakey at the back - we clearly weren't coping. Following a solid spell of Cardiff pressure the ball was in the back of the Reading net again after a corner from the right created the goal. 1-2. Cardiff could have extended their lead during the first half - a powerful shot from well outside the box hitting the post with Phil Whithead perhaps just managing to get a hand to it. Jamie Cureton could have grabbed another for the Royals after the ball was played into the box and Rougier couldn't convert it and prodded it to Cureton - Cureton got to it but the ball hit the crossbar rather than the back of the net.

Just after the break Cardiff were lucky to still have eleven men on the pitch after Whitbread was hacked down just outside the Reading area. Thankfully Whitbread was able to continue - but it seemed far worse than Parkinson's challenge later in the game that resulting in him receiving his marching orders. Reading were already beaten when Parkinson was eventually sent off after a bundle involving players from both sides, but his dismissal with about ten minutes left summed up Reading's afternoon.

Reading did have a few second half chances including a long range Sammy Igoe effort that hit the post. However, as time went on it was clear that Reading were never going to take anything from the game. Henderson came off the bench and caused problems in the Cardiff defence - but they were the first problems caused for most of the half. Everytime Reading game forward Cardiff could handle it, and despite great runs from Igoe and Murty we didn't get enough balls into the box, and Martin Butler who had come off the bench hardly got a shooting chance.

Following report by John Wells
This result said more about City's strengths than any deficiencies that Reading may have. A club backed by Sam Hamman and a physically strong team coached by Alan Cork is a force to be reckoned with in any division. Today we were watching the new 'Wimbledon'. They may not be the most talented side in this division but I suspect they may prove to be the hardest to beat.

From the start Cardiff were sharp in the tackle and closed players down quickly all over the pitch preventing Reading from settling on the ball and taking control of midfield. Although the six bookings they picked up might suggest otherwise they were well organised and disciplined. Although Reading were not intimidated by City's physical approach, they certainly became frustrated, lost their composure and did not play as well as they have so for this season. Cardiff took the lead when White head blocked a fiercely driven free-kick and Fortune-West knocked the rebound into the net. It has to be said that they were probably unlucky not to have taken the lead earlier when they had a goal disallowed for an offence that was not obvious to most people in the ground.

Minutes later Cureton headed the ball onto the bar with keeper beaten. We saw briefly what Reading were capable of play when good movement and passing produced some threatening crosses, but Rougher does not match up to the threat Forster or Butler in the middle and the City defence were comfortably stifling any danger in the box. Reading were beginning to gain control in midfield and a move involving Marty lead to a Cureton strike across the goal parried by Alexander and Smith reacted quickly to level the scores.

Cardiff, roared on by a large following of fans, responded positively and created several moments of panic in the Royals defence before their dominance in the air produced their second goal. A ball to the far post was nodded back across the goal for Fortune-West to head home. When opponents win two successive headers in your own six yard box it is time to look a bit closer at how to defend form corners and crosses. I seem to remember the defence looking similarly vulnerable in the air against Huddersfield. The second half was even more disappointing than the first. Cardiff were mainly content to contain Reading and did so with relative ease. A good strike from Igoe which hit the inside of the post and bounced across the goal was the closest Reading came to an equaliser.

Pardew attempted to play them at their own game by putting Henderson up front and taking off Rougher and replacing Smith with Butler but that didn't really look like working either. The challenge which lead to Parkinson's sending off was probably due to the growing frustration felt by the whole team. The referee's decision was probably influenced by reaction of the Wimbledon players. It was certainly no worse than the late challenge on Whitbread earlier.

Reading are going to have to learn how to deal with these tactics this season and I hope that Pardew will continue develop the style that has produced good performances and results this season. There is always pressure to change things when you are behind but I don't think Reading are equipped to match Cardiff in their style of play and I would have preferred to see Smith stay on and Butler leading the attack rather that the very raw Henderson. Cardiff stuck to their style and it worked. Maybe Reading needed to be more patient and stick to theirs. The way to beat teams like Wimbledon to put them under pressure with good passing and movement - they enjoy a good scrap - just ask Leo Fortune-West!
John Wells

Post Match Opinions

Well the honeymoon is over. The dreaded word Cardiff spoils all the fun again.
But come on guys, lets not go down the tubes, and resort to some of the venomous diatribe that often follows a disappointing performance on these pages (Graham excepted). "Supporters", support teams so let's be objective and tell those who weren't there something about the game, looking for positives where they existed, and being honest but not insulting about some disappointing performances. please?
The referee first of all was diabolical. the worst I think I have ever seen anywhere, at any game, at any level!! 9 Yellow cards and a red in a game that was not dirty say's it all, and he constantly disrupted the flow. Nuff said.
Cardiff were well up for it and looked lively up front, and huge at the back! Their short passing game around the box was to be admired, and they were on us every time we got possession. in short i reckon they will be one of the better sides we will see this year. So lets keep it in perspective.
Igoe was brilliant I thought, and Darius Henderson for the first time looked the part when he came on. Curetons first touch was as good as ever, but against two huge centre backs it was always going to be hard work. William's worries me big time, he is so pedestrian on the ball. We must be able to do better. Harper had an off day with some flaky passing and not his usual energy. He will have many better games. Even Phil Whitehead looked hesitant at times.
Alex Smith played well and I would have preferred Harper off for Butler, but that's my opinion.
I don't think we were bad tactically, I think we had a lot of players playing below par, and happened to meet a team with their tails up, and a referee who ruined any rhythm.
Still that's what supporting Reading is all about, bring on the next team. Ooo err It's West Ham :-( ...Still, I reckon we will be much more up for it!
Come on U Rzzzzzzzz.

-- Gary

Cardiff's game plan was obviously to spoil and not let Reading get into any rhythm, except for the first half when Reading did play some creative football, Cardiff succeeded in this and stuck to their task well. Igo and Murty displayed the vision and flair that Reading seem to lack in other areas and Murty's ball into the box which lead to Readings equaliser was pure class. Brilliant Murty keep up the simple football which is so effective coming forward. Cardiff were big and physical and they did intimidate Reading, we struggled to find any answer to this despite Igo and Smiths attempts to play football. As Cardiff got to grips with the match, their football was effective and in the first half penetrating, leading to the two goals, tactically they imposed their game on us and we were lucky not to have conceded more! I did not hear Pardew after the match, but I bet he mentioned the referee. Its a pity when refs are having a bad match, that the 4th official can't sub them. To say the ref was poor is an understatement and he was supported by his linesman who seem completely blind to much of what went on, they must have been Welsh, from the bias of some of their decisions. Could some body let me know if football is now a non contact sport, or do I need my eyes tested! What were some of those bookings and fouls for? Certainly the ref did not help Reading by continually blowing his whistle and breaking up the flow of the game. Anyway it is a disappointment that Reading lacked the quality and composure to dispatch Cardiff back to Wales with a lesson in football which for brief moments of the match we threatened to do. Reading still did not provide many openings for Cureton and relied on Rougie to hold the ball up far too much, without giving him many options. We still need better movement in possession and that must come from better work on the training ground. Whilst I applaud pretty football in the middle of the pitch and I would much rather see that then hoofing, it must lead to an opening for our strikers and we were poor in putting the final ball through or across to create an opening and result in goal. To finish, Robinson is a weak link and a liability, in his current form he is no better than the lad we let go to Swindon, sorry his name escapes me already. With regard to Henderson, if he can improve his first touch he might be dangerous, he did make a difference when he came on, just because of his presence and obvious commitment. Its down to the management and staff to pick the players up and use Tuesdays match to bounce back. West Ham wont be as physical and will give Reading more space and time on the ball even if they will be a greater threat coming forward, confidence could be restored!
-- Paul Finch

I'm still undecided on what rivalled all the piles of horse shit outside the East stand after the game . The bitterly disappointing display by the team, the grossly embarrassing half time entertainment laid on by the group of Beavers or the absolute complete tosspot w**ker of a referee. What the bloody hell went on yesterday?
Ok, so we've still got ten points after five games which is a satisfactory start, but yesterday we were make to look second rate by a team who beat us by having a quality midfield general and a tall lanky strong fast centre forward who we couldn't handle.
Cardiff outplayed us in most departments and, in my humble opinion, thoroughly deserved their three points. I know it's early days but why does it always happen at home against a packed away end, just like Bristol City and Millwall last season? Hopefully, this will give all and sundry a good kick up the arse and make them realise that to get out of this poxy division you have to work your bollocks off, learn how to deal with long balls pumped in to the box to waiting heads of the likes of "Fortune Cookie John West".
Talking of work rate, once again, the son of Mass Sarr, lazy arse Rougier again swanned around like he was on holiday. He's getting worse and should get a severe bollocking.
Why didn't Butler play from the start? He must not have been fully fit which was a big shame as is the absence of Forster who gives us that pace up front so lacking yesterday. Couldn't understand why Smithy was taken off has I think he was doing well and has given us a bit of quality so far this season. Both Parky and Harper should watch a video of the game and learn from Kavanagh performance. He ran the midfield with an outstanding display yesterday, I'm not sure what more Parky can offer but I'm sure Harper will continue to improve.
Defensively we were very poor yesterday unable to deal with corners and long balls. Again, surely if basic homework had been done, Ade Viveash would have dealt better with the high balls? On the positive front Sammy "ball boy" Igoe again had a great game and continues to impress.
Finally the so called officials, what the **ck is going on? As the game continues to speed up go forward with the times, it's patently obvious that these useless amateur tossers are being left behind and are proving incapable of controlling a football match. This w**ker Pugh yesterday was an absolute disgrace. Who's going to do something about it? Bloody no one that's who! If I had had a rocket launcher yesterday, I'd have happily aimed it right up Pugh's arse and taken great pleasure from seeing him blown to smithereens.....bit strong I admit but it does drive you crazy!
Bring on the 'ammers!

-- Nick Newbury

I haven't got much to add...only to echo the comments of the others... We underestimated Cardiff, we were poor in defence (especially Williams), Cureton and Rougier did not link up and looked isolated, Cardiff wanted it more, and finally the referee was a disgrace.... Cardiff are no doubt one of the better teams in this division...we have to beat that sort of team if we are to go straight up....end of story!
-- Nigel, Chippenham Royal.

Ten points from five games. If we continue to do this then we will be promoted. We should not forget that, but we must learn from yesterday. What the result hinged on yesterday was that we were out thought and Cardiff were able to dictate how the game was played. We did not respond and that was the worrying bit. In the long term the good teams have midfield players who are above to dominate games for a significant period of time. We have outstanding strikers at this level, a reasonable defence which has improved this year, but lack a midfield general. Today we saw one in the name of Graham Kavanagh. People will look at our inability to cope with Fortune-West and that is right, but it was Cavanagh who ran the game. When we have a problem we retreat. We defend too deeply and leave our front men isolated. I cannot agree with the view that Rougier had a poor game. In the first half he was easily our best player, with no support. What we failed to do was to adapt to the opposition.
Today was the day to play with three centre halves, but it would have been a very brave decision to have made to change what has proved successful so far. But what of the game. In terms of the purist, let there be no mistake, Reading were the better footballing team. Cardiff were more effective. When we were able to play in their half of the field, we were better than they were. Rougier worked hard in the first half without really hurting them, but we did not get up and support sufficiently. Murty had another excellent game and Igoe continued his good vein of form. Smith showed good touches, but Harper and Parkie simply played too deep. Harper has to get up and support the front men, if we are to dominate teams. Cardiff took the game to us, and credit to them for that. We should always go for the early goal at home and learn to dominate the opposition. The way Harper and Parkie played was based on fear. Our front men, whoever we play, are good, but they need support. At the back we are always going to struggle against really big centre forwards who have a team who can play to this strength.
We are good, and potentially excellent when we can play the ball around on the floor in front and behind the opposition's back four. When we did that today we looked good. In order to do that you have to have the ball and keep it.
The bad things from this match were as follows;
1. We did not adapt quickly enough.
2. Our corners were at best poor and gave their keeper lots of confidence.
3. The referee was absolutely useless. This is not an excuse as he was just plain bad, making decisions that nobody understood whether we got the decision or not.
4. We ended up with Harper trying a series of long throws into the box. We will win games and destroy opposition by playing it on the ground, not resorting to the tactics of the opposition. Prior must have been glad to see Henderson appear. That is not against Henderson (who did OK) but he is the type of player who Prior is going to be happy against.
The good things:
1. Murty
2. Igoe
3. Smith
4. Rougier
Today was a day when, like the singers at half time, we were not in harmony with what was needed. Remember, two points a game over the season takes us up. It is a tougher league this time around!

-- Ken C

That performance dragged me back to reality - more like some of the displays towards the end of last season...hoofing clearances...losing possession...nervous defending and a tendency to pass backwards when we had the ball in some good positions. Biggest culprit is Harper...too often he misplaced his passes or passed backwards and ruined some promising attacking moves and that only added to the hair-tearing frustration of the worst, most pedantic referee I have seen in a long while! Another frustration was the quality of the corners. I mean if you are going to pass right into the opposition keeper's hands why not vary the delivery next time, instead of doing the same thing again and again? Still there were good points of course, Murty has really impressed this season, him and Igoe have been superb and it is no coincidence that they set up our best chances...they are direct and run at the opposition goal (not back towards Whitehead) which is great to watch. But Cardiff were better on the day and their fans outsung the very quiet home crowd too, is this a result of reserved seating now? It would be interesting to hear other peoples's comments on this. I'm sure the Club claimed that the Supporters voted in favour of reserved seating, is this true? [No it's completely untrue! Graham] I'm sure this result is a minor blip on another great season for the Royals...I know it was an off day but overall there are some promising signs, a better balance to the team for one so let's hope the lads can bounce back on Tuesday on what should be a great night against West Ham.
-- Steve W

I think the best way to describe yesterday's game is "a bad day at the office!" Cardiff will upset many teams in this division, and will definitely be in the shake-up come May next year. They came to the Madjeski with a game plan that they will employ at 90% of their away fixtures this year and will probably rarely be beaten. Every time we come up against a strong, well-organised, physical team we struggle. Who remembers the games last year against Peterborough, Cambridge & Colchester? The tactic of packing the midfield, leaving a huge thug up front, and giving us no time on the ball, seems to catch us out every time. I think that Cardiff actually narrowly deserved the points yesterday, in a game that was completely spoilt by an appalling referee who was ably assisted by two equally incompetent linesman. The officials were dreadful, and as bad as any witnessed by me in 30 years of following the Royals. This shouldn't be used as an excuse, as they were of no benefit to either side, except perhaps in breaking up any rhythm that we occasionally showed, and helped Cardiff's spoiling tactics. Can anyone explain how there were 9 bookings and a sending-off in a game that really only had two tackles that I can remember?
I do not want to use this report to criticise any players or the management, because their record will speak for itself at the end of the day, but if we have a full first team squad available can Alan Pardew please reassure the fans that he will consider playing Butler, Cureton & Forster (or any two from the three) instead of Rougier, who is either playing out of position, carrying an injury, or is just not good enough. It is my firm belief that Tony is a good squad member, who would be better employed in the last 20 - 30 minutes of a game if we are chasing a result, when the oppositions defenders are tiring, and wouldn't fancy facing someone with a few tricks up his sleeve. Am I alone in this belief? I don't think so.
One defeat isn't the end of our season, but our tactical naivety is a bit worrying.
C'mon URZ, next stop the Brittania stadium, three more points would be nice!

-- David, Silchester.

It is a shame that despite spending large amounts of money, Alan Cork needed to employ such negative tactics against us in order to win this game. All credit to Cardiff for exploiting our weaknesses and perhaps we should take it as a compliment that they felt that this was the only way to take three points away from the Madejski Stadium. I suppose their fans don't expect the sort of entertaining play that we do. All I will say about the ref is that from what I could see of Parky's challenge it did not even compare with the appalling foul on Whitbread. He was quite simply never in control of the match. Hopefully, some positive changes will come from this result. Rougier is clearly not a centre forward and every time he was given the opportunity to take the ball wide he did so. However, I was slightly surprised that Henderson was brought on for Rougier, and there was no-one to play the ball in from the left due to Smith having already left the pitch. Anyway, lets be optimistic, we are still in a strong position and we have yet to field what is arguably our strongest team.
-- Alex

We lost it in midfield. Kavanagh proved why he is the best midfield player in this division - he switched between playing deep and in the `hole', always seemed to find space, pulled all the strings, won loads of ball and hit the woodwork twice from set plays; he really is a class player. Parky and Harper who up to now had looked so solid in the centre just couldn't get hold of him or the game. We also have to take some of the blame - same as Bristol City and Milwall last year, once we go behind with a big away support the East Stand goes silent, the South Stand gets noisier and noisier and all of a sudden its turned into an away game. We gotta make more noise! Only consolation for me was that Paul Brayson was Cardiff's worst player, just as shite as I remembered him - how long do you give a player to `fulfill his potential'! Roll on the Hammers and if, not when, we go behind lets turn the volume up!
-- Simon, Oxford Royal

New season, same old crap. Was nothing learned from last season or the one before? A well organised Cardiff team deserved to win. Reading's lack of vision and tactical awareness was very apparent. Lofted high balls for Cureton to control or chase do not work against giant centre halves. Balls to Rougier's neck area at speed give little chance for decent football. The ball passed along the floor and we're a better team. Whitehead's lack of communication is a real concern, he may well be a fine shot stopper but unless he talks to the defense and takes control we will continue to struggle at the back. The ref had a poor game but that is no excuse, we should beat teams like this week in week out with the quality we have, otherwise the foreseeable future is grim. Please prove me wrong READING FC.
-- Rob S

Couldn't agree more with the comments already posted about Saturday's game. It was spoilt from the start by probably the worst refereeing performance I have ever seen and that includes Sunday League Pub Football. What made it even worse was the assistant linesmen both of whom should be prosecuted for aiding and abbeting! The bookings of Adrian Williams and Fortune-West for nothing more than aerial challenges does suggest that the game must have moved on to a non-contact sport (pity no-one has told the players, managers,fans etc.). It certainly affected Adie's game and if I had been Pardew I would have substituted him with Viveash at half time. How was the Parky challenge any worse than the assault on Whitbread? Isn't Pugh a Welsh name?
Don't let this take anything away from the fact that Reading were beaten by a better side on the day. Cardiff appear to be basing their approach to the game on the well known (but disliked) Wimbledon strategy, ie. Large target man up front, non comprimising defenders who'll kick anything that moves (and somethings that don't move) and midfield terriers who run and run all day. It should be acknowledged though that in Kavanagh they had the best player on the pitch! It surprised me how easy it was for this approach to knock Reading out of their stride, did we not learn anything from last seasons games against teams like Colchester and Rotherham! Lastly I just want to say what a piss poor performance the fans gave on Saturday (East Stand excepted). How many more times are we going to let 2500 away fans make more noise than us? My belief is that unlike many teams in the football league we don't have our 'own song' to give us our own identity and to bring everyone together. Surely there's someone amongst the Reading fans with the imagination and creativity to come up with something that everyone would join in with and sing together rather than latching onto and ripping off other teams songs. Something more positive than slagging off Mark McGoo and less boring than singing about stabbing Swinedon fans. I'd be interested to see other fans views on this. My own thoughts on this, all be it in the concept stage! How about this to the tune of Mambo No.5.... A couple of Adie's at the back Butler and Forster in attack Harper and Parky in midfield etc etc..

-- Thatcham Royal

I got there on the new bus service from Newbury - stress free, magic! From low in row B of the East Stand I can't claim to have had a good view of the tactics being employed, so these are my impressions. From where I sat, John Wells' opening remarks are spot on.
The visitors played from the outset like a home team and always looked like they wanted the win. In a way, they did a "Reading" on us, harrying and sqeezing in midfield and egged on by a huge and vocal travelling support. We were unlucky at times, but for much of the match got what we deserved for a hoofing the ball aimlessly forward under Cardiff pressure. As ever, there was little to complain about in the Royals' workrate, but we lacked the imagination to break down their defence when it mattered.
Cardiff pivoted around a very classy spine, from the goalie, through Prior, who won 95% of everything played into the last quarter, Kavanagh, who controlled the attacking play from midfield and Fortune-West, whose sheer physical presence made him a considerable handful. Kavanagh must be one of the shrewdest buys of the close season, even at the price, having always oozed quality; if Cardiff can keep him fit, they will certainly be in with a shout at the end.
As for us, we shouldn't get too disheartened - we are unlikely to encounter such quality every week and will have more fortunate afternoons! I would recommend some corner practice though - we seemed to get a lot without ever making much use of them.

-- Richard, Newbury Royal

I left the Madejski very dissapointed on saturday.
Reasons ?
Most of them have been talked about above, however here are mine in order of importance!
1) Tactical Awareness: Pards has got to get better at this. I wrote last year after Bristol City saying let's give hime time, new manager etc but now there is no excuse. Cardiff did well but in the 2nd half I can't remember us creating 1 chance other than Igoes shot against the post. ABSOLUTELY NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR A SIDE THAT WANTS TO GO UP AUTOMATICALLY. I'm certainly not saying let's get rid of AP as I believe he has done a good job overall, but we must learn lessons of last year.
2) Midfield: James Harper has also got to improve. Other than some nice touches of skill, one good run against Spurs and a good workrate has he really offered us anything so far ? As so many people have said Kavanagh bossed the midfield and RFC had no answer. Let's hope Andy Hughes gets better quickly, we desparately need him.
3) Both the crowd size and noise were PATHETIC. I sat in The North Stand for two reasons. a) My mate was concerned that we would be sat next to 'Oiks' who had just come to abuse Cardiff fans and also because I couldn't get a ticket early enough to get in a part of the East stand which isn't deathly quiet!
The Reading fans, you should be ashamed. Outsung completely by Cardiff. I couldn't hear anything from The East Stand for most of the game and as for The North, well, if there were 50 of us singing....................
How come we can fill the ground for an unimportant Worthy Cup game and yet there were only just over 10,000 home fans for one of the most important home games of the season AND supporting a team that hadn't even conceded a goal!
Singing needs to come back and soon in all stands. I appreciate The North will never be very noisy as it's family oriented and mirrors the old Tilehurst End in many ways. The East however has a responsibility to bring the 'magic of The South Bank' to the Madejski - So from now on Let's see you and hear you!!!!!!!
One further point on this is I think 'Thatcham Royal's' idea of a club song would be great. Why not make it a URZ supporters club competition with the winner having a VIP day, meeting the players and singing the song out in the middle with a packed Madejski singing along (Song printed in the programme etc). This like Pants day, Beard day etc would bring us all togther and make the team feel like we really do care win or lose.
Look at the power of Stokes 'Delilah'
Going tonight but would give the whole evening up for 3 points away at Stoke on saturday.

-- Deano

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