Away at Wolves
9 March 1996
Division One
Att: 25,954

Reading : Mihaylov, Booty, Bernal, Caskey (Holsgrove, 79), Williams, Hopkins, Meaker, Gooding, Parkinson, Lovell (Nogan, 69), Gilkes. Sub: Quinn.

Wolves : Stowell, Thompson, Atkins, Young, Emblen, Richards, Corica, Goodman, Bull, Ferguson(Froggatt, 72), Osborn. Subs: Venus, Williams.

Surprise surprise we drew again! This takes Reading's unbeaten run to 6 games now (although 5 of those have been draws) Still Wolves would have expected to win this one at home so it has to be a good result for the R's. At least we didn't lose to McScum - we can now stuff them at home in a few weeks time.

Reading were average again. Nothing special but not too bad. It seems many peoples man of the match was Bobby Mihaylov - it must be the training kit. Bobby was the saviour of the Royals with a number of wonderful second half saves to keep a share of the points. Reading took the lead in the first half when the joint-boss Mick Gooding fired home with a shot that was slightly deflected.


The following report has been taken from the Wolves pages and is by David Instone...

Achievement-wise at least, Wolves now find themselves back where they were 22 months, almost 10m and more than 100 first-team matches ago. Another late tilt for the play-offs is failing and the club are yet again left to concentrate on getting it right for next season. It's a frustratingly familiar scenario, but it's the one that has been utterly predictable ever since Graham Taylor's blueprint for success was shredded along with much of his managerial credibility in the autumn. Two years ago this month, Taylor swept back into club football and concentrated all his thoughts on ushering Wolves to the top-six finish that had proved beyond Graham Turner in five years at this level. He failed gallantly and now McGhee, having inherited a reasonable but patternless squad, is suffering the same fate after being given from mid-December to turn it round, albeit from a much lower starting point. Wolves, barring any un-foreseen late slump that could leave them sweating at the other end of the table, will be playing in this division in 1996-97 for the eighth year running - and taking their wait for a return to the top flight into its 13th year. And Saturday's Molineux draw with Reading was a reminder of why they are not yet anywhere near good enough for the Premiership. The first thing that has to be said of an at times encouraging but ultimately disappointing afternoon was that Wolves would have won comfortably had Steve Bull and Don Goodman displayed the finishing power that has brought them a combined total of 33 goals this term. You can scour the side for reasons why such modest opposition were not seen off, but, when the two members of what is generally regarded as the Endsleigh League's most menacing strike force fail four times between them with just the keeper to beat, the search is futile.

Goodman, used for much of the second half deeper and wider on the left, had a decent game and deserved credit for creating his opening opportunity in the first place. His partner got through his usual mountain of work and, despite one feeble un-Bully-like miss mid-way through the second half was the player most likely to pro-long his side's tenuous interest in the play-off race. But neither was good enough to beat Bulgarian international skipper Borislav Mihaylov on an afternoon marked by considerable tactical manoeuvring in the rival camps. McGhee greeted the visit of his first managerial club by reverting to a back-four who were orthodox in everything but the nomination of Neil Emblen as right-back. The move was moderately successful as Emblen gave Wolves more attacking power than Mark Atkins has been able to provide in the same role. There were also solid contributions from Eric Young and the returning Dean Richards, but Reading struck early through a deflected shot from ex-Wolves man Mick Gooding.

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