MATCH REPORT: 2008/2009 Season

Reading: Ingimarsson (27 mins).
Blackpool: -
Half Time: 1-0
Attendance: 16,514

Pos Team P Pts GD
2 Birmingham 22 47 +13
3 READING 22 43 +25
4 Burnley 22 37 +5
Reading: Hahnemann (Federici 71), Rosenior, Duberry, Ingimarsson, Armstrong, Henry (Convey 82), Gunnarsson, Matejovsky, Stephen Hunt, Doyle, Noel Hunt (Long 80). Subs Not Used: Harper, Karacan.
Blackpool: Rachubka, Barker, Edwards, Evatt, Martin, Hammill (Fox 36), Southern, Hendrie, Reid, Kabba (Taylor-Fletcher 70), Burgess (Dickinson 70). Subs Not Used: Coid, Gow.
Reading: Gunnarsson.
Blackpool: Edwards, Taylor-Fletcher. Sent Off: Hendrie (33 mins).
Ref: Jarnail Singh (Middlesex).
Against a side offering little more than honest endeavour, Reading made hard work of securing a one goal victory to keep them in touch with the top two. The game was settled in a six minute spell mid way through the first half during which Ingimarsson showing typically text book technique drove the ball low past Rachubka, closely by the sending off Hendrie off for a dangerous challenge on Matejovsky. Blackpool's main threat came from set pieces when their physical presence was always a problem when high balls were pumped into the box. Although Reading did not play well after the goal, Blackpool didn't really deserve to get anything from this game.

Reading were forced into changes by injury to Cisse and the unjust suspension of Kebe. Henry and Matejovsky were in the starting eleven as their replacements. With Gunnarsson in good form recently, Harper found himself on the bench. The selection seemed justified as Reading played some good football in the opening thirty minutes. Matejovsky impressed with the quality of his passing. With Armstrong getting forward and linking up with Steven Hunt down the left flank Reading were getting behind the visitor's defence with some slick passing. Steven Hunt had forced Rachubka to save with his legs from a tight angle after nine minutes. The goal Reading deserved for their enterprise came from another move down the left involving Armstrong ending with Ingimarsson putting away a loose ball. This was soon followed by Hendrie's red card which signalled the end of the best part of the game.

The second half was pretty awful with neither side managing to make any real impact in attack. Kabba was giving Armstrong plenty to think about with his pace but Reading ere always quick to recover when they conceded possession. The referee seemed to be giving Blackpool some compensatory free kicks which provideded the opportunity to pile their big men into the box and pump high balls into them. Hahnemann hobbled off with a calf injury giving Federici a chance to impress with a particularly good catch under pressure and some accurate low trajectory kicks. Ingimarsson popped up again to make a crucial contribution with a superb block to deny Burgess when an equaliser looked a real possibility. Reading had the opportunity to make the points secure in the last minute when Armstrong was brought down in the box. After Long and Steven Hunt had finished wrestling with the ball Hunt fluffed his kick. I don't know if Hunt felt like clipping Long around the ear - but I did! In the end it didn't matter but I'm sure the incident made for an interesting discussion in the dressing room after the game.

Although Matejovsky played well and is easily the most gifted player in the squad, I still feel Cisse and Harper is the most effective combination in central midfield for this league. Henry showed some nice touches and Duberry did his job well enough, but the return of Bikey and Kebe will significantly strengthen the team. Selection is going to be a bit tricky for Coppell until everyone is available again, but it is a strong squad and there are plenty of options available.
John Wells


Got an opinion? E-Mail us at
Appropriate submissions will appear on match report pages

Ivar Ingimarsson was the unlikely hero as his fine goal gave Reading a scrappy Championship win over 10-man Blackpool. Steve Coppell's side looked a shadow of their normal fluent selves until Ingimarsson scored with a clinical low drive midway through the first half. Blackpool's Lee Hendrie was sent off for a foul on Marek Matejovsky minutes later and Reading took complete charge. Visiting boss Simon Grayson later saw red before Stephen Hunt missed from the spot after Chris Armstrong was felled.