10 April 1999
Blackpool 2 Reading 0
Gurney, Gray, Parkinson, Primus, Casper, McLaren, Houghton, McIntyre, Scott,
Subs Used: Hunter, Glasgow, Brayson.
2-0 against a team completely out of form. But it's worse than that. It could have been more, and Reading never looked like scoring. Or even taking part.
Report from Andy Charman:
Those who are very confident that TB will get us automatic promotion next season probably weren't at Blackpool yesterday to see him team's disgraceful and thoroughly depressingerformance.
"You'll beat us - everyone does" said the friendly cafe owner before the game. "We're going to get thumped today" said the friendly steward, having looked at the details of our squad in the programme. "Our keeper's crap" he continued.
Clearly neither of these guys had heard of Tommy Burns' high paid wasters. Win - if we're lucky. Thump someone?- you've got to be joking! A broken set of dentures has more bite than a Reading FC attack circa 1998/9! As for your keeper being crap, I shouldn't worry, chances are he won't have much to do.
And so it proved, an ironic cheer from the suffering loyal Royals and a chorus of "Shot on goal, we've had a shot on goal!" as Brayson finally gave the "crap" keeper his first shot to save (off a boot) in the 90th minute!
Once again we completely failed to get behind the opposition's defenders. This despite the fact that Junior Bent spent most of the game showing us how it was done. Everytime he received the ball, which admittedly was a lot more frequently than poor McLaren, he shot off past our defenders straight to the byeline, before whipping dangerous looking balls across the face of the goal. Unfortunately RFC coaches do not appear to regard this as a legitimate tactic. Only once can I recall a similar ball being played in and it led to a "goal" from Keith Scott, which was strangely ruled offside.
The rest of the time we kept pumping in harmless crosses from midway in Blackpool's half. On the rare occassions when we did get the ball close to the byeline, we seemed determined to play it backwards so that the receiving player could put in a cross that was far kinder to the defenders!
Tommy Burns has had very close to a year in the job now. He has had a decent amount of money to spend and brought in countless new faces. However, yesterday's performance was as bad as any seen under Bullivant, only a division lower!
Before the game I believe he had been quoted as saying something along the lines of 'the players shouldn't need much motivating, they will be playing to establish themselves in the side". How unbelievably wrong he was!
Keith Scott (more carrot humble pie!) was one of the very few players to deserve any credit, simply because he appeared to be trying throughout the game. He was also the only player to turn and applaud the travelling fans as his teammates skulked off to get away from the richly deserved boos and chorus of "what a load of rubbish". Their performance had been paceless, passionless and piss-poor (you won't be able to use that in the EP, Graham!) (I'll try! Graham)
What a contrast from last time we played at Bloomfield Road. Then we had blitzed them off the park with fantastic football to win 4-0 and were applauded off by the home supporters! Some progress!! Still never mind the fact we've got a shite team, at least we can keep turning our nose up at other people's grounds and going on about our wonderful stadium! How sad can we get?
Now you might have thought Mr Burns would have kept his team locked in the dressing room for some considerable time after this rubbish but no, they were back on their comfortable coach by 5.15pm. Personally I'd have sent the coach back empty, taken the players money off them and made them hitch back. That would have been poetic justice, considering the fact that every travelling supporter put in considerably more effort than the players just getting to the game.
Still, I got back home to hear a recording of TB's interview where he mentioned that over the season he had seen what the squad could do and might have to change some. What a surprise!!!! Keep shuffling the deck Tommy, you might come up with a winning hand in the end. Thereagain, the players you've got might feel there's not much point in playing to establish themselves in the team, knowing the next deadline bulk shop is only a year away!
Based on yesterday's performance
(and our record against lowly teams at the Egodome), I would advise anyone who
hasn't already got their ticket for Saturday to keep their money in their pocket,
stick some paint on the living room wall and watch it dry. Not only will it
please your partner but
it will probably be a damn sight more entertaining!
Maybe Tommy will prove me wrong and I really hope so, firstly because he seems a nice genuine guy and, more importantly, because I love Reading Football Club. It's just that yesterday's performance may have finally shattered my rose-tinted glasses and, as a consequence, I'm no longer quite as confident that he can do it for us.
Teamtalk had this to say:
Reading looked like a side intent on starting their summer holiday early after a rather blank performance at Bloomfield Road saw hosts Blackpool register only their second home win of the season. The match did not begin too smartly for the Royals as Blackpool took a high degree of early possession, although without much to show for it. Junior Bent had a close effort around the twenty-five minute mark but the attempt came to nothing.
Reading did have a few fair half-chances in the opening stages with Keith Scott giving the home side plenty to handle. After a mere six minutes Chris Casper crossed well only for Scott to head over. Soon afterwards, Scott saw Clark Carlisle block another headed attempt.
However 'Pool plundered their chance on thirty-one minutes when Martin Aldridge collapsed under a challenge from Andy Gurney.
Anton Rogan had fed in a long punt and the striker crumpled rather melodramatically to clinch the penalty. Aldridge slipped the spot-kick under Howie to open the scoring before suffering what may be ligament damage shortly half-time. He was replaced by Chris Malkin.
The second period did not start any better for the Royals and Reading's hopes of reasserting themselves in this match fell apart after just two second half minutes. Phil Clarkson added Blackpool's deserved second goal on forty-seven minutes, with a close-range toe-poke following some good work by Brett Ormerod.
The chances for Reading to gain points from this match began to look exceedingly remote only a late effort from Keith Scott offered any danger towards the home goal. But his strike was isallowed for offside.
If it had not have been for a smart Howie save from a Junior Bent finish then the Royals would have taken a heavier beating. Royals fans will not be happy that the players seem to have given up on this season and will undoubtedly demand more effort for the remainder of the season, play-offs or not.