MATCH REPORT: 2006/2007 Season

11 September 2006: FA PREMIER LEAGUE
Reading: Ingimarsson (23 mins).
Man City: -.
Half Time: 1-0
Attendance: 24,092

Pos Team P Pts GD
7 Fulham 4 7 -2
8 READING 4 6 0
9 West Ham 4 5 1
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Sonko, Ingimarsson, Shorey, Ki-Hyeon (Gunnarsson 76), Sidwell, Harper, Convey, Lita (Long 75), Doyle. Subs Not Used: Little, Hunt, Stack.
Man City: Weaver, Richards (Trabelsi 60), Dunne, Distin, Jordan, Sinclair, Barton, Dabo, Reyna (Miller 73), Dickov (Samaras 60), Corradi. Subs Not Used: Hamann, Hart.
Reading: -
Man City: Distin, Reyna, Sinclair, Barton. Sent Off: Dabo (80 mins).
Referee: H Webb (S Yorkshire).

Ivar Ingimarsson scored the only goal of the game as Reading notched up their second Premiership victory to move into the top half of the Premiership table. After the visitors enjoyed most of the game in the opening twenty minutes, Ingimarsson's goal came against the run of play after Lita won a free-kick on the right. Convey's delivery was spot on as Ivar charged into the area to head home at the far post. Once Ingimarsson dusted himself down after flying into a City defender whilst scoring the winning goal, Reading were well on their way. The game was similar to the Middlesbrough victory on the opening day in the season in some ways, with the visitors looking the better side in the early exchanges against an uncomfortable Reading. The Royals were second to the ball, failing to make tackles and putting in mis-placed passes, but soon settled down after going ahead.

Reading finished the first half much the stronger side and could have even gone in a few more goals to the good. Ingimarsson could have had a second after a great rising shot that needed an excellent gave from the Man City keeper. Moments later Ki-Hyeon headed right at the goal keeper from a left-sided corner - Ingimarsson might have done even better if Ki-Hyeon hadn't connected. After another nervous start Reading started to play some good football with a couple of beautiful passing moves that so nearly produced an end product. The visitors were growing frustrated, and picked up a series of yellow cards for some late challenges trying to stop Reading breaking out of their half. The second half saw City enjoy plenty more possession but again fail to do anything dangerous.

Hahnemann did well to make a good save getting down quickly to his left - but in reality he was rarely troubled as Reading continued to look by far the more likely side. There were a few nervous moments but the game swung further Reading's way when City's Dabo was sent off with ten minutes left after elbowing Sidwell on the edge of the area. City's ten men looked even less likely to find their rhythm with time running out. Reading could have doubled their lead in the dying minutes when Doyle broke free and took the ball past the keeper only to find a defender slide in to block his goal bound shot.

Following report by John Wells:
Roared on by an exuberant home crowd Reading battled their way to their second Premiership home victory securing an invaluable three points. City had the edge in possession but in terms of attempts on goal there was little between the sides. Crucially Ingimarsson's brave diving header from Convey's fine free kick produced a goal, and as the pundits are so eager to remind us, if you don't take your chances at this level, you get punished. The only aspect of the game City clearly came out on top was in foul play. They committed sixteen fouls to Reading's six, accumulating four yellow cards and a red in the process.

Reading created a half chance from the kick off when Lita failed to make a good contact from Doyle's cross. Both sides squandered possession frequently in the early stages although City looked more menacing with some slick passing and movement. Reading's crossing was generally poor all evening but midway through the first half Convey produced a superb delivery after Lita's strength and persistence had earned his side a free kick wide on the right. Ingimarsson launched himself at the cross and was rewarded with a goal which everyone celebrated as he lay flat out following a collision with a City defender. Soon after a fine save from Weaver prevented Ingimarsson from scoring a second after Murty's shot was deflected to him wide on the left. Reading were growing in confidence and Ki-Hyeon should have scored when he was allowed a free header which he thumped over the bar as he ran in to meet Convey's corner. Reading's best move came just before half time when a succession of quick sharp passes presented Harper with a shooting opportunity but his effort was deflected for a corner.

The second half saw City begin to commit themselves increasingly to going forward. Reading to their credit kept their heads and defended with discipline and always looked dangerous on the break. Early in the half Sinclair was lucky not to be sent off. Following a skirmish with Convey (hardly an equal fight!) Convey attempted to apologise, but his offer was rejected petulantly by Sinclair. Soon after as Convey controlled the ball near the touchline, Sinclair seized his opportunity for revenge with a premeditated two-footed challenge from behind. A red card would not have been out of place but he escaped with a yellow. As City hufffed and puffed Reading waited for their opportunities to spring counter attacks. Harper broke through and scuffed his shot when Covey was well placed and unmarked to his left.

With ten minutes remaining Darbo lunged at a ball which was clearly falling to Sidwell's head and referee Webb who was very close to the incident had no hesitation in producing a red card. The resulting free kick was wasted as Sidwell was set up for shot which he miscued horribly. Ten man City pushed forward in hope and desperation and Reading could easily have added two more goals. Gunnarsson struck a great shot from well outside the box which Weaver turned round the post brilliantly at full stretch, and in the final minute of additional time Doyle rounded Weaver only to see his goalbound shot cleared by a covering defender.

The crowd were ecstatic with the result and so they should be. The win was a real team effort. Individually City seemed to have the edge but collectively Reading are very hard to beat. I expected the Premiership to be fast and skilful, but I had no idea it was going to be so physical. This win will build confidence which is crucial at this stage of the season. They were composed when defending but less so in possession. I could see the confidence grow as the game progressed and players began to look more comfortable on the ball. Long and Gunarsson both slotted in for the last quarter of an hour and made useful contributions which is important with Kitson's return delayed and some tough home games coming up.


Great ugly win. We may not have passed the ball as City did or even look as good as City did but by heck did we work hard, and no fan can ask any more of his team. When you look back at the clear chances Reading had we could easily have scored a few more but we'll all settle for a 1-0 victory which rockets us to eight in the Premiership, who'd believe it! Must mention the fans and the atmosphere too, if we all keep that noise up all season that too will be worth precious points. Wonderful chance to pick another point or possible three on Saturday against Sheffield Utd but I'm fully expecting our hardest game this season so far. After that, the honeymoon is over and then the real action starts with a run of games that looks daunting to say the least. If we work and graft as hard as we did last night, and die for the shirt the way the lads did, anything is possible, let the action begin... URZ
Nick Newbury

A victory for teamwork and team spirit. The qualities that saw us to the triumphs of last season were to the fore last night as we overcame a City side who may have been technically better but who lacked our self discipline. City started the better and we looked nervous again and stood off them too much. We were hesitant in possession and during the early period it was only the opposition who were likely to score. One great tackle by Sonko on Dickov made sure that they did not and the first good cross we put in from Convey resulted in Ivar bravely heading in. The game then had a good ebb and flow to it but Marcus was only forced into one real save whilst Weaver had to save well from Ivar and Gunnarsson whilst Doyle had one cleared off the line. The fact that they had a player sent off halted their chances but they only had themselves to blame. Four others were booked including Sinclair who was lucky to stay on the park. It would be unfair to single out individuals because all worked well but I thought Sonko showed what we missed at Wigan and Ivar was tremendous alongside him. I don't know how many miles Harper covered, but he was not the only one. The crowd were terrific too. The atmosphere was great again. Let's just keep this going it's what we've all been waiting for!
Ken C

A few weeks ago I suggested that Sonko showed some nerves and anxious moments in his first few games in the Premiership, however this was not the case against Manchester City as his performance was excellent. As regards defensive players Ivar Ingimarsson was excellent also and his headed goal was supurb - definitely my man of the match. Reading put in a fine performance in a match which they needed to win bearing in mind some of the opposition they have yet to meet. As regards this opposition ie the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool , Arsenal, Newcastle etc. I for one along with all of rest of fans are really looking forward to these matches. Reading have certainly got the team spirit under the guidance of Steve Coppell. Hopefully there may well be some surprises!
Bryan Flux

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