Match Report: 2009/2010 Season

Reading: Rasiak (16 mins).
Scunthorpe: Hooper (80 mins).
Half Time: 1-0
Attendance: 15,274

Pos Team P Pts GD
20 Ipswich 21 21 -8
21 READING 21 21 -10
22 Sheff Wed 21 18 -12
Reading: Federici, Ingimarsson, Pearce, Cummings, McAnuff, Tabb, Cisse, Matejovsky, Robson-Kanu (Kebe, 64), Sigurdsson, Rasiak. Subs not used: Mills, O'Dea, Hamer, Karacan, Gunnarsson, Armstrong.
Scunthorpe: Lillis, Byrne (Andrew Wright, 59 ), Mirfin, Williams, Jones, Togwell (O'Connor, 66), Thompson, Josh Wright, McCann, Hayes, Hooper (Forte, 89). Subs not used: Friend, Spence, Slocombe, Sparrow.
Reading: Cisse, Rasiak.
Scunthorpe: Andrew Wright, Byrne, O'Connor.
Ref: Anthony Bates (Staffordshire)
After dominating the game for eighty minutes Reading surrendered their slender lead, provided by a Rasiak header after sixteen minutes. to a smartly taken goal by Hooper; and then almost conceded all three points when they allowed substitute Forte to stroll through the middle of their defence to beat Federici with a shot which rolled narrowly wide. It was a frustrating day for Royals players, fans and manager. Brendan Roger’s frustration got the better of him in his post match interview with Radio Berkshire’s Tim Dellor. It must have been the last straw, after seeing his team squander a hatful of very good goalscoring opportunities, to have his judgment questioned by someone with such a limited knowledge and understanding of the game. The commentator suggested his angry reaction was indicative of the pressure getting the better of him. I suspect it was more to do with his irritation at the outcome of a game his team clearly should have won comfortably, and his inexperience in handling the press.

There was a subdued atmosphere at the Madejski Stadium from the kick off and both sides looked tentative and lacking in confidence but it was Reading that began to take control of the game. Sigurdsson playing wide on the right cut inside and fired just wide. Ingimarsson was forced to carry the ball deep into the United half due to a lack of passing options and floated over an accurate deep cross for Rasiak to nod over. Hooper replied with a shot straight at Federici whose save was unnecessarily greeted with a few sarcastic cheers. Reading took the lead with a beautifully constructed move started by a subtle and surprising pass in to Robson-Kanu. His cross was flighted over Lillis for Rasiak to nod home. Reading almost added a second immediately when Sigurdsson's shot was parried by Lillis and McAnuff was unable to force in the loose ball. Reading were producing some flashes of excellent passing and United were struggling to keep them out. Sigurdsson forced a good save from Lillis with a well placed free kick and Pearce rattled the bar. Rasiak was shade too slow to reach a low cross. United were lucky to be still in the game at half time.

Sigurdsson missed a golden chance to extend the lead just after half time when McAnuff picked him out in front of goal. Lillis saved but had Gyfi kept in down and on target he would certainly have scored. United then almost equalised when Hayes was allowed to run unchallenged at Federici, but fortunately for Reading he simply lost control of the ball. After sixty three minutes Rasiak had a header saved and had he been a bit quicker in getting to his feet he could have prodded the ball past Lillis who had was also grounded having failed to hold on to the ball. Anxiety began to mount as United became more adventurous. Kebe came on for Robson-Kanu and wandered all over the place before finally settling for the unoccupied space wide on the right.

McAnuff was too much for United to handle as they took it in turns to hack him down. Three players were booked for stopping him unfairly (making five in two games!). A lapse in concentration resulted in Hooper’s equalizer. Five minutes later Sigurdsson blasted over another golden opportunity to win the game and that familiar sinking feeling engulfed the ground. Boos greeted the final whistle which was more to do with disappointment at the result and the appalling standard of finishing than the overall performance.

As Steve Coppell often pointed out when we were in the lower reaches of the Premiership, it is important to beat the teams around you when you are in the bottom half of the table. Reading are now going to have to beat some teams in the top half of the table before the end of January took avoid being sucked back into the relegation zone.
John Wells

The last home game before Christmas is always traditionally our lads Christmas do, how apt that on a cold grey damp day in a season that's proving as enjoyable as a good dose of the flu, a woeful Scunthorpe provided the opposition and once again Reading throw away more points as we slumped to a predictable draw. Yes we could have won the game four, five nil but we didn't and that's now a pathetic one, yes one win at home all season. The pressure is well and truly mounting on Buck Rogers like a giant black cloud that continues to grow and smother the club. Only two years ago our Xmas do was Everton, talk about a fall from grace for which the club is unrecognisable. The atmosphere yesterday was like a dentists waiting room , the players are bereft of confidence and the opposition know we are there for the taking .There are some players trying hard Siggurdsson, McAnuff and now veteran Ingimarsson but it's just not good enough . It's ok introducing youngsters in gradually but to throw the lot of them in at once in a brutally competitive league like the championship is both unfair and stupid . Hammond and the powers to be should hold their heads in shame because make no mistake we are in deep crap and well and truly in a relegation fight. The crowd was given as 15,200 yesterday I reckon there was only 12,000 max in the ground and that is what should be ringing alarm bells, but none of those cosseted in the warmth of the directors box will notice or bother, and there I feel lies the heart of all our problems, our owner, benefactor, past saviour and chairman, John Madejski, is simply is not bothered anymore. He obviously don't care and as a consequence the club is like an unwanted dog and unless somebody comes along soon with passion, a vision and a realistic plan for a successful future, we're scuppered. The beer nulled the doom and gloom last night but like a bad dream waking up today and looking at the league table, you realise it's not a dream at all.
Nick Newbury

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Reading manager Brendan Rodgers:
"I thought the boys played really well and the performance level was good. Scunthorpe's goal should only have been a consolation for them but it turned out to be their equaliser. It's great experience for the younger players who will be learning from this game. At least we are creating goalscoring opportunities and Gylfi (Sigurdsson) alone had seven or eight chances. The crowd are frustrated, but they have been great because they can see we have young players, can see what we are trying to do and how we are going to be."