Team: Mautone, Bernal, Swales, Macca, Primus, Parkie, Houghton (Wdowczyk), Lambert (Caskey), Meaker, Asaba (Roach), Williams.
Goal Scorers: ADRIAN Williams, Parkie, Meaker, Macca.
Man Of The Match: Parkinson
OH YES! Wolves were once again totally outplayed by the mighty Royals as Reading continued their habit of McGhee humiliation. I'll almost be sad to see McGhee get sacked shortly, not out of any sympathy to the fat Scottish one, but because it'll deprive us of two or three blinding games and certain wins that we're guaranteed each season at the moment. Were the nasty Reading fans horrible to you Mr.McGhee?
Once again the population of Reading turned out in force to pack out a heaving South Bank, and sing the Royals to yet another memorable victory over Wolves. The biggest crowd of the season doesn't give it justice with a sparse away end and the rain putting off the Tilehurst end, the South Bank was crammed full with Reading fans intent on singing. And they weren't to be disappointed.
Right from the off it was clear there was only going to be one team in this. Reading.
As expected Houghton made a return to the first team with Caskey on the bench. Primus and Macca kept their places in the centre of defence with the experienced Dariusz in reserve. Meanwhile for Wolves Williams (of the Adrian variety), Keith Curle and Steve Bull all passed fitness checks to make starts for the opposition.
Reading spent the first 15 minutes winning corners approximately every 10 and a half seconds. (roughly) Meaker was doing his far share of winning them legging it down the right wing, failing to cross but getting the corner for his efforts anyway. Houghton wasted most of them by failing to put any height on them. And he didn't learn. Still, Martin Williams almost put one in off his nut as Reading kept up the pressure. Amazingly, with the home fans encouraging McGhee to "sign on, sign on, .. 'cos you'll never get a job", it was Wolves who appeared to have taken the lead. A ball over the top, a Bull connection and the ball in the net. However as someone near me correctly pointed out it was nothing more than "Bull-shit" for the man was stood offside as he'd run on. Wolves' other noticeable effort was on target but found Mautone well positioned to tip the ball over for a corner.
Reading continued to win their fair share of corners before realising perhaps they should make more of their possession and try the more direct approach. Which they did through Meaker on the half hour. Meaker did a 'Crewe' and it made you wonder if the fat one had really done his homework after watching the Royals last Saturday. Meaker played with the full back, did a sexy little 1-2 with Carl Asaba inside the area, nipped past the defender, stode goalwards and drove a cross across the face of goal to Williams. Williams slide in to put the ball past the keeper into the net. Adrian Williams that is. "Adie, Adie, Adie!". 1-0 to the Royals. And no more than we deserved.
This was our game. We started to dominate as Wolves continued on the defensive, an occasional break attempted to surface, but the Wolves defence started to panic under the pressure. Parkie, having tried a wild shot earlier that landed four miles East of the right post, was stood in the centre circle and thought he might as well score to pass the time. He legged it forward, shoved Houghton as he threatened to get into the way, and advanced to the edge of the box before letting fly. The ball rose, then dipped deliciously over the keeper who, at full stretch, couldn't stop the ball hitting the top right of the net. WHAT A GOAL!! 2-0 to the Royals. A real Parkie special, and only his tenth goal ever for the Royals incidently.
Just before half time Wolves pulled one back. Steve Bull on the far post, which perhaps Mautone should have done better with. What do you mean you want to know more?
This had been Reading's half, and the second continued with more of the same. Wolves started to resort to some "hoof and hope" stuff that you wouldn't normally associate with McGhee, Reading on the other hand were stroking the ball around finding space. And every time we came forward we looked dangerous. You just knew Reading were going to add some more. A great run from Swales down the left wing shortly after the restart found a ball played through the left side of the Wolves area, to Lambert on the line. Lambert kept it in, ran along the line and played a low ball backwards to the far post a few yards from goal. And there was Meaker to put it in and restore the Royals' rightful two goal lead.
Asaba then turned goal maker. In a similar position to Lamberts - left of the goal on the line - he kept his balance to deliver a lovely little chip cross into the six yard box. McPherson headed it down from the right edge of the six yard box to put Reading 4-1 up. YES!
Reading responded to the cries of "we want five" and Swales almost grabbed another after a blistering run down the pitch. A great run from Lambert who crossed the ball to Swales in the middle. Swales completed it with a shot, but his first time effort was against the legs of the keeper.
Wolves pulled another back to make it 4-2, Bull scoring as Mautone came off his line to miss the ball, but it was a game well out of their reach. Their annoyance overspilled a bit as Adrian Williams marked his return to Elm Park with a yellow card. Dirty git. Reading's hunt for a fifth faded a bit as Martin Williams became far too knackered and Asaba limped off to be replaced by Roach whose lack of match practice showed.
But we were brilliant. A dedicated team performance, real effort, and some decent football. We were a class above Wolves who without Bull wouldn't have got as close as they did. McGhee's nightmare came true yet again. A humiliating defeat on top of all his problems. The deafening shots for McGhee's sack from the Reading crowd look like becoming reality very quickly. What a shame.
So Reading progress to the last sixteen in what is turning out to be a half decent cup run and a nice little earner for the club; hopefully a nice home tie coming up. But what really matters was tonights performance, and the way in which we won this game.