MATCH REPORT: 2004/2005 Season

Reading: -
Cardiff: Thorne (12 mins), Jerome (30 mins).
Half Time: 2-0
Attendance: 14,821

Pos Team P Pts GD
6 West Ham 44 70 +10
7 READING 44 70 +10
8 Sheff Utd 44 67 +4
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Keown, Sonko, Shorey, Newman (Ferdinand 45), Sidwell, Harper, Brooker (Little 51), Forster, Kitson. Subs Not Used: Hughes, Ingimarsson, Young.
Cardiff: Alexander, Vidmar (Williams 28), Gabbidon, Collins, Barker, Ardley, Boland, Langley, McAnuff, Jerome (Lee 79), Thorne. Subs Not Used: Margetson, Parry, Ledley.
Reading: Sidwell, Keown, Little.
Cardiff: -
Referee: S Mathieson (Cheshire)

Reading lost their play-off position, with just two games of the season remaining, after going down 0-2 at Cardiff City. The victory for the home side went a long way towards making them safe from relegation, but delivered a huge blow to Reading's promotion hopes. The afternoon could have been much worse however - Brighton's last minute goal gave them a 2-2 home draw with Reading's play-off rivals West Ham. The Hammers' point was enough to take them above Reading on goals scored but West Ham and Reading now have the same points, the same goal difference and the same games played. The last games of the season see West Ham take on newly promoted Sunderland at home and then travel to Watford, while Reading face Wolves at home before travelling to second placed Wigan. Two wins, and enough goals, would still see Reading push West Ham out, but it's not going to happen unless the Royals improve dramatically from this afternoon's very poor performance at Cardiff.

Reading were second best throughout the entire game after getting off to a poor start. Reading's defence fell to pieces after twelve minutes when the offside trap failed dramatically allowing Thorne to volley home from deep inside the area. It was 0-2, and all over for Reading, after half an hour after Reading failed to deal with a Cardiff corner. The second half didn't get much better as Reading failed to trouble the home keeper at all and Cardiff hit the post and should have gone further ahead after an effort flew just over Hahnemann's crossbar. Ferdinand came off the bench and had little impact until a Little cross saw Ferdinand head against the crossbar. However, the game had already been easily won by Cardiff.


Just as despair was setting in news comes through that Brighton equalise in the last minute against West Ham to throw us a lifeline. Listened to the game on the radio today and can best be described as bitterly disappointing. Most agree we were simply rubbish today and there can surely be no excuse for playing so poorly with so much at stake. I would have settled for a draw today and thought it was always going to be a difficult game. We probably have to win well against Wolves now then go to Wigan and win too, a daunting task but not beyond the players. It's the results like Plymouth and Coventry at home along with Rotherham away that now haunts us and may be our downfall. I don't think you could ask for better opposition than Wolves next week. I remember well the 4-1 tonking at their place earlier in the season so we certainly owe them one. We normally play well against Wolves at home so lets hope that applies next week. Now is the time players have to really question their belief, ability and passion to show us all how good they are. Cometh the hour, cometh the man and now is the time for Kitson, Forster, Sidwell, Harper, Murty and Shorey to show what they really capable of producing. All we fans ask is they give their best and die for the shirt, they've done it in the past so now is the time to produce again next week in a full Mad Stad against Wolves. Get behind the lads raise the roof and let's show what we can really do... URRZZ.
Nick Newbury

There is only one word that sums up the present predicament - pathetic! Even to suggest that we should gain some sort of motivation that a play off position beckons is no encouragement for the true fan who knows very well that we are simply not good enough and even if we did achieve it, it would prove somewhat of an embarrassment. I do not believe it is the team's performances that must take the blame for not securing easily a play off position. This is a failure on the part of the Manager both in his team selection, his poor signings and clearly his inability to motivate. We all know that whilst on paper the away win at Sunderland looked good on paper but was far from convincing and for the best part of the season we have possessed a potential within our ranks to maintain and hold a play off place. Of course injuries are a major factor for all teams but I again repeat the judgement surrounding the expensive signings coupled with maintaining high salaries for "named" players simply cannot be justified. I offer my congratulations to Steve Coppell's Agent in securing a further years contract at Reading even before the final whistle on this season. Clearly our Chairman is convinced that Mr. Coppell is our man for the future. I am sure the Board at West Ham will not think the same if Alan Pardew does not secure a play off place which is now looking very likely for them. I hope my general despondency which stems from great expectations at the start of the season is silenced by a sudden rush of passion to succeed coupled with the appropriate motivation to take us to play offs. It will simply not do for the Manager to state he remains "dismayed". It was his team selection and his staffs training that delivers the end product. If players still do not perform then there is often a hidden agenda and perhaps that agenda is to assume we are simply not good enough! and prefer a further season at the lower level where their playing position is likely to be more secure.
Terry - Isle of Wight

A dissapointing result on Saturday could put all the confidence back down but now it's all about bouncing back rather than worrying about the last game. We need to put things right against Wolves or that could be our season over. We can't afford to worry about the West Ham game or it will not be doing us any good I feel that if we concentrate on our own games we are more than capable of getting back in the play-offs and going into the Premiership. A win would take us into a very strong position so lets hope that we do win and that would be a big win in our play off push.
Jonathan Woods

To all those who feel our chance has gone: history is full of twists and turns. Having followed RFC since 1950, I KNOW! KEEP THE FAITH - our time is nigh.
Terry Green

If we don't make the play offs the only people to blame are Coppell and Madejski for not getting a decent striker in time and playing the totally out of depth Morgan and Owusu. Trundell would turn this team into something great.
Mark Stokes

I have concerns over Dave Kitson. Just lately he doesn't seem half as commited as we have come to expect. He isn't chasing defenders as he does, he seems to have enough self belief and I worry that maybe he now feels he had proved himself at this level and he isn't trying to prove himself any longer. Steve Coppell needs to give him a kick up the backside!
Jamie Hinton

Reading were lucky today, in that Brighton did us a big favour by stopping Wet Sham getting 3 points. Had we gone into next weekend's fixtures 2 points behind them, I would have honestly thought that would've spelt the end of RFC's play-off hopes. As it stands though, with Pardew's lot having a tricky game vs. Sunderland on Friday, there is still everything to play for (if Sunderland do the decent thing & beat them, Reading could even have gone up a place by the time they start the Wolves game). Once again, a win is essential & it won't be easy against draw-specialists Wolves. The defence needs to cut out the errors that cost us goals on Sat & the attack get back amongst them if we're to take things to the last game at Wigan. COME ON......
Caversham Royal

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