MATCH REPORT: 2005/2006 Season

24 September 2005: LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: Harper (61 mins).
Norwich City: -
Half Time: 0-0
Attendance: 24,850

Pos Team P Pts GD
1 Sheff Utd 10 27 +12
2 READING 10 23 +13
3 Watford 10 18 +7
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Sonko, Gunnarsson, Makin, Little, Harper, Ingimarsson, Convey, Lita (Obinna 79), Doyle. Subs Not Used: Federici, Hunt, Oster, Cox.
Norwich City: Green, Colin (Fleming 86), Davenport, Doherty, Drury, McVeigh (Huckerby 62), Hughes, Safri, Brennan (Henderson 74), Ashton, Lisbie. Subs Not Used: Ward, Marney.
Reading: Murty, Makin.
Norwich City: Hughes
Referee: T Kettle (Rutland).

Reading hung on for a 1-0 away victory at Norwich City this afternoon - despite a last minute penalty being bizzarely awarded to the home side. The referee initially appeared to award a free-kick to Reading after Bobby Convey went down inside the Reading area, only to reverse his decision and turn it against Convey, giving a penalty instead. Thankfully the penalty was put wide of Hahnemann's post by Norwich striker Ashton, who had looked unlikely to continue earlier after a first half clash of heads with Murty. Despite the penalty miss, Reading still had to cling to the lead as Norwich went close in an extra five minutes of play at the end of the game. The first half saw limited chances for either side in a tense forty-five minutes, but the second half saw the greater possession, and shots on target, go to the home side. Reading's vital goal came from a quick break on the hour mark when Doyle broke free to cross to James Harper. Harper's first shot was saved but he made no mistake with the rebound to put Reading ahead. Reading's priority for the rest of the game was to work hard defensively to maintain the lead - which they completed successfully - just. The win extended Reading's unbeaten run to eleven games, including four straight wins. Elsewhere Watford drew at Crew after Luton had drawn 2-2 last night - leaving Reading five points clear in second place. Sheffield United also picked up a win to maintain their four point advantage over the Royals.


Having just arrived back home in Cambridgeshire my thoughts are with all the happy Royals still wending their way down the M11 and M25 to home. All with happy smiles on their faces I suggest!
What a second half, after our goal, which was probably just about deserved at that point, the defending was awesome. I can’t recall ever seeing a better Reading defensive performance against what was a persistent Norwich attack. Even when Huckerby came on he was dealt with well and marshalled out of danger areas pretty well, when he did get through the back-up was always there. On those occasions when Norwich did get a shot in there was Marcus ‘USA’ Hannemann to pull of the save at least 2 where I thought the equaliser was in. On the one occasion he was beaten there was someone, couldn’t see who, to clear the lines. Brilliant defence from a well drilled unit. Finally, what was wrong with Ashton, he never looked like he even believed he could score from the spot!
One last comment nothing to do with the football, what were the Stewards up to with the slightly drunk guy, his son and his mate who were ejected? As far as I could see from 2 rows back he was doing no harm and certainly no more then half the Norwich fans at our end. But yet none of them were being marched out of the ground. More heavy-handed stewarding that needs to be looked at by our representatives I think.
Steve Pardoe, A happy Cambridge Royal

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