MATCH REPORT: 2003/2004 Season

25 November 2003: LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
Reading: -
Blake (5 mins), Chaplow (47 mins), Chadwick (54 mins).
Half Time: 1-0
Attendance: 9,473

DIVISION ONE 25 Nov 2003
Pos Team P Pts GD
7 Ipswich 19 31 +9
8 READING 20 31 +3
9 West Ham 19 30 +7
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Newman, Ingimarsson, Shorey, Murray (Savage 59), Sidwell, Harper (Watson 58), Salako (Tyson 59), Hughes, Forster. Subs not used: Mackie, Young.
Jensen, West, May, Gnohere, Camara, Little, Chaplow (Weller 84), Grant, Branch (Chadwick 36 (Facey 87)), Blake, Ian Moore. Subs not used: Roche, McGregor.
Reading: Newman, Sidwell
Referee: Mike Pike (Cumbria)

Reading started the game just five points off the top of the table and must have been expecting better things against a side that started the game just seven places off the foot of the table. This may have been a wasted opportunity to pull up towards the Divisional leaders but Reading were well beaten after looking a side short of form - despite our recent good run of good results. Our defensive record has spoken for itself recently but the back four were beaten three times to win the match for the home side with ease. Burnley got off to the stronger start, taking an early lead, and although Reading looked likely to do something during the rest of the first half it turned out to be a case of wasted opportunities as Burnley doubled their lead after the restart and then scored the third to put it out of our reach with sixty-six minutes still on the clock.

Early pressure from Burnley saw the Royals conceed a corner just a few minutes into the game. The corner was played in from the right and Reading failed to clear with the ball eventually free on the left. The ball was crossed in from wide and met at the near post that sent the ball across goal, past Hahnemann and into the far side of the net. After Burnley's early breakthrough Reading had the better of the rest of the first half. Nicky Forster was lively up front as Reading played their "away from home" formation with Forster the sole striker. Forster could have twice pulled Reading level midway through the first half - first he had a shot blocked and then he should have scored himself before setting up John Salako. Salako should have done better but failed to find the net with his shot as he blasted it at the Burnley goalkeeper from close range. Steve Sidwell also found himself presented with a chance from Forster but Reading didn't take their chances - and they were to pay for that. Reading nearly managed to play out the half looking like the team most likely to pick up the points but Burnley continued to show they were the most dangerous. The first half ended with Burnley winning another corner, which they almost scored from - the resulting header was just wide.

The second half was over for Reading nearly as soon as it was started. After Reading failed to pull level in the first half Burnley immediately got the upper hand once again with a goal two minutes after the break. It was poor defending again with Hahnemann again making a mistake as he rushed out of his area, only to see the ball spin off to Burnley's Chaplow who found himself with an empty net and a missing defence - and therefore a simple goal to make it 0-2. If there was any doubt about the result there wasn't just seven minutes later when it was 0-3 and all over after Ingimarsson conceeded a free-kick outside the area. Former Reading loanee Luke Chadwick, who had come off the bench, struck the ball home with the help of a deflection past Hahnemann in the Reading goal. Coppell made a series of changes but it was just a case of containing Burnley with the game already lost. Reading dropped one place in the table - but remain above West Ham United whose manager Alan Pardew remains without a win after seeing his side only manage to draw 1-1 with Wimbledon tonight.


Wasn't at the game so can't comment on it very much except to say it was a really disappointing result. At the time of sending this (Friday) 'aint nothing here in terms of post-mtach comments. Was it so bad no-one can face saying anything about it??
Caversham Royal.

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