Match Report: 2009/2010 Season

29 September 2009: LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
Reading: Church (34 mins), Kebe (43 mins).
Preston: Parkin (85 mins, pen).
Half Time: 2-0
Attendance: 10,987

Pos Team P Pts GD
18 Nottm Forest 9 10 -2
19 READING 10 10 -4
20 Derby 10 10 -7
Reading: Federici, O'Dea, Ingimarsson, Bertrand, Cummings, McAnuff (Mills, 67), Howard, Kebe, Karacan (Cisse, 78), Gunnarsson, Church (Rasiak, 87) Subs not used: Hunt, Hamer, Matejovsky, Sigurdsson.
Preston: Lonergan, Jones, Chilvers (Mawene, 88), Collins, Nolan, Wallace, Shumulikoski, Chaplow (Carter, 46), Sedgwick (Parkin, 67), Mellor, Brown Subs not used: Henderson, Elliott, Hart.
Reading: Howard, Kebe, Mills
Preston: -
Ref: Andy Penn (W. Midlands)
Reading bounced back from a continuing poor run with an important, and unexpected, away win at high flying Preston North End. With Preston seemingly invincible at home and Reading looking set to drop into the bottom three not many would have expected the Royals to be two goals up at the break. Reading had much the better of the first half after going ahead just after the half hour mark when Simon Church made the most of a Preston mistake to run on goal and score. The lead was doubled just before the break from the unlikely source of Jimmy Kebe.

It was expecting too much for Reading to extend their grip on the game in the second half, and instead we were again reduced to hanging onto the lead. However, unlike at Peterborough it was mission success and three points in the bank - but only just. After some solid Preston pressure, with time running out, they eventually won a penalty as Ingimarsson conceeded. The spot kick took the score to 2-1 and set up a nervous finish. Reading had to thank the post twice for keeping us in front and Federici perhaps earnt man of the match with some "outstanding" saves at the death. The win saw Reading climb up to 19th place in the table but did little to lift the pressure on Brendan Rodgers who is still looking for his first home league win.

I don't know what odds were to win tonight, but I'll bet my piggy bank most of us could only dream of a win against high flying Preston, in our wildest dreams, but this is Reading FC! First half we were quite magnificent, silencing the Preston crowd and playing some delightful football and 2-0 at half time was fully justified. Second half as expected Preston threw the kitchen sink at us and it was all hands to the pumps as we gallantly defended with Federici pulling of some world class saves backed up by magnificent defensive performances from O'Dea, Ingimasson, Gunarsson, Betrand and the rest of them who played their hearts out and gave everything capped by Jimmy Kebe who had a brilliant game, yes he really did. The result was a great tonic for all the loyal Royals fans who made the long trip north and a bit of a shame all the players never came all the way to our end to clap the fans , but that's nit picking . There were glimpses tonight of how we can play that really is so exciting, quite amazing football and for a change we got the result, and when you consider the average age of the team and the fact we have nearly a brand new team, we do have to be patient. Hard I know as there will be so many games where our naivety and inexperience will cost us dear, but if this bunch of players can consistently produce glimpses of what we witnessed tonight and stick together through thick and thin then the future is bright, very bright, but, it will take two or three years to come to fruition, I just hope we the fans have the patience to wait that long, somehow I don't think many will but we'll have to see. Well played Reading tonight, you were superb ....URZ
Nick Newbury

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Reading manager Brendan Rodgers:
"It was a good game. I'm really pleased. I thought we were outstanding tonight, especially in the first half, like we have been in a lot of games. We were very good with the ball and went 2-0 up and I thought we were exceptional in the first half with or without the ball. Tactically we were strong and going into second half we knew Alan (Irvine) is an outstanding coach, so we knew his team would come out and give it a go. We had a chance to kill the game and then from that moment the game turned a bit but that's the nature of it."

BBC Sport