31 October 1998
Wycombe 2 Reading 3
Bernal, McPherson, Primus, Casper, Brebner, Parkinson, Caskey, Brayson (Sarr),
At a soaking wet Adams Park Reading made it a fantastic three away wins on the trot - and six games unbeaten - as they swept Wycombe aside. At last things are coming together - this may not have been the best game ever but it was yet again maximum points away from home - and that's what counts.
I'd hardly taken my seat, after being stuck in traffic for what seemed like hours, before Brebner put Reading in the lead after 3 minutes. A Caskey free kick on the right side just outside the box (earnt I think by Brayson starting up front in place of McIntyre/Sarr) was played diagonally into the box Brebner arrived, stuck his head on it and it was well to the left of the Wycombe keeper and in the back on the net. YES! What a dream start.
I'd just got my bearings and worked out the team when all of a sudden the entire Reading end was up in the air again to celebrate Brebner's second goal for the R's. After just nine minutes. Another Caskey free kick in roughly the same place was hoofed over to Williams on the left. Good work by Williams on the line out on the left and another great cross onto Brebner's head for his second headed goal. YES!!! Enough to earn Brebner my man of the match despite not over impressing for the rest of the game. A two goal head start from the first two chances we'd made - I bet Wycombe didn't know what had hit them. It felt like Swindon away last season. It felt like Swindon away last season. Although this time you could tell there were going to be more goals.
Players were sliding around all over the place. The referee wasn't having any of it though and kept on getting out his little book and spraying yellow cards around like nobody's business. There was loads of surface water to start off with but it seemed to get a little better as the game went on. However the football was never a fantastic standard with neither team really able to hold the ball up in midfield and a definate lack of on the ground passing football. That may sound bad. However from the Reading fans point of view it was great. Reading scored two great goals from direct attacking football when patient building up stuff in these conditions would have got us nowhere.
As the game continued Wycombe started to get more and more into it and Reading started conceeding a fair few free kicks and corners. It was no suprise when Wycombe pulled one back from a corner on the right (the Wycombe left) the corner came across - Howie stayed put the header come in straight into Howie's arms. Howie somehow let it slip, tried to correct his mistake and ended up pushing the ball through his legs into the Reading goal. Howie was starting to look very dodgy - he just couldn't make his mind up as Wycombe kept whipping in those crosses. Thankfully the Wycombe number 10 was just complete shite. I don't remember seeing such a poor centre forward for ages. Total bollocks. But very funny. The amount of crosses that came direct to him that he managed to put wide or over was laughable. The best one was when he took a swing, missed it, but connected as his foot went back to send the ball the opposite direction of goal. Twat.
So 2-1 at half time. Shame we hadn't pushed them a bit more but it was looking reasonably safe. Hot Dogs for 80p less than the Mad House and pretty good service.
More of the same at the start of the second half until half way through Bernal, playing right wing-back, took a great run down the wing to deliver a spot-on cross to a determined Williams legging it through the middle into the box. Williams made no mistake with a superb header leaving the ball firmly in the back of the net. 3-1 to the Royals and it was looking safe. Caskey almost made it 4-1 with a long shot from the right (which may have been a cross) it curved and just missed the post with the keeper pushing it wide for the corner. The fifth goal of the game was also a header, like the rest, but this time another one for Wycombe after a cross into the box from the left side with 10 minutes left. 3-2 then and enough time for a few tense moments as I anticipated Reading chucking 2 points away. One just missed Howie's left post.
For the first time the game got a bit ill-tempered as their number 6 got his marching orders for his second yellow offence. He was off the pitch before the referee had reached into his pocket. Still, he deserved it, after earlier getting reported to the police for signals to the away end. Bastard.
Slowly Reading are getting better and better. Burns is slowly getting the team to play exactly how he wants it to be played. Today was a little different with the direct stuff in some dodgy conditions. And yes, Wycombe were a bit shit. But who cares. Things are starting to happen. There were even chants of "We Are Going Up!" today. Strange but true.