Reading FC Latest News And Rumours

Hob Nob Anyone? News
January 2004 - March 2004

STAR Fans' Forum
Added by HNA? on 30/03/04
The next STAR (Supporters' Trust At Reading) fans' forum has been scheduled to take place on Thursday 15 April at 8pm in the Madejski Stadium Princess Suite. The forum allows fans to put questions directly to Reading manager Steve Coppell who will attend along with other members of the Reading FC staff. Fans are encouraged to provide written questions before the event - these questions can be sent to STAR via their email address at Alternatively you can hand in your questions to the STAR shop in the East Stand at the West Ham or Norwich games. The forum itself is open to STAR members only but membership will be available on the door.
Rumour Rating: Definite

Ten Man Royals Win At Coventry
Added by HNA? on 27/03/04
A determined Reading side worked impressively hard at Coventry City today to take home the full three points against the odds. With a very thin squad making the trip and a whole string of key players missing it was the home side that must have been massive favourites. Andy Hughes played left back, and put in an excellent performance, and Morgan, Kitson and Goater all started for the Royals. It was the home side that started the better and looked much more likely but Reading took the lead from a Salako free kick wide out on the right after only ten minutes. It was a well taken kick that was put right into the area to someone to get on the end off - but everyone missed the ball including the defence and keeper and it flew into the back of the net. Reading started to get more into the game after the goal but the home side had the better in a game of very few chances. Not long after the break Reading made it two with a rare attack when a good move saw Sidwell cross a simple ball along the floor from the left into the box and the path of Goater who tucked it home a treat. The referee was threatening to take the headlines with a terrible performance and swung the game back Coventry's way when he harshly dismissed Sidwell for a second booking with over half an hour to play. With more than twenty minutes left Coventry pulled one back, making it 2-1, with a series of headers saw the ball put in just inside the far post. Coventry had plenty of chances to draw level but Reading held fast with some gutsy defending and the luck of the crossbar. Ashdown had a commanding second half performance and made a couple of decent saves and other efforts were put wide when they should have done better. Coventry will wonder how they failed to pull level, but Reading did very well today and worked extremely hard for the win. A great day out for the travelling fans and the play-off dream is still alive despite Reading remaining ninth in the table.

  • Coventry City 1 Reading 2 - Report and Opinion
  • Latest Division One Table
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Skeleton Squad Heads To Coventry
    Added by HNA? on 26/03/04
    It will be a very thin squad that travels to Coventry tomorrow as Reading look for a win to keep the play-off hopes alive. With Scott Murray moving to Bristol City yesterday, Reading are another key player down with several players already out of action. New signing Dean Gordon will be unavailable to play as his loan deal does not allow him to play against his current club - leaving huge problems for the Reading defence. What everyone already knew has been confirmed and Nicky Shorey is out injured for probably the rest of the season. Williams and Brown are also currently injured, leaving Murty and Ingimarsson as the only two fit first choice defenders with Newman set to join them as cover. Up front Forster remains out of action and Owusu is suspended. Meanwhile, Coventry have two new players available for selection - Sebastian Olszar who signed on loan from Portsmouth yesterday and Onandi Lowe signed from Rushden and Diamonds.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Owusu Signs Two Year Deal
    Added by HNA? on 26/03/04
    Lloyd Owusu yesterday signed a two year contract as his move to the Royals became permanent after a successful loan spell from Sheffield Wednesday. Owusu will miss tomorrow's trip to Coventry City as his suspension continues, but could be in action next week for his country after being called up for the Ghana squad who play a friendly against French club Metz.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Murray Moves Back To City
    Added by HNA? on 25/03/04
    In a bizarre transfer deadline day for the Royals we lost one of our key players and failed to sign a replacement of any kind. Reading paid 650,000 to Bristol City for Scott Murray just nine months ago and today sold the player back for an undisclosed figure, that is rumoured to be substantially less than we originally paid. Murray had an up and down time at Reading but showed some promising signs that hinted he had plenty more to come. It feels a massive disappointment letting a key player go with the final run in the to season approaching, back to a side that obviously still rate him highly. Murray made 30 starts for the Royals and came off the bench ten times - hitting a total of five goals in his short Reading career. After failing to hold on to his starting place during the season he played just ten minutes on Saturday after replacing Andy Hughes during Reading's 0-2 home defeat. Bristol City's other transfer deadline day signings include former Royals Darren Caskey and Tony Rougier. There's a strong chance we'll be seeing those three players returning to the Madejski Stadium with Bristol City next season.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Dean Gordon Signs On Loan
    Added by HNA? on 23/03/04
    Coventry defender Dean Gordon is set to complete a loan move to Reading as Steve Coppell looks to bring in cover following a string of injuries to defensive players. Gordon is another of Coppell's former players having played for Crystal Palace for seven years after joining the club as a trainee in 1991. Gordon made well over 200 starts before signing for Middlebrough for 0.9 million pounds in the summer of 1998. He was a regular starter for the side before moving to Coventry on a free transfer in 2002. Gordon, a left-back, is obvious cover for Nicky Shorey who remains out through injury. It is being reported that his loan period will start after the trip to Coventry on Saturday - meaning his debut will be for the visit of West Ham United to the Madejski Stadium on 3 April 2004.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Sunderland Inflict Home Defeat
    Added by HNA? on 20/03/04
    Sunderland delivered a massive blow to Reading's play-off hopes this afternoon as they took away a 0-2 victory from the Madejski Stadium. Reading were finished off with two goals in the space of a minute, with less than twenty minutes left, when a draw was looking the most likely result after an average afternoon's entertainment. With a number of key players still out for the Royals we started with the same eleven that took the three points at Cardiff. Although the game was played at a lively pace in the first half and Kitson was certainly involved up front, there were few chances for either side. When the chances did come it was Ashdown, who had a solid performance, that was called into action more often. He held a header from a corner that was directed straight at him and saw Sunderland put a couple of other efforts high or wide. Reading started to look the more comfortable side on the ball and played some reasonable football to little effect. The second half saw Sunderland gradually get a better grip on the game and Reading begin to simply hoof it up-field. Reading seemed set to hold on until a move down the left saw a cross headed home - a free header but an impressive goal. After the celebrations died down and the game restarted it was all over for Reading when Sunderland swarmed forward, Ashdown made a good save but the ball came loose in the middle to be proded home and put the visitors 0-2 up. As a sign of Reading's lack of forward play they won their first corners of the game with ten minutes left - but could make nothing of it. Sunderland were reduced to ten men after a second yellow card for Whitley with seven minutes still left but Reading failed to pile on the pressure. The result saw Sunderland claim sixth place in the table, and with Ipswich also victorious today Reading slipped down to eighth. The Royals are only two points out of the play-off positions but with a very hard run in to the season and other teams having games in hand it looks like the play-offs will be a very tall order.

  • Reading 0 Sunderland 2
  • Latest Division One Table
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Back In Play-Off Zone
    Added by HNA? on 17/03/04
    Substitute Dean Morgan secured a 3-2 victory for the Royals last night at Cardiff City as Reading jumped back into the play-off zone with nine games of the season remaining. In a night packed with drama Reading took the lead three times with the home side pulling level twice. Two of Reading's goals came in injury time - Kitson's in first half injury time and Morgan's in the second half with ninety minutes showing on the clock. With injuries to two referees Morgan's goal came a minute into stoppage time - but there were still another eight minutes to play as Reading retained their lead. Reading started the game with a number of key players missing - Shorey and Williams out and Owusu serving his suspension. As a result Kitson started alongside Goater up front and Newman played full back with Brown returning from injury to play with Ingimarsson in the centre of defence. It was Ingimarsson that put Reading ahead with six minutes of the first half remaining after a Newman shot was saved and a Salako corner was headed home. Cardiff pulled level a couple of minutes later from the middle of the area after a bit of pressure before Kitson restored the lead with a header from a Sidwell cross. With the game taking it's toll on the supply of referees and less than twenty minutes remaining Cardiff equalised again. The match appeared to be heading to a draw when Brooker supplied the cross from the left that saw Morgan deliver the decisive header to win the game for the Royals.

  • Cardiff City 2 Reading 3
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Points Shared With Stoke
    Added by HNA? on 14/03/04
    The points were shared with Stoke City this weekend as neither team managed to find the back of the net in a 0-0 draw at the Madesjki Stadium. A draw was probably approaching the right result with both teams having chances to go ahead - but it was Reading that created the better chances and had most of the game and should feel that they missed out on two extra points. The Royals had the better of the first half with Owusu nearly scoring after stealing the ball and going past the keeper - only to fire into the side netting. Marcus Hahemann picked up a first half injury after being tackled when taking too long over the ball inside his own area. Luckily Marcus had little involvement in the opening half with Stoke failing to get a single shot on target. The second half saw Stoke much improved as they forced a couple of good saves from Hahnemann that forced him to own up to his injury and give Jamie Young his first taste of first team action. Young will go down as the hero of the day after putting in an excellent performance and pushing over an effort from a corner that looked certain to put Stoke ahead. Reading pushed forward again in the closing stages looking to snatch the win, but it was Reading's central defenders that would have taken the most credit from the game with impressive showings.

  • Reading 0 Stoke City 0 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Reserves Stuff Aldershot
    Added by HNA? on 11/03/04
    Reading's reserve side administered a severe thrashing of Aldershot Reserves last night running out 10-1 winners at The Recreation Ground. The Royals scored five goals in each half with Dave Kitson blasting home five goals and Dean Morgan getting a hat-trick. Andre Fashanu came off the bench with half an hour left and hit two as the Royals went into double figures. The home side grabbed a late consolation that still didn't get even close to making the scoreline respectable.
    Starting Eleven: Young, Soares, Mullins, Rifat, Newman, Savage, Boucaud, Daley, Brooker, Morgan, Kitson. Subs used: Campbell, Fashanu, Howell.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Predict The West Ham Score
    Added by HNA? on 08/03/04
    The Hob Nob Anyone? Prediction League has been updated once again, with the tables showing new players closing in on the top places. The home game against West Ham United is now available to predict along with all the fixtures up until that point. To register in the Prediction League tables you need to predict a total of ten games over the season - so if you've never played before you still have a chance to compete and be in with a chance of winning the average points table. We hope to be able to offer some decent prizes this season for the winners - follow the link below to join in the league.

  • Hob Nob Prediction League - Enter here!
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Owusu Double Earns Point
    Added by HNA? on 06/03/04
    Two goals from Lloyd Owusu earnt the Royals a share of the points with Crystal Palace this afternoon. Reading got off to a great start when Owusu scored the first goal of the game when Harper put in a corner from the right which Ingimarsson touched on allowing Owusu to head home from the centre of the area. After taking the lead Reading looked comfortable with Sidwell and Salako both having further shots that missed the target. However, Palace enjoyed the better end to the first half scoring two goals to go in ahead at the break. The first came just after the half hour mark when the ball was played in from the right and fired into the bottom corner of the net. It was 1-2 just before the half time whistle when a cross from the left was stuck home from the edge of the Reading area. Palace seemed to have the edge at half time but Owusu popped up with his second ten minutes into the second half to give the travelling fans reason to celebrate again - Murray provided the cross from the right and Owusu scored from the centre of the Palace area. Both sides had chances to win the game late on but it will be Reading who will feel they got the best result ending Palace's run of three straight home wins.

  • Crystal Palace 2 Reading 2
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Owusu Off As Royals Defeated
    Added by HNA? on 02/03/04
    Lloyd Owusu was sent off just into the second half as Reading lost out 1-2 at Preston North End tonight. Despite playing with ten men, Reading fought back from a goal down at half-time to draw level inside the last ten minutes when Hughes crossed, Kitson headed on and substitute John Salako scored from close range. With a share of the points looking likely Preston grabbed the win with just a minute left on the clock when Hahnemann came to claim a high ball in his area only to go down in a heap with several players challenging for the ball. The winner was prodded into an empty net. The home side had much the better of the first half and probably should have been more than just a single goal up at half time. Preston hit the crossbar twice and forced a couple of decent saves from Marcus Hahnemann - but their first goal came just after the half hour mark when they ran through the Reading defence before taking the ball past Hahnemann. Owusu picked up a straight red three minutes after the break when he went flying in with a two footed tackle that resulted in massive protests from the home players. Preston looked like they'd wrap up the win before Reading dug in and had their best spell of the game before forcing the equaliser - however it was Preston that had the better chances throughout.

  • Preston North End 2 Reading 1 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Battle For Victory
    Added by HNA? on 29/02/04
    A spirited performance from Reading claimed the full three points against Sheffield United at the Madejski Stadium this weekend. In a tense, hard-fought match Reading came from behind to score twice to lead at half time and then spent the second half fighting to keep the lead. Reading were much the better side in the opening forty-five minutes and were unlucky to go behind after ten minutes when the visitors took the lead against the run of play. The Royals bounced straight back though and continued to create the best chances from some positive attacking play. The breakthrough came on 25 minutes when Harper was taken down on the edge of the area and Nicky Shorey powered home an excellent free-kick from the right that flew into the top of the net. Reading's continued pressure paid off when James Harper, having a superb game coming forward, was rewarded for a great run by winning a penalty after he'd already skipped past one defender. Shaun Goater stepped up to drive a well taken penalty into the top left corner of the United net. It was Sheffield United that had the better of the second half but failed to take their chances after hitting a shot straight at Hahnemann and nearly pulling level only to hit the post with Hahnemann beaten. The frustration began to show as United started to run out of time and both teams picked up a series of bookings. Reading held firm with strong support from a 15,545 crowd and the three points keep the possibility of a play-off place alive.

  • Reading 2 Sheffield United 1 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Supporters' Trust Snaps Up Shares
    Added by HNA? on 26/02/04
    Today STAR revealed it has become one of the top 20 shareholders in Reading FC. It has recently acquired shares that once belonged to the late Earl of Cadogan. These were thought to be lost decades ago but thanks to detective work by the STAR Heritage team they have now been found. "The new shareholding will make absolutely no difference to anything in the short-term," said a STAR spokesman, "but it's nice to have for the future." For the full history of 'STAR, shares and Reading FC' try the link below:
    STAR Articles
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Loan Signing Completed
    Added by HNA? on 25/02/04
    The one-month loan signing of Leicester City midfielder Paul Brooker has been completed today. Brooker joined Leicester City from Brighton on a free transfer last summer but has made just five appearances - which includes three off the bench and just 40 minutes of Premiership action. After an initial three month loan spell with Brighton, from Fulham, he was eventually signed in May 2000 for 25,000 and made over 100 league starts for Brighton before his move to Leicester. Brooker becomes the latest Reading player to join after playing under Steve Coppell's management at a previous club.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Palace Accept Powell Bid
    Added by HNA? on 25/02/04
    Crystal Palace have accepted Reading's move for central defender Darren Powell this morning as Coppell looks set to sign another of his former players. Powell made over 150 starts for Brentford, hitting eight goals, before a 400,000 move to Crystal Palace in the summer of 2002. Powell hasn't featured in the Palace side since October last year and has been out of action for most of the season with a hamstring injury. With the player now returning to fitness Coppell has approached Palace with a fresh bid - believed to be in the region of 150,000 after a smaller bid was declined. If Powell is keen on the move then it leaves just personal terms to be agreed before Powell links back up with Steve Coppell and his former defensive team-mate Ivar Ingimarsson at Reading.
    Rumour Rating: Likely

    Royals Scrape Late Point
    Added by HNA? on 25/02/04
    Reading earnt a share of the points at the Madejski Stadium last night - but needed an injury time equaliser from James Harper when Burnley looked set to secure just their third away win of the season. It truth neither team deserved to pick up the full three points after a very average Division One game that saw long periods of scrappy play and plenty of hit and hope balls - especially from the Royals. We were probably lucky to see four goals in a game of few chances but Reading enjoyed the most of the ball and could have sneaked a late win when the lively Owusu smashed a shot against the crossbar just before Harper hit the net. It was Owusu that put Reading ahead mid-way through the first half after a terrible defensive mistake from the visitors. With Owusu causing pressure the defender headed the ball over the keeper who was strangely running out to collect, leaving Owusu free to run through and tap the ball home. Reading's lead lasted just four minutes when a familiar break in concentration after scoring saw Ingimarsson beaten in the area and Hahnemann poorly placed as the ball was slid across him and into the far side of the net. The only other memorable chance of the first half came from a Reading corner when Harper's ball was met by Ingimarsson who saw his header cleared off the line when it looked to be heading for the far corner. The second half saw Reading attacks continually break down and then Burnley take the lead with 23 minutes left on the clock. The ball was crossed from the left and hit home from the left side of the box just inside the near post. Reading threw on Murray and Kitson to chase the equaliser but it was a long time before either player was involved. With Reading finally putting some pressure on in the final minutes, and plenty of home fans already out of the exit, the goal eventually came. Reading broke into the area and the ball came to Harper just inside the area who hit a low shot into the back of the net to make it 2-2. Probably a fair result on the night, although Burnley will be gutted, but a very forgettable evening.

  • Reading 2 Burnley 2
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Goater Goal Wins It
    Added by HNA? on 23/02/04
    Shaun Goater made it six goals from seven games and the Royals made it three wins from four as they reclaimed eighth place in the table with a 1-0 victory at Gillingham at the weekend. Goater scored the only goal of the game after just eight minutes when he made the most of some poor home goalkeeping. A long ball forward saw neither the defence or keeper claim the ball and Goater lobbed the ball over the keeper to put Reading ahead. Reading had got off to a much better start with Salako forcing the Gillingham keeper into a good save in the opening five minutes. Gillingham probably should have pulled level later in the half after Ingimarsson took down a player inside the area. The resulting penalty was well saved by Marcus Hahnemann who made a couple of other decent saves to keep Reading ahead.

  • Gillingham 0 Reading 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Pub Tip For Gillingham
    Added by HNA? on 18/02/04
    If you're off to Gillingham this Saturday to follow the Royals then you may be interested in popping in the Livingstone Arms before the game. We've been contacted by the landlady who says the following about the pub: We are situated approximately 10 mins away from the train station and 100 yards from the "Away Supporters" turnstiles of Priestfield Ground. We are known as the "Away Supporters" pub even though we do entertain our own home supporters as well. Many of your supporters will know our pub from last season but this is just to introduce ourselves to those who do not. We are a sports orientated pub and have all the 1st Division shirts up on our ceiling (missing the odd one) together with Premiership shirts. We host 5 televisions together with an 8ft big screen showing all sports and are able to show more than one game at the same time.
    Furhter information about the pub is available from the link below:

  • Match Previews
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Watson Could Miss Gillingham Trip
    Added by HNA? on 18/02/04
    Reading midfielder Kevin Watson could miss the trip to Gillingham with a calf strain as Reading face a difficult away fixture with a number of key players out of action. Watson may make the game but is likely to miss out along with central defender Steve Brown who is struggling with a knee problem. Nicky Forster has already been ruled out for at least a month and Adrian Williams finds himself missing the game through suspension. Meanwhile Graeme Murty is in Wales tonight as part of the Scotland squad as they face Wales in an international friendly.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Forster Out For A Further Month
    Added by HNA? on 12/02/04
    Royals striker Nicky Forster is expected to be out of action for a further month after visiting a specialist concerning his stomach injury. Forster has missed recent matches leaving the strike combination of Owusu and Goater playing up front for Reading, and this looks set to continue with Forster confirmed as out and Owusu extending his loan for a further month. Forster has confirmed muscle damage in his stomach, which is taking longer than expected to heal - although no surgery is required.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Owusu Loan To Be Extended Again
    Added by HNA? on 09/02/04
    Striker Lloyd Owusu is set to have his loan spell with the Royals extended for another month. With Reading not playing next weekend the extension should see Owusu stay with the Royals until 4 April 2004 - at which point Coppell will either sign the player or see him return to Sheffield Wednesday. Owusu has looked good for Reading since arriving two months ago, and with Forster out through injury has had a positive impact for the Royals up front. Owusu has made six appearances so far scoring once - Reading's only goal during the home draw with Ipswich.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Thrashed At Rotherham
    Added by HNA? on 07/02/04
    Reading took the lead at Millmoor with a Goater penalty after twenty minutes only to end up on the wrong end of a 1-5 thrashing. Rotherham, who had gone six games without a win and were struggling in the bottom half of the table were convincing winners in the end over a Reading side that had won the last two games. There was no sign of Nicky Forster as the game got underway but again the duo of Owusu and Goater looked like it might just do the job. After a slow start it was Reading that looked the more likely side early on with Owusu providing a cross to Salako that required a decent save. The Royals then took the lead when Owusu was clearly taken down inside the area, allowing his strike partner Shaun Goater to step up to make it 1-0. The lead was short lived when a suspect penalty down the other end signalled the start of the home side's comeback. Ex-Reading striker Martin Butler went down in the area as he chased the ball away from goal with Martin Williams and the resulting penalty kick beat was put past Hahnemann. Monkhouse volleyed home to give Rotherham a half time lead and the game was over after the break when Butler scored from close range against his old team mates after a defensive mistake by Nicky Shorey. Reading pushed forward to try and get back into the game but became stretched at the back and were caught out by a free-kick that was chipped over Hahnemann with eleven minutes left to play. In the last minute a big defeat became a thrashing as Rotherham poured forward to add a fifth and end a miserable afternoon.

  • Rotherham United 5 Reading 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Easter Game On Sky
    Added by HNA? on 05/02/04
    Reading's Easter Monday (12 April) clash with promotion hopefuls Norwich City will now be shown live on Sky TV. The live showing means the game will now kick-off at the Madejski Stadium at Sky's usual 5:35pm time instead of the scheduled 3:00pm. The return of Alan Pardew, as manager of West Ham United, has also drawn the attention of the Sky cameras and the game will be screened live from the Madejski on 3 April 2004.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Downs Gets Radio Slot
    Added by HNA? on 05/02/04
    David Downs is making an appearance on the airwaves this Saturday (7th February) as the guest on Mark Watkins's show on local radio station Blast 1386. Mark's music show is on from 10am - 1pm - with the interview with David, on from noon - 1pm. You can listen in on the web on or on your radio if you live in Reading on 1386am to get your fix of Robin Friday stories and much more.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Derby Defeated
    Added by HNA? on 31/01/04
    Reading continued their return to form with a second straight league win, beating Derby County 3-1 at the Madejski Stadium, to climb to just two places, and two points, outside the play-off positions. Reading looked much more impressive than their last home encounter and created plenty of chances to put the game beyond Derby's reach with Shaun Goater and Kevin Watson both enjoying excellent games. Reading were straight out of the blocks and took less than two minutes to take the lead. Shorey put in a free kick from the edge of the Derby area and Goater hit his 200th league goal with a header. Owusu, partnering Goater up front was also dangerous in front of goal and nearly extended Reading's lead mid-way through the half when he headed just wide from a Salako cross. The Royals were 2-0 up at half time though when Sidwell ran through and hit a great shot that deflected past the Derby keeper. Goater hit his second goal after the break from a free-kick to effectively seal the three points for the Royals. Derby threatened a brief come back as Reading settled back with the game won, and the visitors pulled a goal back with an hour gone when they headed past Hahnemann. Hahnemann needed to make a couple of saves as Derby went close but as time ran out Reading were clear winners.

  • Reading 3 Derby County 1 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    January Fans' Forum Report
    Added by HNA? on 26/01/04
    The report from January's fans' forum, held at the Madejski Stadium earlier this month, is now available on Hob Nob Anyone?. The forum saw over 250 members of STAR (the Supporters' Trust At Reading) put questions to Reading manager Steve Coppell and Director of Football Nicky Hammond. Coppell spoke about his past football management, how he sees the start to his Reading career and took questions about players within the Reading side. Nicky Hammond explained his new role at the club and the future plans to strengthen the squad.

  • Fans' Forum - January 2004 - Report
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Valentines Day Game Postponed
    Added by HNA? on 26/01/04
    Reading's home tie against Burnley, scheduled for Saturday 14 February, has been postponed due to Burnley's continued involvement in the FA Cup. That Saturday is FA Cup fifth round day and Burnley will travel to either Millwall or Telford as they look to progress in the competition. The Royals will have yet another Saturday without a game after their third round home replay exit to Preston earlier this month.

  • Results and Fixtures
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Beard Day Returns
    Added by HNA? on 26/01/04
    Reading's annual Beard Day makes a welcome return this Saturday as the Royals take on Derby County at the Madejski Stadium. It's time to dust off your false beard and get down to the pub and then to the stadium to join in the party. This years theme, for the ninth beard day, is "Planet of the Bearded Apes". Those who can make it to the Rose and Thistle pub in Argyle Street (West Reading) are encouraged to get there early to join in the festivites before catching the free bus to the ground. The beard band will be in attendance and will appear in the North-East corner of the Stadium for the game - everyone is encouraged to join in with false beards and full singing voices.

  • Beard Day Website
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Goater Rejects Ipswich
    Added by HNA? on 23/01/04
    Reading striker Shaun Goater has turned down an offer to move to Ipswich Town on a three month loan. Ipswich boss Joe Royle was keen to bring in the player who he rates very highly after managing him at Manchester City. Goater, with seven goals in twenty three appearances for the Royals, opted to stay put to find his form in the Reading starting eleven.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Back To Winning Ways
    Added by HNA? on 18/01/04
    Reading returned to winning ways yesterday, to end a run of seven games within a win, to take three points from Nottingham Forest at the City Ground. After a run of poor performances ending with a home exit in the FA Cup on Tuesday night, Steve Coppell made a series of changes to the Reading side, which had a hugely positive impact. Forest's defeat by the Royals made it twelve games without a win for the home side and they looked poor as Reading grabbed the vital goal, and only goal of the game, before the half time break. Reading's midfield of Murray, Watson, Sidwell and Salako was a major difference between the two sides and the return of Forster up front alongside Goater was a real boost. Goater against wasted a good opportunity to put Reading ahead after failing to control the ball with just the keeper to beat but was involved in Reading's goal after playing the ball to Forster. Forster was fouled but did a great job of staying on his feet to play the ball right to Murray. Murray raced towards goal and as the keeper came out finished with an excellent shot into the bottom left corner. The second half saw Forest chasing the game without much impact as they struggled to make much impression on the Reading defence. A number of half decent crosses were put into the Reading box but Hahnemann had a very confident game as he came to clear up any danger. As the game wore on Forest put in a last gap period of pressure to attempt to get the equaliser but ultimately ended up frustrated, which showed with a couple of late yellow cards. Reading were certainly good for the win with a more confident performance and a much better looking side. Forest looked like a side out of form and the Royals will certainly have much harder tests than this.

  • Nottingham Forest 0 Reading 1 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Owusu Loan Extended
    Added by HNA? on 14/01/04
    Lloyd Owusu's loan period with the Royals has been extended for another move after Sheffield Wednesday agreed to double the initial loan period of a single month. Owusu has appeared in just three games so far after being cup-tied for the FA Cup fixtures and the longer loan spell could see Owusu get an extended run in the team after starting the last two league games. Owusu hit the back of the net against Ipswich last Saturday with a well taken header and will be looking for more to help Reading end their run of seven games without a win. With Forster out injured and Goater seemingly lacking in form Owusu could find himself with a big part to play.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Royals Stumble Out Of FA Cup
    Added by HNA? on 14/01/04
    Reading stumbled out of the FA Cup to Preston last night in front of the lowest home crowd of the season. The attendance of just 9,314 witnessed another poor Reading performance that stretched the current run to seven games without a win. Reading had chances to win the game but were shocking in front of goal with Shaun Goater missing a series of simple chances that saw Preston progress to round four and Reading exit, after a third round home replay, for the second season in a row. Reading got off to a bright enough start with Ingimarsson forcing an early save from a Scott Murray corner and Ricky Newman putting in a decent effort that was just over the Preston crossbar. Harper put the ball wide, when perhaps he should have done better, after the Preston keeper failed to clear and Reading created a few chances. However, as the game settled down it was Preston that looked the better side as they enjoyed most of the possession and looked far more capable of taking their chances. Preston took the lead just before the half hour mark when Reading lost the ball in the middle of the pitch allowing it to be fed forward seeing a shot that came out to Cresswell. Cresswell beat Hahnemann with ease with a effort that flew into the top corner. With Preston a goal up they looked likely to increase their lead before the break as Reading lost their way - a shot just before half time nearly made it two but was just over the Reading crossbar. After half time the expected second goal found the back of the net after some comical goalkeeping from Marcus Hahnemann. A cross from the left saw Hahnemann miss it and the ball bounced between him and Williams before being blasted home making it 0-2. One small bright point for Reading on a very dull night at the Madejski Stadium was Dean Morgan's performance up front alongside Goater. Morgan looked a much better prospect and worked hard to nearly get Reading back in the game early in the second half with a shot that needed to be tipped over the bar. Goater had a chance to get Reading back in it but somehow managed to put the ball wide from just a few yards out. Preston continued to look the more composed side with Reading making all kinds of mistakes in a game that showed a massive lack of confidence. The Royals were lucky not to go futher behind when Hahnemann was beaten again and the ball was cleared off the line and moments later the ball was struck against the Reading post. Reading were already well beaten when Goater eventually found the back of the net with six minutes left to play.

  • Reading 1 Preston North End 2
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Ipswich Take Point
    Added by HNA? on 11/01/04
    Ipswich Town left the Madejski Stadium with a share of the points yesterday after a decent game between two sides that both deserved to get something out of the game. This was Reading's sixth game without a win - and Reading dropped to tenth in the table - but there were plenty of promising signs to suggest that run of poor results is shortly to come to an end. With a strong Ipswich away following, the game attracted the highest home league attendance of the season so far and the crowd of 17,362 were treated to some good football from both sides. Ipswich looked the stronger side for most of the first half and they played some neat passing football that saw Reading restricted to a small share of the ball. Reading were holding back to keep Ipswich at bay and the visitors had few chances to take the lead. Eventually Reading started getting into the game and a Harper shot from the edge of the box almost caught out the Ipswich keeper. The new combination of Goater and Owusu up front failed to cause much impression with little service provided but the second half saw Owusu make his mark as Reading took the lead after a good spell. Just after the hour mark a quick Hahnemann clearance saw Murray get away down the right. Murray's excellent cross was delivered right on the head of Owusu who made a great run to head home at the near post to put Reading 1-0 up. Reading's lead was short lived as ten minutes later it was 1-1 when Reading failed to defend a corner from the Ipswich left. Morgan and Kitson were thrown on for Reading and Morgan showed some impressive touches and broke through a couple of times only to put the ball over. Murty, who had a superb game, could have won it with a great shot in the last ten minutes, but a draw was the right result.

  • Reading 1 Ipswich Town 1 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    New Players Appear In Reserves Win
    Added by HNA? on 06/01/04
    New signing Dave Kitson and trialist Zeljko Popovic appeared for the Royals reserve side today as they beat Rushen and Diamonds behind closed doors at Nene Park. The game saw Kitson play 45 minutes to complete his return from an injury that had kept his out of the Cambridge side before his transfer to Reading. Popovic, born in Montenegro, appeared in the centre of the Reading defence. Reading ran out 2-0 winners with John Salako and Dean Morgan scoring the goals - both coming in the opening half of the game.

    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Swansea Drawn In Round Four
    Added by HNA? on 05/01/04
    Reading or Preston will face Swansea City away in the Fourth round of the FA Cup. The fixture will be played on the weekend of 24 and 25 January. Division Three Swansea beat Macclesfield 2-1 at home in the Third Round of the competition at the weekend. The game will be Swansea's fourth straight home FA Cup tie after beating Rushden and Stevenage at Vetch Field in rounds one and two. After drawing 3-3 at Deepdale, the Royals will first need to defeat Preston North End in the third round replay match scheduled for the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday 13 January. Tickets for the replay have been reduced - meaning an adult ticket purchase in advance will cost just 12 for the North, East and Lower West stands.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Get FA Cup Replay
    Added by HNA? on 03/01/04
    Reading will have to replay their third round FA Cup tie with Preston North End after leaving Deepdale with a 3-3 draw this afternoon. All six goals came in the opening half with the Royals taking the lead three times only to see Preston come back each time. Preston players managed to score five of the goals with two own goals going down on the Reading score-sheet. Preston had the better of the second half but both teams had chances to win the game after an entertaining opening forty-five minutes. Reading, who were missing Nicky Forster through injury, started with Savage and Goater up front and it took Goater just seven minutes to give Reading the lead. Savage was fouled outside the area and Murray put in a free kick which Goater headed into the top of the net from the centre of the box. Just two minutes later and Preston were level when a long range shot was deflected past Hahnemann. Reading went back ahead with a deflection of their own when a Murty cross was put into the back of the Preston net by a defender. Reading kept their lead until just after the half hour mark when some continued slack defending saw the ball played over Hahnemann and headed home. It was 3-2 to the Royals when a Murray cross was turned into the Preston net for another own goal but Preston made it 3-3 on the stroke of half time, after some strong pressure, when a cross was headed firmly past Hahnemann. The second half saw tightened defensive performances from both sides, which will see the game replayed at the Madejski Stadium on 13 January.

  • Preston North End 3 Reading 3
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Henderson Moves To Gillingham
    Added by HNA? on 02/01/04
    Darius Henderson has completed his move to Gillingham in a transfer that sees the Royals collect an initial payment of just 25,000. Gillingham will have to pay out up to a total of 100,000 depending on Henderson's progress. Henderson passed his medical today allowing the transfer to be completed during the day leaving the striker available to play in Gillingham's FA Cup third round tie with Charlton Athletic. Henderson, a product of Reading's youth Academy, looked to be a strong prospect for the future after becoming a regular on the substitutes bench after making his debut in March 2000. Although Henderson appeared just six times during the 2000/2001 season he was virtually ever present in the following season despite seeing his performances limited to coming off the bench. After hitting 15 goals in league and cup with only five starts in the league Henderson found himself out of the first team and went out on loan to Coppell's Brighton side earlier this season. He hit two goals in ten starts for Brighton but it clearly wasn't enough to convince Coppell that Henderson had a future with the Royals.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

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