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Archive for year: 2007

Four Goals And No Points - Again
Added by HNA? on 30/12/07
Reading again scored four away from home and again came away with nothing in an amazing game of ten goals at White Hart Lane. This time Reading will feel disappointed at failing to come away with something after leading Spurs three times - including being 4-3 up with just fifteen minutes left to play. The Royals played some excellent attacking football in a pulsating game, but defensive errors against a striker in amazing form saw Berbatov hit four and ensure Reading left empty handed. Reading quickly found themselves behind when Berbatov scored after just seven minutes with a simple close range goal. The Royals pulled level with their first meaningful attack of the game. Nicky Shorey, who was to create plenty of chances througout the game, saw his free kick punched out by Robinson in the Spurs goal. The ball came out to Cisse who drove it in through a crowded area to make it 1-1. After the break Reading moved ahead after earning a corner. Shorey's delivery found Ingimarsson whose header beat Robinson. At this point Reading perhaps should have put the game out of Spurs' reach. Reading's first half equaliser may have been against the run of play but Spurs' equaliser was perhaps even more so as they pulled level just as Reading looked like they would go on to win. Murty's clearance found Berbatov rather than space and the Spurs striker buried it into the roof of the net to make it 2-2. Shorey provided his third assist of the afternoon from a corner with Kitson rising at the near post to direct a header into the far side of the net to make it 3-2. The lead was again short lived as Berbatov found plenty of room to complete his hat-trick. Hunt was the next to turn provider with a great ball through to Kitson. This time Kitson got the better of Robinson, cooly chipping the ball over him as the keeper came out to put Reading back ahead again at 4-3. Once again the lead was short lived as it became 4-4. There was still plenty of time for more drama and for Spurs to nick the three points. Sonko conceeded a penalty only for Spurs to see Hahnemann make a good save as he got down quickly. However Defoe, who was nearly level with the penalty taker when the ball was struck found himself illegally in the area with plenty of time to tuck home the rebound. It should have been retaken - but would Marcus have been able to make a second save? With time running short and Reading clearly knackered Spurs wrapped up the win with Berbatov's fourth goal which made the scoreline harsh on Reading.

  • Spurs 6 Reading 4
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Ten Man Royals Draw With Hammers
    Added by HNA? on 27/12/07
    The Royals extended their best spell of the season making it five games without defeat with a hard fought away point at West Ham United. The result could have gone either way, and would probably have ended with a Reading victory without the sending off of Gunnarsson after just 29 minutes. At that point, Reading were well on top, playing better football and looking far more dangerous. Gunnarsson's sending off with only a third of the game gone might have spelled disaster for Reading. It was a harsh decision that threatened to ruin what was developing into a good game. The instant red card put an end to Reading's excellent start to the game. Kitson set up Doyle after a great run into the left side of the box only to see Doyle's header fly straight at the keeper from close range. The two front men were at it again to set up Convey who couldn't find enough space to beat the advancing goalkeeper. With Hunt in his usual excellent form we were causing plenty of problems for West Ham until we were reduced to ten men. West Ham at last found some kind of pattern with Reading temporarily deflated, and the goal came from a scramble on the edge of the box just before half time. The ball came loose from a crowd of players and Solano found space to drive the ball home. After the break West Ham failed to make the most of their extra man. Eventually Reading themselves back on top again despite the lack of numbers. A corner from Harper was poor but came out to Shorey who made a clever run into the box before picking out Kitson with a short ball forward. Kitson had his back to goal but turned and volleyed home in style to make it 1-1. For a spell it looked like Reading might go on to win it as they enjoyed the better possession and continued to push men forward. However, with time running out West Ham finally came to life and might have stole it. Reading were forced to defend at West Ham swept forward. Hahnemann saved from close range and was in excellent form to claim everything sent into the box. In injury time Reading were saved by the post as they hung on to claim the point.

  • West Ham United 1 Reading 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Another Deserved Win
    Added by HNA? on 23/12/07
    Reading needed a controversial late goal to get a full three points, which they should have secured much earlier in the game. The Royals were by far the better side throughout but Sunderland looked to have snatched an unlikely draw with a late penalty, before a Stephen Hunt effort, that may not have crossed the line, was awarded as a goal. Despite the drama, the scoreline was a fair reflection of the game after Reading, fielding another unchanged line-up, dominated the first half. The Royals were playing the better football but were finding it hard to create many clear cut chances with Sunderland defending in numbers. Dave Kitson hit an excellent long range effort just over the cross bar and Hunt perhaps could have claimed a first half goal when the keeper appeared from nowhere to save on - or perhaps just over the line. Doyle might have done better with a shot from a tight angle that flew across the face of goal as Sunderland hung on. After the break Reading remained on top and the excellent Hunt nearly scored with an amazing long range shot that slammed into the far post. We had to wait until twenty minutes from the end against an improving Sunderland side. A free-kick on the right was headed on by Sonko and the goalkeeper failed to cleanly collect leaving the ball to spill into the path of Ingimarsson who buried it from close range to put Reading ahead. Reading were guilty of attempting to sit on their lead from that point, and rather than attempt to wrap the game up we allowed Sunderland to attack and defended deep. It was nearly a fatal mistake. With eight minutes left Sunderland broke free and Sonko was judged to have played the man and not the ball inside the area. Chopra stepped up and sent Hahnemann the wrong direction with a clinical penalty. The Sunderland fans went mental and the game was turned on it's head as Sunderland went looking for a winner themselves. Steve Coppell sent on super sub Shane Long and he had an immediate impact. It was anyones game, but Long made the difference, striding forward into the area in the final moments of the game to cross to Hunt at the far post. Hunt got the contact, the keeper got a hand to it but it wasn't enough as Reading were awarded the goal, and a vital three points to move back up to 12th spot in the table.

  • Reading 2 Sunderland 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Earn Historic Win
    Added by HNA? on 09/12/07
    This was probably one of Reading's biggest results in recent history - our first ever Premiership win over a "big four" side, inflicting their first defeat of the season. This was special, very special. It wasn't just that we defeated Liverpool, it was the way in which they were beaten. Reading were the better side for much of the game and thoroughly deserved to win by two goals. This was an entirely different game and performance from last week. Reading's early pressure told when Doyle was taken down right on the edge of the Liverpool area with fifteen minutes gone. After much debate, the referee stuck to his original decision and awarded the penalty. Hunt cooly stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way before putting his penalty into the bottom left corner of the net. With Reading ahead, Liverpool looked dazed and Reading poured forward with Convey smashing a superb long range effort that was inches away from finding the top corner of the net. It was against the run of play when Liverpool drew level. After a previous effort that had hit the post, they'd looked quiet and were struggling to create any clear cut chances. With their lack of success in midfield or down the wings it wasn't much suprise that their goal came from a long hoof up field from their goalkeeper. The ball was played through and Gerrard run onto goal to bury it. After the break the pattern continued and it was Liverpool that had chances to take the lead. Hahnemann made a couple of good saves, and they should have perhaps done better from a close range effort that was blasted wide. However, Reading were soon back in the driving seat. It was Gerrard that found he had no option but to hack Hunt down not far outside the area, and picked up the only yellow card of the game for his efforts. Shorey floated in the free-kick, which might have found the target itself until the slightest of touches from Kevin Doyle's head saw the ball rest firmly into the back of the net. 2-1 to Reading and the Madejski erupted. Reading's amazing afternoon was summed up by the quality of the third goal. Bobby Convey saw Harper's run and played the perfect ball into his path. Harper out paced a couple of Liverpool defenders before taking the ball around the advancing goal keeper and calmly striking it home from an angle to make it 3-1. It was an excellent goal that killed Liverpool off.

  • Reading 3 Liverpool 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Spurs Away In FA Cup
    Added by HNA? on 02/12/07
    Reading have been drawn away against fellow Premier League strugglers Tottenham Hotspur in the third round of the FA Cup. The draw means that Reading will travel to White Hart Lane twice in the space of just over a week, with the FA Cup fixture on the 5th or 6th of January closely following the League game on 29 December. Last season eighth placed Reading lost out by a single goal - from the penalty spot in the league meeting.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Continue To Struggle
    Added by HNA? on 02/12/07
    Reading ended a run of three straight defeats but struggled to earn a point against a poor Middlesbrough side in a poor quality Premiership fixture. Neither side showed much quality throughout and there was little excitement despite both sides being desperate for points. Throughout the game Reading suffered from a lack of productivity from the midfield and a lack of concentration in defence. We struggled to play the ball around or keep possession and it was typical that our goal, nine minutes into the second half, game from a long hoof from Hahnemann. Doyle flicked it on and Kitson finished well with a lob over the goalkeeper. It was a rare bright moment. The visitors could have gone ahead in the first half but Reading were saved by the post after the shot went through Hahnemann's legs. Middlesbrough could have pulled level after a defensive mix-up, but the equaliser came inside the last ten minutes - a cross from the right found Tuncay with plenty of space to head home.

  • Reading 1 Middlesbrough 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Lose To Late Goal
    Added by HNA? on 25/11/07
    Reading so nearly became the first team this season to take anything away from a trip to Manchester City - before an injury time goal stole the points for the home side. The Royals were massive underdogs and the game looked set to follow an expected pattern with Reading going behind after eleven minutes. The goal was a scrambled effort which saw the ball hit the foot of the post before being saved by Hahnemann, only for him to see the second rebound effort hit the back of the net. The rest of the first half was nothing to get excited about, with Reading defending well enough but rarely getting forward. It was probably the first meaningful effort of the game when Reading pulled level just before the break. Doyle did well on the left before playing the ball to Convey in the area. Convey threaded it through to Harper who volleyed home for an impressive equaliser. The second half saw Reading improved as they looked set to pick up a valuable away point. It all looked like it was going to go according to plan with City struggling to break through and Reading looked comfortable until the dying minutes. City wasted an opportunity to pull ahead before a spectacular long range strike in injury time claimed a late win.

  • Manchester City 2 Reading 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Arsenal Clear Winners
    Added by HNA? on 13/11/07
    Reading failed at an impossible mission to take points from England's best side, and were never close to causing an upset against first class opposition. Reading put in a reasonable hard working first half showing and were unlucky to be a goal down at the break. However, the second half saw Reading fail to compete as they seemed to accept the game was lost. A late flurry saw Shorey score a consolation goal but Arsenal already had the game wrapped up. Arsenal hit the post, but Reading had one of the best efforts of the opening forty minutes when Gunnarsson unleashed a powerful long range effort that seemed to be curling into the side of the net before Almunia pulled out an impressive save. Right before the break Arsenal delivered a killer blow. Hahnemann shouldn't have come for it but did, allowing a gift of a goal after such strong defensive efforts for the rest of the half. The second half was a disappointment as Reading stuck to their defensive habits and allowed Arsenal to attack. We'd had some reasonable possession in the first half but that quickly drifted away in the second as Arsenal dominated the game. We'd barely touched the ball before it was 0-2 seven minutes into the half. Arsenal broke at ridiculous pace moments later and looked to have made it three only for Reading to be spared by the linesman's flag. As Arsenal began stroking the ball around, Reading could only watch. Hahnemann looked a little silly again as the ball was taken round him for Arsenal's third. Reading fans started making for the exits long before Reading attempted to make the game respectable in the dying five minutes. The introduction of Long gave us something extra and we, at last, looked capable of doing something up front. A free-kick from the edge of the area saw Shorey slam the ball into the foot of the near post, before a late consolation. Long caused some problems for Arsenal diving through the area to win the ball and Hunt's effort came back off the crossbar from the resulting attempt, before dropping to Shorey who slammed it home. Reading pushed forward looking for a second that didn't come, but we had already been well beaten.

  • Reading 1 Arsenal 3
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    "Like Seeing An Old Friend"
    Added by HNA? on 28/10/07
    Steve Coppell claimed it was "like seeing an old friend" after watching Reading put in one of their best performances of the season to claim a thoroughly deserved win over Newcastle United. However, the Royals needed a late goal from Shane Long, who came off the bench with seven minutes left to play and immediately scored the vital goal. Before that Reading had a frustrating first half with Lita missing a couple of golden opportunities to put Reading ahead. The second half saw Reading move ahead with an excellent long range shot from Kitson. After leaking a staggering number of goals this season, the defence looked much improved with Sonko continuing his comeback from injury. However, Duberry conceeded a weak own goal to put Newcastle level with fifteen minutes left to play before Long rescued the full three points.

  • Reading 2 Newcastle United 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Visit Blackburn
    Added by HNA? on 17/10/07
    Reading visit sixth placed Blackburn Rovers this weekend as the Premiership returns to action after the International break. Reading will have a number of players returning from international duty, including England player Nicky Shorey who may feature in tonights crunch game in Russia. On Saturday, with a "standard" 3pm kick-off, Reading will be looking for a much needed first league win of the season on away soil. If the game is anything like last season’s epic at Ewood then fans are in for a treat. With both teams chasing a final day European place, the game finished 3-3, with the Royals coming from behind three times to finish 8th in the Premier League in their first season. Using money from the new TV deal Blackburn have significantly reduced ticket prices for both home and away supporters (Reading FC take note!). Match prices for Reading fans are just £7 for junior tickets, £10 for seniors and £20 for adult tickets. Supporters can purchase tickets by phone (0870 999 1871) or in person at the Madejski Stadium Sales Centre. Tickets will also be available on the day of the game for away supporters but buy in advance to avoid queuing.

  • Blackburn and Reading - Recent Meetings
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Single Goal Victory Over Derby
    Added by HNA? on 08/10/07
    Reading secured a vital win over bottom of the table Derby County with Kevin Doyle scoring his first goal of the season for Reading - and the game's only goal. This was a nervous victory for Reading, and the game was by no means a classic, however the win lifted Reading away from the bottom three, for now, and into twelfth spot. Reading were good for their win after creating most of the chances but struggled to dominate against a poor visiting side. The Royals probably should have been ahead by half time after Hunt had two good chances. One he sent sailing over the crossbar and another saw his header just wide of the post. Doyle got in a header that needed a save with Reading clearly on top. However both sides were guilty of mis-placed passes and some pointless ball hoofing during the second half as the game looked to be drifting towards a goalless draw. Reading's lifeline came as Murty swung over a cross that missed a couple of players before finding Doyle wide on the left. Doyle headed back across goal and into the far side to give Reading the three points.

  • Reading 1 Derby County 0
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Portsmouth 7 Reading 4
    Added by HNA? on 01/10/07
    Reading managed to score four goals away from home but were still soundly beaten at Portmouth in a record breaking score-line. In a bizarre afternoon of eleven goals Reading perhaps could have clawed their way back into the game before being stuffed out of sight and then grabbing another late consolation. It was an afternoon of plenty of defensive mistakes with Reading taking the prize for being the most shambolic in a very entertaining open fixture. Portsmouth looked good for a two goal half time lead and probably should have been further ahead but for an impressive Hahnemann save. However, Hunt gave Reading a glimmer of hope with a header not far from the line that pulled a goal back before half time. After the break Kitson made the most of some poor goalkeeping to pull the game level.
    With fifty-five minutes on the clock, Portsmouth restored their lead, only to conceed a penalty. Had Nicky Shorey put it home then the game may have taken on a different complexion with the scores level at 3-3. Shorey's penalty was simple for the goalkeeper and a potential life-line was wasted. Instead on 75 minutes the score was 5-2 to the home side and the game appeared out of reach of the Royals. But the goals continued to come. Shane Long, off the bench, got the final touch from a James Haper attempt on goal to make it 5-3 and set up a possibly dramatic finish. Portsmouth had looked the better side and made the score-line reflect that when they added two more goals making it a ridiculous 7-3, with the second of those from the penalty spot. There was still time for another goal deep in injury time when Shorey made up for his penalty kick by scoring a deflection to make it finish 7-4.

  • Portsmouth 7 Reading 4
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Liverpool Put Reading Out
    Added by HNA? on 26/09/07
    Reading went out of the league cup at the third round stage, at the hands of Liverpool, for the second consecutive season. Following last season's 3-4 defeat at Anfield, this game could have produced the same result as an encouraging Reading performance saw them pull the game to 2-2 before Liverpool finally got the upper hand to win 2-4. This was an entertaining evening, with plenty of goals and some good football from both sides. Despite big changes to the Reading side, we got off to an impressive start. The player list made the side look defensive, but we played anything but defensive. Halls on the right wing felt a bit strange but he went on to have a reasonable game - particually in the second half. He was involved in the first move that should have produced a goal - but Lita's header was straight at the keeper. Against the run of play Liverpool took the lead, but Reading's response was immediate when Convey smashed home a Shorey corner across goal and buried it in the opposite side of the net. After the break, Liverpool were quickly back in front but Reading couldn't be faulted for effort. The Royals pulled level again from another corner. This time Halls had two attempts at it before finally hacking the ball home to make it 2-2. Torres was causing Reading all kinds of problems despite a very solid display from Bikey, and put Liverpool back ahead. Reading might have pulled level again, but Lita's spectacular over-head kick was tipped over the crossbar, before Torres popped up again to make it 2-4.

  • Reading 2 Liverpool 4
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Late Goal Seals Second Win
    Added by HNA? on 22/09/07
    Reading picked up a vital second win of the second - but perhaps were slightly fortunate to do so with a last minute strike from Harper that sealed the points. It was an up and down afternoon from the Royals, who mixed some excellent football with periods where they simply looked lost. Reading dominated the first half and should have gone in more than a goal up, but Wigan had the better of the second half and perhaps should have been ahead before Reading stole the win at the death. One of the clearest chances of the first half fell to Rosenior who burst through the middle and looked set to score before hitting his shot too near the keeper when he might have placed it better. Another chance fell to Duberry and he should have also scored but somehow managed to direct his header in the wrong direction and put it wide. It was Doyle's shot that saw Reading take the lead. The goalkeeper really should have held it but split it into the path of Kitson who made no mistake with his close range finish. Reading had hardly finished celebrating when Wigan were down the other end and looked to have won a penalty when Ingimarsson left his leg out-stretched. The referee pointed to the spot but the linesman continued to flag it was outside the area. After much debating Wigan were denied the penalty much to the joy of the home support. However, the resulting free-kick from the edge of the area hammered against the Reading crossbar with Hahnemann beaten. After the break, Wigan were clearly on top, and it was no suprise when they pulled level five minutes into the half. With time running out it was clear either side was capable of grabbing a late win - but thankfully that side was Reading when an excellent move saw Kitson play an intelligent through ball to Harper. The Madejski Stadium errupted for the highlight of the season so far. There was still time for some nervousness as Wigan forced a couple of corners late in injury time. However, Reading hung on to climb out of the relegation positions and up to fifteenth in the table.

  • Reading 2 Wigan Athletic 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Nine Months: Nine Goals Different
    Added by HNA? on 02/09/07
    It was exactly nine months since West Ham United last visited the Madejski Stadium. Last time the Hammers left Reading on the wrong end of a six goal thrashing. However, this weekend, a three goal victory for the visitors completed a massive nine goal turn around over the two fixtures. The scores do not lie. Nine months ago, Reading demolished West Ham and deserved the large win to maintain ninth in the Premership table. However this game saw Reading short of ideas after conceeding an early goal, one after half time and one right at the end to slump into the bottom three in the table. The Royals had enough of the ball but failed to trouble the West Ham defence. Down the other end of the pitch West Ham looked dangerous with every attack with the Reading defence looking suspect. Doyle missed a penalty when Reading were two goals down and any small chance of a comeback faded.

  • Reading 0 West Ham United 3
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Liverpool In Round Three Again
    Added by HNA? on 02/09/07
    For the second consecutive season, Reading will face Liverpool in the third round of the league cup. Last season saw the first ever competitive meeting between the two sides as Reading travelled to Anfield and lost out 3-4. The draw means the two sides will have met six times over two seasons. This time around Liverpool will visit the Madejski Stadium, with the game likely to take place on Tuesday 25 September 2007.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Narrowly Beat Swansea
    Added by HNA? on 29/08/07
    For the third time this season, Reading had to contend with being reduced to ten men as Sodje was sent off on the hour mark at Swansea City in the League Cup second round game. Swansea, two Divisions below the Royals, may have looked favourites to win at that stage after an impressive start. However, Reading forced extra time before wrapping up a single goal victory with a Leroy Lita goal. Overall it was an uneventful night but Reading will be relieved to have recorded a victory after Saturday's 0-3 reverse at Bolton Wanderers.

  • Swansea City 0 Reading 1 (After Extra Time) - League Cup
  • Bolton Wanderers 3 Reading 0 - Premiership
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Reading Record First Win
    Added by HNA? on 19/08/07
    Reading picked up their first win of the new season with a hard fought 1-0 victory against Everton at the Madejski Stadium. It was the third straight tough fixture as Reading followed up games against Chelsea and Manchester United with a visit from the team at the top of the table. Reading had already picked up a valuable point in Manchester and probably deserved at least a point against Chelsea, so the three points against Everton were the least we deserved. Despite the quality of the opposition Reading had much the better of the first half. Kevin Doyle was enjoying more of the ball up front and managed to fire in a couple of first half shots, while Seol and Hunt were causing plenty of trouble down both wings. Hunt, who had another excellent match, deserved his goal just before the break when he latched onto a long throw, controlled it well before stroking it past the goalkeeper. Bikey stood out alongside Hunt with a first class individual performance. He was a rock in defence and didn't let anything through as Everton were made to look lacking up front. However in the second half the visitors could have pulled level when they were denied by the crossbar and then Hahnemann's quick reactions.

  • Reading 1 Everton 0
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals To Face Swansea
    Added by HNA? on 17/08/07
    Reading will travel to Swansea City in the second round of the League Cup. The Royals have enjoyed a good run of results against the Welsh side in recent history and will start as firm favourites. City were 2-0 winners against Walsall in their first round fixture. The game will be the first time a Premiership side has played in a competitive fixture at Swansea's new Liberty Stadium and is sure to attract a large home crowd. The fixture is expected to be played during the evening of Tuesday 28 August.

  • Recent Meetings Between Reading and Swansea City
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Disappointment As Chelsea Win
    Added by HNA? on 16/08/07
    This was another impressive performance from Reading, but ended in disappointment as the Royals failed to take at least a point from the encounter. Reading were much the better side in the opening forty-five minutes and ready should have taken a bigger lead into the half time break. Add to that another rather harsh red card midway through the second half and Chelsea may consider themselves fortunate to leave the Madjeski with the full three points. This was a very, very different occasion to Sunday's draw with Manchester United. Coppell altered the side to produce a much more attacking line-up with Long and Doyle up front, Oster on the wing, and handed Cisse his debut in midfield. Right from the start it was obvious we were going to push hard for a win and not settle for defending. On the half hour Duberry limped off to be replaced by Bikey. Bikey's first contribution was to push into the Chelsea box as the ball was crossed from the right. Chelsea keeper Cech made a right mess of the cross as he came for it and failed to make contact, taking out his defence in the process. Bikey ran around the bundle of players and calmly tapped the ball into the Chelsea net with his first touch of the ball. It was a deserved lead for Reading. And it really should have been more. John Oster was having a good game and nearly made it two with a shot that found the post with the keeper beaten. At the break Chelsea opted for major changes with two substitutions. It left Chelsea with no more options to them but it altered the game dramatically in the space of five minutes. With Sidwell off the pitch it allowed Lampard to push forward and a rare break in the Reading defence allowed him to break through and knock the ball past Hahnemann as he dashed into the box. Reading still hadn't settled when Drogba was allowed space on the edge of the area and turned to drive home an impressive effort that gave Hahnemann no chance. Murty might have pulled Reading level with a powerful low effort that was blocked by Doyle. However, Reading's chances of a come back suffered when Cisse was sent off for a harsh second booking that ended his debut early. After that Chelsea adopted an obscene time wasting approach that rewarded them with two bookings for their efforts. Despite the disadvantage in numbers, Reading kept on playing and the last couple of minutes saw the entire Reading side in the Chelsea half as Hahnemann became an outfield player to keep the pressure up. However, Chelsea's extra man made the difference and the Royals were unable to get in a shot as time ran out.

  • Reading 1 Chelsea 2
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Ten Man Reading Earn Tough Point
    Added by HNA? on 13/08/07
    Reading kicked-off the 2007/2008 season with an excellent, hard fought, away point at current Premiership Champions Manchester United. Coppell opted to pack the midfield and defence and to stop Manchester United playing with tight marking. It worked. Up front Kevin Doyle was the sole striker and was to have a very quiet afternoon as Reading went about the job of shutting United out. Reading's acheivement in getting a draw was made even more impressive after playing the last seventeen minutes with ten men when Kitson was sent off before touching the ball. Right from the off it was Manchester United enjoying the possession, but Reading were content to let them play, but every attempt of United's to break into the final third of the pitch found stiff resistance. Players were closed down instantly and there was never anywhere to run. Every slight movement of a United player found instant pressure from a designated marker. There were excellent defensive performances from the entire Reading team as United simply couldn't find any room to play. Rooney was to grab the headlines again - but for the wrong reasons after being replaced at half time with a suspected foot injury, picked up as he charged through on goal and was covered by Duberry. The other incident of note was Dave Kitson picking up a red card after about thirty seconds of replacing Kevin Doyle. Kitson's season was destroyed on the opening day of last season by a horrendous tackle. This wasn't in the same league as that as Kitson went flying in to block the United full back clearing the ball. It was a bad challenge worthy of a booking, but there's no doubt that the red card was harsh. It made Reading's job even tougher, yet we kept at the job to record a very successful result.

  • Manchester United 0 Reading 0
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Season Kicks-Off
    Added by HNA? on 10/08/07
    The new Premiership season kicks-off this weekend, with Reading travelling to defending Premier League champions Manchester United in their first game on Sunday. The fixture has been selected for live coverage on Sky TV and will kick-off at 4pm. Reading will be starting the new season with a similar squad to last season, with the only new additions being Khalifa Cisse (who signed from Boavista for £650,000), and Emerse Fae - Reading's record signing at £2.5 million. Steve Sidwell and Greg Halford left during the close season leaving the Royals with a the same backbone to the squad that finished 8th last season. Marcus Hahnemann is expected to return in goal, however Leroy Lita will be missing from action after picking up a bizarre injury in bed! Manchester United will have controversial new signing Carlos Tevez available for selection along with Owen Hargreaves.

  • 2007/2008 Season Premiership Fixtures
  • Manchester United -v- Reading - Match Preview
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    New Season: Man Utd Then Chelsea
    Added by HNA? on 14/06/07
    The new season's fixture list, released this morning, has given Reading the toughest possible start to the 2007/2008 campaign. The fixture computer has drawn Reading against Manchester United and Chelsea in the opening two games of the season. The Royals will travel to Old Trafford to kick off the season on Saturday 11 August before Chelsea visit the Madejski Stadium on the following Tuesday 14 August. Everton visit Reading on the second Saturday of the season. Arsenal visit Reading on 10 November, with Liverpool playing their game at the Madejski Stadium on 8 December. The festive period sees Reading play at West Ham United on Boxing Day followed by a home New Years Day fixture with Portsmouth. The return game with Manchester United will be on 19 January 2008, while Reading will travel to Chelsea on 30 January. Reading's season will finish with a home game against Spurs followed by a trip to newly promoted Derby on the last day of the season.

  • Full 2007/2008 Reading Fixture List

  • Rumour Rating: Definite

    Halford Set To Exit
    Added by HNA? on 11/06/07
    Greg Halford is set to complete a shock exit - moving to Sunderland in a £3.5 million deal. If the transfer completes it will mean that Reading will have made a £1 milllion profit from Halford in less than five months. Halford signed at the end of January from Colchester for a club record £2.5 million and has played just two games for the Royals (plus an additional late substitute appearance). His two starts in the Premiership were both defeats in which Reading failed to score - 0-1 at Spurs and the disappointing 0-2 defeat at home to Watford. Although the transfer comes as a complete suprise with Halford expected to be "one for the future", you can't argue with the business as £3.5 million goes back into Coppell's transfer fund for the summer.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    End Of Season Voting Results
    Added by HNA? on 05/06/07
    Ivar Ingimarsson has been voted Hob Nob Anyone? player of the season for 2006/2007 but nearly had to share his award with Nicky Shorey who finished a close second. Those two players took nearly 80% of the vote between them, reflecting Reading's excellent defensive performance all season long in the Royals' first ever season in the top tier. Both players played the vast majority of a very successful season with Ingimarsson being solid throughout. Shorey's call up to the England squad helped him a get a late surge of votes. There was only one contender in the most improved player of the season category. Stephen Hunt was a clear winner with no-one even close. Hunt took over two thirds of the vote to beat second place Ulises De la Cruz by 64%! Hunt had a superb season when he wasn't even expected to feature this year. He more than featured, becoming a vital first team regular. Some players might have crumbled after the unfair negative press following that Chelsea game, but Hunt went from strength to strength. For full details and to see the winners of best and worst performances of the season, follow the link below.

  • End Of Season Awards 2006/2007 Results
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Shorey In Full England Squad
    Added by HNA? on 26/05/07
    Reading full back Nicky Shorey has been included in the full England squad after an impressive showing in yesterday's England B fixture. Shorey, who started for the B team, played 73 minutes as England cruised to an impressive 3-1 victory over Albania. The England call-up completes a superb season for Shorey who had played another key part in Reading's success. However, Reading fans will know that Shorey has been amazing for years. Reading's first season in the top flight has finally got Shorey into the spotlight and allowed him to gain experience against world class players. It's been a constant upward path for Nicky who signed from Leyton Orient for just £25,000 at the start of 2001, and has made over 250 starts for the Royals. Shorey is in the squad for next Friday's friendly against Brazil and will remain in the squad for England's vital European qualification game in Estonia on Wednesday 6 June. There's a reasonable chance we might see Shorey make his full England debut against Brazil as McClaren tries out a number of players ahead of the Euro game.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    End Of Season Awards 2006/2007
    Added by HNA? on 16/05/07
    The voting form is up once again for the Hob Nob Anyone? end of season awards. The awards, which have been running on the site since 1994, are an entirely unofficial vote to let fans pick the best and worst performances of the season. The vote also includes the player of the season and the most improved player over the season - last years awards went to Glen Little and Bobby Convey. To cast your votes for this season follow the link below:

  • End Of Season Awards 2006/07 - Vote Now
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Finish Eighth
    Added by HNA? on 13/05/07
    Reading's fantastic season finished with a thrilling 3-3 draw at Blackburn Rovers as the Royals missed out on a UEFA Cup qualification finish by a single point. Bolton secured seventh place in the table, and edged Reading out, by drawing at home with Aston Villa. Reading came from behind three times to take an impressive point. If we had managed to score another goal it would have sealed a European place, but the draw still meant Reading finished eighth - an indication of just how successful this season has been. This game typified Reading under Coppell as we battled back each time we went behind and refused to be beaten. It was an entertaining end to end game with plenty of action that included six goals and two goals ruled out. Reading immediately set about trying to win this fixture and won a series of corners for their efforts. Nicky Shorey twice went close in the opening fifteen minutes including one effort that come off the inside of the post. Despite Reading's early pressure it was the home side that moved ahead when Hahnemann come off second best under a challenge that forced him to leave the field injured. The ball came loose with Marcus in a heap leaving an easy finish. However, Reading were level before the break when the lively Hunt swung the ball across and Seol was there to head home at the far post. The second half saw more goals as Blackburn restored their lead before the hour mark when the ball came back out off the post and was put home at the second attempt. But just two minutes later and Reading had fought level again when De La Cruz crossed and Doyle confidently headed home for his thirteenth of the season. Again Blackburn took the lead and again Reading equalised - this time Lita fired the ball into the wall from a free-kick before Gunnarsson blasted the ball home. Reading had four minutes of injury time to try and turn the game into a vital win but couldn't conjure up a final piece of magic to end a magical season.

  • Blackburn Rovers 3 Reading 3
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Europe Still Up For Grabs
    Added by HNA? on 10/05/07
    Reading still have a reasonable chance to claim a European place - if they can draw or win against Blackburn in the final game of the season on Sunday. Everton are already set to take a place meaning four teams are fighting it out for the final two UEFA Cup places. Blackburn's 1-1 draw with Spurs tonight means that Spurs are three points ahead of Reading but with a worse goal difference. The result also means that Blackburn now have nothing to play for with a top seven finish out of their reach. Blackburn would need to win by four goals or more to overtake the Royals. If Reading can win and Spurs lose at home to Manchester City then Reading would finish above Spurs. Bolton host Aston Villa. If Bolton lose then a Reading draw would be enough to see the Royals overtake Bolton on goal difference. Portsmouth are a point behind Reading and are at home to Arsenal. Realistically the Royals need to pick up a win from a tough fixture and hope Bolton fail to win or Spurs lose at home.
    Sunday 13 May 2007:
    Blackburn v Reading
    Bolton v Aston Villa
    Portsmouth v Arsenal
    Tottenham v Man City

  • Latest League Table
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Watford Spoil The Party
    Added by HNA? on 05/05/07
    After three straight league wins we were set up nicely to take another step towards European qualification with victory over Watford. That was turned on its head as relegated, and bottom of the table, Watford ruined the party and took away a two goal victory. Reading will now have to travel to Blackburn next Sunday and finish the season with a win to stand a realistic chance of finishing in seventh position. However, the scoreline was misleading. Reading had a lot of the game and nearly all the chances, but it simply didn't work out. Add to that a couple of players having off days and our passing game breaking down far too often and it didn't look likely we were ever going to score. Man of the match was almost certainly Foster in the Watford goal who didn't do a thing wrong all afternoon. Watford played the perfect away performance - keeping Reading shut out with a masterful defensive performance and looking strong on the break when they managed to hit two second half goals to take the win. It was promising enough early on as Reading started clearly on top. Leroy Lita was up to his usual tricks up front and was struggling to stay on his feet. Perhaps his constant going to ground under every challenge worked against him when he was clearly taken down for a penalty. The referee waved play on with every Reading fan on their feet screaming for the obvious. Leroy's strike partner, Dave Kitson, came closest to scoring for either team during the opening forty five minutes with an effort that hit the top of the crossbar with the Watford goalkeeper beaten. After the bright start the game had started to drift with neither side making much of an impact. gainst the run of play Watford took the lead on the hour when a free-kick beat Reading's offside trap allowing Shittu to score. Watford small band of travelling fans went mental. Reading fans sat back in stunned silence. Seol was stunned into action as he whipped in the best couple of crosses of the game as Reading tried to find the equaliser. With five minutes left on the clock Watford sealed the victory. The ball was crossed from the left, Hahnemann failed to hold it and it was a simple finish in the middle for Watford's King. The Watford fans went even more mental. The Reading fans made for the exits. Reading knew they were beaten and, although we never give up, we offered little for the last five minutes as Watford skillfully played out time. This was a rare home defeat against lower table opposition. We've been spoilt for years and forgot what it feels like.

  • Reading 0 Watford 2
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Reading Reclaim Seventh
    Added by HNA? on 01/05/07
    Reading reclaimed seventh place in the Premiership table - jumping back into a UEFA cup qualification postition - with a deserved single goal victory over Newcastle United. Reading's third straight win was settled with a second half strike from Dave Kitson who blasted the ball home from a Seol cross. Kitson and Doyle's involvement up front for Reading over shadowed the return of Michael Owen. Owen found the net early on from a clearly offside position but seldom looked dangerous enough to swing the game. Doyle on the other hand nearly did enough to put Reading ahead in the first half when he was clearly bundled to the ground inside the area. Strangely the referee failed to give the penalty. A mistake from the United keeper saw Doyle put a shot just wide of the post and Duberry put a clear chance way over the bar from a corner. After an even first half Reading had the better of the second and Kitson's goal secured victory.

  • Reading 1 Newcastle United 0
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Late Show Defeats Bolton
    Added by HNA? on 22/04/07
    Reading came back from the dead to record a memorable late victory over Bolton Wanderers. The Royals looked to be down and out after conceeding a unfortunate own goal midway through the second half - but fought back with a late showing that saw three goals in the last six minutes turn the fixture on its head. Bolton seemed on top during the first half with Hahnemann being called into action a couple of times earlier on - although the home side probably should have done better with their chances in front of goal. The patern of the first half was broken up by Bolton being forced to use all three of their substitutes, due to injuries, before the second half had even got underway. After the break Bolton remained vaguely on top in the fixture and they took the lead twenty minutes into the half through Reading's Nicky Shorey. A cross from the left saw Shorey slide in the middle to cut the ball out and he was only successful in putting the ball past Hahnemann and into his own net. Despite Reading being a goal down and time running short, the game was far from being over. Bolton's early substitutions may have given Reading the edge late on in the game. Coppell was able to bring on three fresh players from the bench - all late in the game - to help begin Reading's fight back. Inside the last ten minutes Kevin Doyle went steaming into the Bolton area, only to be taken out as he was starting to run out of pitch. It was a certain penalty and Doyle made no mistake as he steped up to blast the ball into the roof of the net and level the scores. Reading might have settled for the draw at this point - but Reading under Steve Coppell just don't operate like that - winning is the only option. Reading poured forward inside the last few minutes and Seol's cross from the right found Doyle in the middle who slotted home from close range to put Reading ahead. The three points were already now coming to Reading when Shorey got down the left on a great run and provided the perfect cross. Reading players were all lined up in the middle, but it was Hunt that got his head on it to complete the scoring - making it 3-1 to Reading and completing a miserable afternoon for Bolton.

  • Bolton Wanderers 1 Reading 3
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Hunt Fires Winner
    Added by HNA? on 16/04/07
    Stephen Hunt continued his excellent season by firing the only goal of the game as Reading ended their eight game winless run with victory over Fulham. It was a poor afternoon's entertainment in which Reading narrowly deserved victory for their first half performance. Fulham had much the better of the second half but couldn't find the equaliser as Reading hung onto the three points. Steve Sidwell took the headlines after being dropped from the squad as Coppell prepares for his departure at the end of the season. Gunnarsson was a more than adequate replacement in midfield and did very well to carve out a couple of chances in which he might have added to his goal tally for the season. Hunt's goal came on fifteen minutes when Doyle crossed and Hunt scored from close range for the game's crucial goal.

  • Reading 1 Fulham 0
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Reading Let Points Slip
    Added by HNA? on 08/04/07
    This was Reading's fifth defeat from seven games - and it was the seventh game without a win. However those statistics and this scoreline isn't a fair reflection of events on the pitch. Today Reading more than matched Liverpool, and were in fact the better side for much of the game. It's to Reading's credit that Liverpool's first goal came against the run of play - on a counter attack after Reading lost possession from a free-kick deep inside the Liverpool half. Before the Royals found themselves a goal down they might have moved ahead. John Oster was awarded a start with Glen Little out injured and was working hard up front. Some of his clever passes inside the Liverpool area didn't quite work out with his team mates failing to read his intentions. However Oster nearly fired Reading ahead with a powerful effort that needed the first save of the game. Kevin Doyle broke through moments later to fire a decent effort not far over the crossbar. With Reading pushing there was a strong case for a penalty before Hahnemann's first real involvement was to pick the ball out of the back of the net. Gunnarsson was simply stunning at right back. He didn't do a thing wrong, keeping it simple and effective. He was also decisive coming forward - hitting the equaliser not long after the break. Oster played a great cross into Gunnarsson's path on the right. He looked like he might have taken it too wide but then hit the ball across the goal, and the goalkeeper, and into the far side of the net. A top quality strike to make it 1-1. With the scores level again and most of the second half to play, we felt that Reading were most likely to take the win. Crouch headed the ball against his own crossbar as Reading continued to threaten. However, when the next goal didn't come quickly, Liverpool settled down. The game went nearly scrappy for a bit and three Liverpool substitutions appeared to break Reading's grip on the game. With eight minutes left Lita replaced Oster - but he hardly got a touch of the ball. Reading seemed to be out of ideas and instead Liverpool broke free to cross from the right and head home at the far post. Three minutes of stoppage time came and went as Liverpool saw out the win.

  • Reading 1 Liverpool 2
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Defeated By Suspect Penalty
    Added by HNA? on 02/04/07
    It took a very dubious penalty decision, five minutes before half time, to earn Spurs the full three points at Reading's expense. The scoreline and the single goal from the penalty spot hid the true story of a lively encounter with a string of good chances to both sides in front of goal. We'd expected an entertaining game and that's what we got as the home side were the first to go close. Right from the start Spurs carved out two excellent chances within a couple of minutes. Hahnemann was quickly called into action but was equal to the job making two excellent saves - one from close range sticking out his leg at the vital moment. After Tottenham's impressive start Reading didn't take long to get into the game as the fixture developed into an end to end encounter between two good passing sides. Leroy Lita nearly put Reading ahead with a superb header, meeting a long cross ball from Glen Little on the right. Moments later Reading broke through again with Kitson sending in a powerful shot that was too close to the keeper. After both sides had survived the storm it was a shame that the only goal came from the penalty spot. Halford was very unlucky to been judged to have controlled the ball with his arm as it bounced across him in the Reading area. Perhaps technically it was a penalty but with the ball already with Halford and no immediate danger it seemed very wrong that this vague incident should cost Reading the game. Hahnemann's dive was the right direction but not far enough as Keane's penalty tucked inside the post to make it 0-1. Spurs definitely had the better of the second half but Reading could have pulled level from the head of Lita - this time his header from a corner was just wide of the near post. As usual Reading didn't give up and there was slim hope until the end with Doyle, Kitson and Lita all up front. With the game in injury time Reading pushed forward with every player except Federici in the opposition half, but Spurs held firm to take the win.

  • Tottenham Hotspur 1 Reading 0
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Coppell Signs Two Year Deal
    Added by HNA? on 27/03/07
    Steve Coppell, the most successful manager in the history of Reading Football Club, has signed a new deal to keep him at the club. The news is even better than expected - Coppell was expected to sign a one year deal but has instead agreed to stay with the Royals until the Summer of 2009. Coppell started with two straight wins after taking over at Reading in October 2003 and hasn't looked back since. He's managed to win nearly half of his 180 games in charge, taking the Royals into the top tier for the first time in the club's history and quickly establishing Reading as a top half Premiership club. The man is already a Reading legend and Reading can now look forward to two more seasons of stability under his command.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    No Goals As Points Shared
    Added by HNA? on 17/03/07
    Reading at last returned to league action, after two weeks off, but were unable to add to their league goal tally as Portmouth shared the points at the Madejski Stadium. There was plenty of effort on show from both sides in a game that was at times very entertaining, and at other times rather scrappy. Reading had much the better of the first half and should have gone in ahead at the break, but the visitors had the better of the second half and were unlucky not to score themselves. All things considered the draw was certainly the right result - and after two excellent defensive performances from both sides. Right from the off Reading were on the attack forcing three corners in the opening couple of minutes. Portsmouth were struggling to get the ball out of their own half as Reading continually pinned them back. It was looking very promising and Reading looked seemingly set to dominate the game. Glen Little went closest with a header that was just wide of the post. However, despite spending the entire first half winning corner after corner David James in the Portsmouth goal was rarely tested. Portsmouth defended with determination - the centre backs continued to cope with everything we threw at them. Reading couldn't force a breakthrough and it certainly wasn't for lack of trying. Kitson looked certain to put Reading ahead but found himself robbed of the ball by Campbell as he was surely about to blast it home. Eventually, Portsmouth started to get into the game and drove a shot just wide of Hahenmann's right post before wasting a free-kick by blasting it into the Reading wall. After the break, the game swapped around with Portsmouth starting the brightest and winning a series of corners. Duberry was excellent but man of the match Ingimarsson was even better. Nothing got past Ingimarsson as his vital tackles frustrated Portsmouth in the same way Reading had been in the first half. Portmouth looked like they'd won it late on when a long range effort smacked against the Reading post with Marcus beaten - but that would have been harsh. 2.5M signing Greg Halford at last made his Reading debut but was only given a couple of minutes - and a couple of brief touches - as both sides settled for the draw.

  • Reading 0 Portsmouth 0
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Arsenal Take All Three Points
    Added by HNA? on 04/03/07
    Reading once again failed in a late comeback bid as they so nearly stole a point at the Emirates Stadium. However, in all honesty, there was never any likelihood of Reading becoming the first team to win at Arsenal's new ground. Arsenal dominated most of the fixture and looked comfortable throughout - with the exception of the final five minutes when Reading nearly managed to scramble an unlikely late draw. After letting in three in six minutes against Manchester United and after going down 0-4 in the reverse fixture earlier this season, the opening ten minutes were nervous for Reading. Thankfully Marcus Hahnemann was in excellent form. Arsenal missed a golden chance from a few yards out but somehow failed to connect with the ball. At half time it was a case of job done with the score at 0-0. But Arsenal stepped up their game after the break. With their flowing football they continued to create chances and really should have gone ahead with an excellent long range effort that looked to be heading into the top corner until Hahnemann suddenly appeared to put the ball round the post. A few minutes later and Arsenal took the lead from the penalty spot. Reading continued to play in their usual style and it was immediately after a Reading attack, just over ten minutes later, that Arsenal doubled their lead when Murty was beaten in the area. Inside the last five minutes, Lehmann handed Reading a late lifeline after he failed to hold the ball from a Reading corner. Oster, who had replaced Hunt fired in an excellent corner, which Fabregas turned into his own net under pressure from Lita at the near post. It set up a dramatic finish as Reading enjoyed their best spell of the game as they so nearly secured a last gasp point. Leroy Lita hit a shot straight at Lehmann, before the best chance fell to Sidwell on the right. We felt he was certain to score and Reading fans were on their feet expecting to celebrate when the Arsenal goalkeeper appeared to push the ball around the post and secure the three points for Arsenal.

  • Arsenal 2 Reading 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Comeback Narrowly Fails
    Added by HNA? on 28/02/07
    Reading fans were treated to the worst and the best of the Royals last night as Reading made, in the end, a very respectable exit from the FA Cup against Manchester United. The opening ten minutes was the worst ten minutes we've experienced all season as the visitors tore into a shambolic home defence to go three goals up with just six minutes on the clock. Reading were all over the place right from the start, as United took the lead with just a minute played. After all of Federici's first round heroics, he probably should have done better with the first goal after United were allowed to pull the ball back from the right and the shot went under his body. Reading didn't get a chance to recover - it was two a couple of minutes later as United were allowed all the time on the ball they wanted. The third, after six minutes, seemed to make it game over as Solskjaer ran through surely from an off-side position to go one-on-one with Federici before burying it. There was no sign that Reading were even going to compete as passes continually failed to find targets and United were allowed to bring the ball forward again and again. With ten minutes on the clock we feared the worst. But slowly Reading clawed their way back into the game as United sat back on their comfortable lead. Just when neutral fans at home, watching on BBC1, were probably hovering over the remote control buttons Reading began their recovery. A well worked corner from the right saw Oster's delivery headed back and Kitson was presented with an easy header form close range. From that point on there was only one side in it as Reading dominated the rest of the game and began playing some much better football. The second half was an excellent performance from Reading. Defensively we got it together with the determined Bikey putting in some vital tackles. In midfield Gunnarsson was everywhere, giving United no time on the ball and constantly winning it back and playing a simple pass to set up another attacking move. We swarmed forward. With six minutes left we got a reward when de la Cruz crossed and substitute Leroy Lita's finish was perfect beating Van der Sar just inside the post to make it 2-3. Reading so nearly forced extra time with United on the ropes. The visitors brought on Rooney and then Ronaldo to break up Reading's play as the Royals continued to threaten. The best of several further chances saw the superb Gunnarsson smash an effort against the United crossbar in the dying minutes. It would have been fair return for our efforts and who knows what with have happened in extra time with Reading playing so well.

  • Reading 2 Manchester United 3
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Middlesbrough End Run
    Added by HNA? on 26/02/07
    Reading tasted their first defeat of 2007 as Middlesbrough ended our run of nine games without defeat. After an uneventful first half it took Reading a long time to get going as the home side looked good for their win. Reading were up against it early on after a clever Middlesbrough set-piece saw the first goal after seven minutes. A strangely placed group of players caused confusion in the Reading defence and allowed the ball to reach the far post where it was headed back before being back heeled past Hahnemann to set Middlesbrough on their way. Reading struggled to respond in the first half - Coppell had opted to pair Long and Lita up front but they were to have a quiet afternoon. Hunt headed a reasonable chance well wide before another chance fell to Long who shot wide of the of the target. After half time Reading picked up the pace of the game but struggled to break through. Despite the improved possession from the Royals, chances were limited. Long hit a shot against the top of the crossbar but Middlesbrough continued to look dangerous on the break. Instead, Middlesbrough doubled their lead with twenty minutes left to play with Yakubu driving a strong shot past Hahnemann. Reading were beaten but continued to play. Murty missed a decent opportunity to get Reading back into the game before substitute Oster grabbed a consolation with three minutes left on the clock. Little crossed from the right and Oster bounced the ball over the keeper for his first Premiership goal for the Royals. However time ran out for Reading to salvage a point.

  • Middlesbrough 2 Reading 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Quarter Final Draw
    Added by HNA? on 19/02/07
    Reading or Manchester United will travel to either Middlesbrough or West Bromwich Albion in the Quarter Final of the FA Cup. The exact fixture will be known next week when the four sides involved meet in replays following draws at the weekend. While Reading recorded an impressive 1-1 scoreline at Old Trafford, West Brom travelled to Middlesbrough to hold the home team 2-2. The game will take place during the weekend of the 10th of March.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Earn Replay
    Added by HNA? on 18/02/07
    Reading earnt an FA Cup fifth round replay against Premiership Leaders Manchester United with a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. As had been widely reported before the game, Steve Coppell stuck to his policy of fielding fringe players for cup fixtures despite the high quality of the opposition. However, in all honesty this remained a strong Reading side with players coming into the side who haven't been able to break back into the first team simply because of our excellent league form. It was the home side that got off to the better start but Reading soon enjoyed a good spell of pressure themselves. The best chance of the first half so far came when the impressive De La Cruz got forward and played a nice return pass before hitting the ball the wrong side of the goalkeeper. His effort was just wide of the near post, when he probably should have put Reading ahead. United had a couple of efforts shot wide of the target as Reading looked to be successfully containing them and taking the game into the break on level terms. However, with the last action of the first half Ronaldo, always a threat, broke through before passing to Carrick who hit it first time from a long way out. It was an powerful shot that flew into the bottom corner of the net giving Federici no time to get back and make the save despite his efforts. After the break Reading looked in trouble with United increasing the pressure, until we managed to break on 67 minutes to win our first corner of the second half. Oster played over an excellent corner that swung away from the defence to find Gunnarsson in the middle of the area. Gunnarsson capped a superb performance with a header that matched it as it looped over the crowd of players and the goalkeeper, dipping just under the crossbar to make it 1-1. Both sides had chances to secure a win but the game ended with a draw and a replay at the Madejski Stadium - which has been scheduled for Tuesday 27 February.

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

    Auction of Signed Shirt For Charity
    Added by HNA? on 15/02/07
    Supporters may recall from an article last year that season ticket holder Richard Mason is missing Reading's first ever season in the Premiership. In June last year he set off from Reading cycling to China and back in aid of Cancer Research UK, covering up to 15,000 miles and 27 countries. Richard is currently cycling through Laos having just left Cambodia and Thailand. As part of his fundraising efforts the club has kindly sorted out another signed shirt, which is now being auctioned on eBay. Every penny of the highest bid will go to Cancer Research UK. The shirt incorporates 16 signatures, and also the Premier League badges. The auction closes on 25 February 2007. To find out more about Richard's trip, and to sponsor him, visit his website at 2 Wheels to China.

  • Shirt Auction on E-Bay

  • Two Wheels to China Website

  • Rumour Rating: Definite

    Supporters' Federation Price Campaign
    Added by HNA? on 14/02/07
    STAR are putting their support behind a new campaign launched by The Football Supporters' Federation for fair pricing for Premier League prices. The campaign follows the news of the huge sums of TV money to be received by Premier league clubs in the coming seasons. With this in mind the FSF are campaigning to limit ticket prices to achieve the following:
    - Universal away ticket price of no more than £15 for all Premier League games, with £10 for concessions
    - A three-season freeze of prices at 2006/7 season levels for both season tickets and individual match tickets for seasons 2007/8-2009/10 imposed by FAPL rule. Encouragement of clubs to cut ticket prices in cash terms over and above the freeze, particularly at the low end.
    - The facility fee received for all FAPL televised matches to be used to subsidise tickets prices for all attending those matches.
    A full explanation of this campaign and the initial petition which you can sign to show your support can be found on the link below.

  • Football Supporters' Federation Campaign

  • Rumour Rating: Definite

    Doyle Starts As Reserves Win
    Added by HNA? on 13/02/07
    Reading fielded an exceptionally strong side in their reserve team fixture tonight to win 4-0 at Spurs - to remain firmly top of the Southern Premier Reserve League. New signings Halford and Duberry both completed ninety minutes of action with Kitson and Doyle both starting up front. Reading's two forward men both successfully completed three quarters of the match before making way for substitutes. The fixture was an excellent opportunity for players to continue their returns from injury and push for a first team place - Bobby Convey also played the full ninety minutes. The strength of the side underlined what a impressive squad the Royals now have, with so many quality players competing for limited places in the starting eleven. It's an excellent problem for Coppell to have as the reserves continue to clock up impressive wins. It was 1-0 at half time after Kitson put Reading ahead before three second half goals from De La Cruz, Gunnarsson, and Oster.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Extend Winning Run
    Added by HNA? on 11/02/07
    Reading extended their winning run to five consecutive games as they notched up another clean sheet and another three points, defeating Aston Villa 2-0 at the Madejski Stadium. The Royals haven't looked back since their 6-0 demolition of West Ham United on New Years Day. Including that fixture Reading have won seven from eight games - a run of form that sees them clear in sixth place in the table and facing the prospect of Manchester United in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday. This was another excellent league performance from Reading in a highly entertaining game. Both sides were determined to get something from the fixture but Villa failed to take their chances and Reading took two from a whole series that they created in front of goal. After winning a large number of corners in the opening fifteen minutes the first goal came from a Hunt corner on the right that Sidwell headed home. Lita had a couple of good chances to put the game beyond Villa but shot straight at the keeper before failing to get in a proper shot as Reading outnumbered Villa up front. Sidwell wrapped up the win in injury time at the end of the game after an excellent Reading move. Sidwell played a perfect one-two with David Kitson before driving the ball home to make it 2-0.

  • Reading 2 Aston Villa 0
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Reading Hit Forty Points
    Added by HNA? on 03/02/07
    Reading's insanely amazing season just gets better and better. With 26 games played Reading have already hit the magic 40 point mark - adding three points today with another impressive away victory at Manchester City. Leroy Lita's season has come to life - with the two goals he hit to seal the win today he made it nine goals in nine games. As usual it's all about the team performance, and this Reading team has now clocked up six wins from seven games in 2007. We're unbeaten all year and have won four in a row. After Reading's biggest ever dip into the transfer market during the week with millions of pounds leaving the club kitty it was perhaps a little suprising that none of the new players featured. There were chances for both sides during the game but after keeping City out, and frustrated, Lita wrapped up a late win for Reading with two goals in the last eleven minutes. The first came as City came forward pushing for a goal themselves. Shorey started off a quick move up field as Reading counter attacked, Sidwell ran forward before feeding Lita who drove his low shot into the corner of the net. The game was won for Reading but any doubt was ruled out in the last couple of minutes when Harper set up Leroy to finish in similar fashion to make it 2-0.

  • Manchester City 0 Reading 2
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Duberry Completes Signing
    Added by HNA? on 31/01/07
    Stoke City captain Michael Duberry has completed his transfer deadline day signing for Reading for a 800,000 transfer fee. The former Chelsea player signs on a contract that runs until the summer of 2008. Leeds United paid 4.5 million pounds for the player from Chelsea before he moved to Stoke on a free transfer during the 2004/2005 season.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Five Wins From Six
    Added by HNA? on 31/01/07
    The Royals extended their excellent current run of form to make it five wins from six fixtures and move back up to seventh in the Premiership table. The visitors, Wigan Athletic, provided tough competition but their two goals at either end of the game weren't enough to stop Reading taking the three points and running out 3-2 winners. Wigan were quick to get stuck in taking a quick lead when a ball over the top saw a run on goal and a powerful finish. They could have extended their lead with another shot against the Reading crossbar before the Royals eventually settled down. Even when Reading did find their feet Wigan continued to carve out shots with Hahnemann making some good stops. Sidwell should have scored from close range and Hunt had a couple of shots wide of the target before Lita lobbed the ball over a stranded Wigan goalkeeper to allow Ingimarsson to head Reading level on the half hour mark. The equaliser saw Reading get on top and they always looked more likely to complete the win. As Reading's pressure increased we went ahead after the break when Hunt looped the ball to the far post and over the goalkeeper for Shane Long to head in on the line to make it 2-1. Dave Kitson came off the bench as Reading looked to wrap up the win and he might have done better with an open goal but blasted it wide. He made up for it by creating the third, winning a header against the keeper and leaving Lita to score from a tight angle with the keeper stranded. Wigan scored with the last action of the game but Reading already had it wrapped up.

  • Reading 3 Wigan Athletic 2 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Halford Signing Sets Club Record
    Added by HNA? on 31/01/07
    Reading have completed the signing of Greg Halford from Colchester United for a record club transfer fee. The transfer fee is thought to be 2.5 million pounds, which smashes Reading's record signing fee and also sets a new record for Colchester who had previously received 2.25 million for Lua Lua from Newcastle. There was rumoured to be a lot of interest in the player with Reading securing the signature before other Premiership sides. Halford has been playing full back for United but can play in a number of positions and will be available for selection on Saturday as Reading visit Manchester City. He signs on a contract that will keep him at Reading until the end of the 2009/2010 season.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Bennett Signs And Halford To Follow
    Added by HNA? on 30/01/07
    Alan Bennett has become the third player to recently sign from Irish side Cork City. Bennett follows Kevin Doyle and Shane Long who made the switch from the side to sign for the Royals. Bennett signs on a 300,000 pound deal - with the initial payment expected to be 250,000 with the rest to follow based on appearances. The central defender, who will not be available in time to face Wigan at the Madejski Stadium this evening, has initially signed a two and a half year contract. Meanwhile Colchester United player Greg Halford looks set to complete his move to Reading shortly, with the clubs discussing the exact fee. Halford, who can play in a range of positions, has made over 150 starts for United with 24 goals to his name.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Reading Live On BBC1
    Added by HNA? on 30/01/07
    Reading's game with Premiership leaders Manchester United in the fifth round of the FA Cup will be screened live on BBC1. The live showing means that kick-off time on Saturday 17th February has been switched from 3pm to a 5:15pm kick-off. Meanwhile, there is a big ticket allocation for travelling fans with Reading set to receive 6,000 tickets. Adult seats will cost 35 pounds.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Manchester United Away
    Added by HNA? on 29/01/07
    Reading have been drawn away against Premiership leaders Manchester United in the fifth round of the FA Cup. The fixture is Reading's reward for Saturday's 3-2 victory over Birmingham City. United have already beaten both Aston Villa and Portmouth, both at Old Trafford, in earlier rounds of the cup. The last time the two sides met in the FA Cup was a fourth round meeting at a sold-out Elm Park back in January 1996 with United running out 0-3 winners with goals from Cantona, Giggs and Parker. The game is scheduled to take place on Saturday 17 February - but is subject to change due to possible TV schedules.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Fifth Round Place Booked
    Added by HNA? on 28/01/07
    Reading booked a rare appearance in round five of the FA Cup with a 3-2 victory at Championship Birmingham City. This was an impressive result for Reading who rested several key players but still produced a convincing performance to earn a big win. Dave Kitson made another return from injury to start the game and complete his first full forty-five minutes of the season for the first team. That was good news alone, but it was better in the opening three minutes for Kitson as he scored the first goal of the game to send Reading on their way. It was a solid start for Reading with Seol immediately causing problems for the home side down the wing before crossing to Kitson. Kitson made no mistake in the middle, making the most of his chance to put Reading ahead. It was a key point in the game with Reading showing they would take their chances - while Birmingham wasted more than enough chances to get back in the game - and it cost them dearly. Firstly they managed to put the ball wide from close range and then headed directly at Federici from just six yards out. Federici was having another good FA Cup game, as was the defence in front of him as Reading defended their lead. City should have pulled level again before Reading went down the other end and doubled their lead with probably only their second clear chance of the half. Convey crossed from the left and Lita accepted the opportunity in the middle to put the ball into the back of the net. Birmingham pulled a goal back after the break to set up an entertaining second half but Reading remained solid in all areas. City were struggling to break through and Reading looked dangerous on the counter attack. With eight minutes on the clock, Reading wrapped up the win when Leroy Lita broke free to stride towards goal and finish for his second of the game to make it 3-1. The game was won at that point, but City did manage a late consolation goal when Larsson scored from a free-kick.

  • Birmingham City 2 Reading 3
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Sheffield United Well Beaten
    Added by HNA? on 21/01/07
    Visitors Sheffield United were well beaten after an explosive second half saw Reading run out 3-1 winners against a poor United side. The first half gave no indication of what was to come with most of the half being forgetable with the exception of good opening five minutes and a better closing five minutes. Reading were the better side but there was too much hoofing the ball in the air as the game became scrappy. Murty nearly put Reading ahead with an excellent long range shot that needed a save before Long scored the first from close range after the ball bounced off Sidwell from a clearance. After half time De la Cruz, a replacement for Shorey at left back, completed an excellent performance with a run from his defensive position that saw Harper return the ball. De la Cruz ran through down the right before taking the ball into the area and finishing the move with an excellent finish to make it 2-0. Sheffield United were clearly already beaten, but it got worse for them when Gillespie came off the bench and found himself sent off in a matter of seconds - the ball hadn't even come into play before he saw red. He immediately elbowed Hunt in the head before swinging a punch at Hunt after he'd already been shown the red card. Moments later it all kicked off as Wally Downes reacted to Neil Warnocks abuse and gesturing by giving him a shove. Both benches then waded in as the referee struggled to restore order. When the game did get back underway, Reading made it 3-0 when a Sidwell shot was cleverly touched into the back of the net by Stephen Hunt. It looked like Reading might extend the lead further but United scored a consolation goal when Reading's off-side trap went wrong.

  • Reading 3 Sheffield United 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    The Pride Of Being A Royal
    Added by HNA? on 17/01/07
    Matt Williams has been busy putting finger to keyboard to put together another excellent article on the Royals. With Reading riding high in the Premiership, Matt looks at just how proud Reading fans rightly are as 2007 gets underway.
    Pride and loyalty are characteristics that are sadly on the decline in football. Too often do we see fans in this day and age calling for a manager’s head just because they have lost a couple of games. How often do we see players deserting the club that gave them their big chance purely because another club chairman with a bigger chequebook comes knocking? The Reading players and fans have always kept faith, they’ve all committed to the cause and shown the pride and passion that is needed to succeed, and because of this it is no coincidence that Reading achieved what they did last year.
    And why shouldn’t we be proud? We have not forgotten where the club was as little as eight years ago. We were there when we moved into a stadium that was far too big for us. We have certainly made it our own now, but we won’t forget those times when we felt more like guests than owners. We are proud of the fact that this patient ‘brick-by-brick’ approach has worked, we appreciate how the club is being run, that we have a strict wage-structure and will not contradict our ethics for anyone. Collectively as a club we feel like we have earned our position, we are now the team whom others base themselves on, and for that we deserve to be proud.

    To read the full article follow the link below:

  • The Pride Of Being A Royal - Matt Williams Article
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Everton And Reading Share Points
    Added by HNA? on 15/01/07
    Reading were within ten minutes of taking the full three points from Everton after frustrating the home side all afternoon. In a good away showing, Reading led for most of the game after taking the lead just before the half hour mark and held it until Johnson headed a late eqauliser to force a share of the points. With Murty out, De la Cruz stepped into the full back position and had probably his best ever game in a Reading shirt, in a solid defensive performance. De la Cruz also looked good coming forward as Reading created chances of their own despite pressure from Everton. It was the home side that had got off to the better start and looked more likely until Reading took the lead on twenty-eight minutes. Doyle was taken down outside the area and Shorey's free kick into the area saw the goalmouth crowded with players. As the ball came in, Stephen Hunt emerged unmarked to run behind the defence and meet the ball with his head. The ball bounced on the keepers' leg on the line and came back out, but found the net via a defender to put Reading a goal up. The goal was quickly over shadowed for Reading as Kevin Doyle was forced to limp off the pitch after going down when chasing the ball. Doyle's suspected hamstring injury will be confirmed after tests - but he seems likely to be out for at least the rest of Janaury and perhaps beyond. Shane Long came off the bench and looked lively as the game developed into an end to end affair after a quiet opening half. There had been very few chances in the first half but the game opened up after the break with Hahnemann quickly needing to make a good save to hold a powerful long range shot. Johnson shot just wide of the far post as Everton stepped up the pressure. Reading looked dangerous on the break but Everton looked more likely to pull level. With nine minutes left on the clock a high ball in the area saw Hahnemann come way off his line when he should have stayed put. The mistake left Johnson free to head into an empty net to make it 1-1.

  • Everton 1 Reading 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Through To Round Four
    Added by HNA? on 10/01/07
    Reading went through to round four of the FA Cup, to meet Birmingham City or Newcastle United, after a 3-2 home victory against Burnley. The Royals fielded a mixture of first team and fringe players with Federici and Golbourne making starts. Meanwhile there was more excellent news for Reading with Convey returning to action and playing a full ninety minutes as well as showing plenty of his old self. Dave Kitson also made his return from injury, coming off the bench to play the last thirty minutes. At that stage of the game Reading were holding onto their lead and Kitson didn't get much action up front - but he was running around well and played a couple of good balls to show he's ready for league action. Adam Federici was man of the match with an excellent Reading debut making plenty of saves throughout the game and showing some good distribution. Without his contribution there would have been a very different scoreline. Reading's weakened defence of De la Cruz, Sodje, Ingimarsson and Golbourne struggled at times and Federici was called on to make two important first half stops and a string of saves in the second half including some great reactions from close range. Convey and Bikey had good games but Seol and Oster were quiet in midfield. Despite Burnley's chances and big contribution it was Reading that controlled the opening hour of the game to carve out a three goal lead and put the game out of the visitors reach. Convey hit the post early on after Long played him through and moments later Long flicked on to Leroy Lita who finished with an excellent strike. Ten minutes later and Shane Long scored another superb goal after taking the ball wide and firing it home from the tightest of angles. Although Reading were poor in defence we were looking very good coming forward. After half time Golbourne, also making his first start, crossed from the left and Sodje headed home. At 3-0 up Reading relaxed, and Burnley pulled back a deserved goal for their efforts with Federici being lobbed as he come out to the edge of his area. Burnley scored the last goal of the game, making it 3-2 in injury time, which probably made it a fair reflection of the night's play.

  • Reading 3 Burnley 2 - FA Cup Round Three
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Birmingham Or Newcastle Drawn
    Added by HNA? on 08/01/07
    The winners of tomorrow evening's third round game between Reading and Burnley will travel to Birmingham City or Newcastle United in round four of the FA Cup. Reading and Burnley were forced to wait until Tuesday night to play their third round fixture after heavy rain forced a postponment on Saturday. Meanwhile Birmingham came from a goal behind to force a 2-2 home draw against Newcastle - despite playing the second half with ten men - and will need a replay to decide who goes through. Should Reading defeat Burnley with their mostly reserve line-up on Tuesday night they will travel for the next round on Saturday 27th January.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Waterlogged Pitch
    Added by HNA? on 06/01/07
    This afternoon's FA Cup Third Round tie between Reading and Burnley has been called off, just before kick-off, due to a waterlogged pitch. There could be no arguing with the referee's decision, with the pitch covered in surface water and the rain still coming down just before 3pm. Some areas of the pitch were covered in large puddles, particularly down towards the South Stand that would have clearly taken a long time to drain. In typical fashion as approximately 12,000 fans made their exit from the ground, immediately after the abandonment announcement, the rain stopped. At ten minutes to three the Burnley team, still in tracksuit tops, had jogged over to applaud their traveling fans before disappearing back down the tunnel - making it clear the game was off. The Burnley supporters were left with a frustrating trip home and will need to make the same trip on Tuesday when the re-arranged game will take place - kicking off at 8pm in three days time. The current met office forecast for Reading for Tuesday is more heavy rain - with further rain expected on both Sunday and Monday. It might therefore be a wise idea to check before traveling to the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday. Meanwhile, both Reading and Burnley will go into Monday's draw for the fourth round.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Doyle And Hunt Extend Contracts
    Added by HNA? on 05/01/07
    Reading players Kevin Doyle and Stephen Hunt have both signed new contract deals this afternoon to extend their existing contracts with the Royals. The Premiership's third highest goal scorer so far this season, Doyle, has signed a contract that will keep him at Reading until 2010. Meanwhile, Stephen Hunt, who signed from Brentford on a free transfer in the summer of 2005 has a new contract that runs until 2009.
    Rumour Rating: Almost Certain

    Reading Thrash West Ham
    Added by HNA? on 01/01/07
    Reading followed up two excellent away performances at Chelsea and Manchester United, and ended a six game winless run in style by thrashing West Ham United 6-0 at the Madejski Stadium. The impressive scoreline was in fact the result of a typical Reading performance. As usual we chased down every ball and never stopped looking for more goals. Regardless of the scoreline we stuck to the gameplan and looked dangerous every single time we attacked. It could have been an even bigger win with Green making some saves and Oster hitting the side netting three times after coming on in the second half. We also played the last ten minutes with ten men after Gunnarsson limped off with all our substitutes used up. After West Ham's promising start it must have been a cruel blow to them to effectively find themselves beaten after just fifteen minutes. Perhaps even against the run of play Reading went ahead on twelve minutes when Shorey floated in a perfect free kick from the edge of the area. It was a repeat of Sonko's goal at Manchester United as this time Gunnarsson rose to head home and send Reading on their way. Three minutes later it was 2-0. Sidwell was played in on the right and he crossed to Hunt who found himself totally unmarked at the far post. Hunt made no mistake. All West Ham's early efforts quickly faded into distant memory as from that point onwards it was all one-way traffic as Reading dominated the game. It was three on the half hour mark when Shorey played the ball into the area and Ferdinand positioned himself in front of his keeper to head the ball into the back of the net. We were playing excellent football and West Ham could only watch. Except most their supporter chose not to as they made their way for the exits a long time before Doyle made it 4-0 ten minutes before half time. Man of the match Shorey, weaved his way past four or five players on a long distance run that created the goal. He ended his run with a simple ball to Harper in the area who set up Doyle to finish off the move. A Premiership goal of the highest quality. West Ham went on damage limitation after half time, switching to a more defensive formation and removing Harewood from their forward line. It made little difference as Reading looked like they could score at will. The fifth came from a Sidwell cross that saw Lita hit the ball under the keeper from close range.Lita and Doyle both forced saves out of the keeper as Reading looked to extend their lead still further. On 78 minutes Nicky Shorey came down to take a corner from the North East corner of the ground and was greeted by huge chants of "Shorey for England". He responded with the perfect corner for Doyle to head home his second goal of the afternoon and complete the scoring at 6-0.

  • Reading 6 West Ham United 0
    Rumour Rating: Definite

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