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Archive for year: 2008

Two Points For Christmas
Added by HNA? on 31/12/08
Reading secured two points for Christmas and retained second place in the Championship table after twice coming back from behind. Both games saw dramatic finishes but the home game against Cardiff City on Boxing Day will be remembered for a long time to come. The score was 0-0 entering the final minute when Cardiff took a very late lead with a goal from an off-side position. Then, deep in injury time, Reading drew level with practically the last kick of the game. The Royals won a corner and put everything in the box - including goalkeeper Federici who scored with his second attempt to level the game at 1-1. Two days later Reading travelled to Southampton and recorded the same scoreline after again going behind late on. Shane Long was the hero, heading the Royals level with six minutes left to play.

  • Reading 1 Cardiff City 1
  • Southampton 1 Reading 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Second At Christmas
    Added by HNA? on 22/12/08
    Reading will be second in the table at Christmas after a crucial win over Birmingham City at St. Andrews. The battle of second and third placed teams saw Reading dominate the fixture and chalk up a convincing win to make it five straight league victories, and move into the top two for the first time this season. The Royals were impressive throughout and the home side only ever looked likely to get something from the game with a goal against the run of play on the hour to pull level at 1-1. Before that Reading had looked comfortable after taking the lead on thirteen minutes. After winning a free-kick on the edge of the box a collection of Reading players lined up to take the kick before Noel Hunt's effort cleared the defensive wall and swung into the side of the net. Hunt was forced to leave the pitch before half an hour was played after a knock to the head but it did little to unsettle the Royals. We expected Birmingham to bounce back from a disappointing half for them, but the fightback failed to appear after the break. It look a lack of concentration from Cisse in midfield on the hour to allow City to break quickly with the ball. Phillips' powerful run ended with a scorching long range shot that was perfectly positioned out of Federici's reach. It was a shame for Federici, who had an excellent performance despite City's lack of attacking football; that deserved another clean sheet. Federici's distribution was amazing and was a key factor in Reading's forward play. City were level for just six minutes until Stephen Hunt's free kick saw Doyle connect in the middle of the box, putting the ball off the top of his head and into the back of the net. The home side's resistance was over. Doyle turned supplier with eight minutes left to play, beating two men on the right wing before delivering a perfect cross for Cisse to head home and seal the victory.

  • Birmingham 1 Reading 3
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Late Flurry Makes It Four From Four
    Added by HNA? on 14/12/08
    Reading made it four wins from four league games with a late claim of the full three points against Norwich City at the Madejski. The game looked to be heading for a 0-0 draw until the Royals won a penalty with seven minutes left on the clock after the ball struck a Norwich arm inside the area. Stephen Hunt fired the resulting penalty off the left post and into the back of the net to turn the game Reading's way. Shane Long, fresh off the bench, made sure of the three points two minutes later when Henry crossed from the left and Long headed home at the near post. With Birmingham defeated at Preston, the Royals moved to within one point of second place. Reading have the change to finally overhaul City next week as they visit Birmingham - but will probably have to improve on this weekend's performance to do so.

  • Reading 2 Norwich City 0
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Reading Keep In Touch
    Added by HNA? on 02/12/08
    Reading kept in touch with the top two in the Championship with 3-1 victory over Coventry City at the Madejski Stadium last night. The Royals recovered from their disappointing last home game, where Southampton were the first team to win at Reading this season, with a reasonably straight forward victory. It wasn't all easy going however, with the visitors going ahead with an impressive free-kick that floated into the top corner giving Hahnemann little chance on 26 minutes. The goal seemed to wake Reading up and Noel Hunt's effort was deflected in to put Reading level. The Royals then looked very comfortable and were happy to shut out a Coventry side that looked good on the ball but were lacking ideas coming forward. Reading's second goal put them ahead at the break - and it was an excellent goal following some flowing football. Once again the danger was down the right when Kebe received an excellent pass from Rosenior before cutting the call back for Cisse to bury. The game was won just after the hour when Stephen Hunt crossed, the defender got the ball tangled up in his legs leaving Noel Hunt with a chance to stick his leg out and guide the ball home. Neither side were able to manage much excitement with the score at 3-1 and the game was effectively over as Reading cruised to three more points.

  • Reading 3 Coventry City 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Wolves And Birmingham Climb Away
    Added by HNA? on 26/11/08
    Reading came back from a goal behind to secure a point at Cardiff City last night - despite playing an hour with ten men. Bikey was sent off after just half an hour after bring judged to have "punched" an opposition player during an aerial challenge. Reading manager Steve Coppell was quick to deny there was that form of contact and was also disappointed that the home side were awarded a suspect penalty before the break. The score was 1-1 when Bikey was shown the red card after Doyle had equalised Cardiff's opening goal. Cardiff went ahead before half time from the penalty spot before Gunnarsson came to Reading's rescue five minutes into the second half to level the scores. It was a great result considering the circumstances, but combined with Saturday's poor home defeat against Southampton it saw Reading lose further ground on the automatic promotion places. Wolves won 3-1 away at Sheffield United last night to move 12 points ahead of Reading at the top of the table. Meanwhile Birmingham City extended their hold on second place with a 2-1 home win that saw them move 6 points clear of the Royals.

  • Cardiff City 2 Reading 2
  • Current League Table
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Get Lost But Still Win 4-1
    Added by HNA? on 03/11/08
    Reading got back to winning ways on Saturday with an impressive 4-1 victory away at Bristol City, to move back to third in the Championship table. The Royals stormed into a 4-0 lead - despite getting lost on the way. After taking a wrong turn, ex-City player Liam Rosenior was put in charge of guiding the team coach to the ground but allegedly sent the whole team the wrong way to delay arrival. Those problems didn't put the Royals off though as they got off to a blistering start with Doyle scoring his tenth league goal of the season to make it 1-0. That was followed up two minutes later by Noel Hunt who made it two. Reading dominated the fixture and the game was over when Doyle struck his second just into the second half. The best goal of the afternoon came from Kalifa Cisse with 54 minutes on the clock with a superb strike. The Royals could then afford to sit back and relax, with the home side grabbing an injury time consolation goal.

  • Bristol City 1 Reading 4
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    More Articles Added
    Added by HNA? on 21/10/08
    We've updated the articles area of the website to include two brand new articles by Royals fan Steven Woodgate. Steven looks back at our last successful record breaking season in the Championship and looks at the squad giving his opinion on how the players progressed.
    Hob Nob Anyone? Articles Index
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Doyle Is September's Best Player
    Added by HNA? on 06/10/08
    Kevin Doyle has been voted the Football League's Championship player of the month for September. However his excellent form certainly hasn't been limited to just that month. Doyle ended August with a hattrick in the home victory against Crystal Palace - and immediately followed it with another three goals in September's first home game as the Royals demolished Sheffield Wednesday 6-0 at the Madejski. As Reading hit top form in September Doyle hit another two goals as Reading disposed of Swansea 4-0. He might not have scored since then but Doyle was in superb form again at the weekend as October got underway with yet another Reading home win - making it five out of five this season.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Out On Penalties At Stoke
    Added by HNA? on 24/09/08
    Stoke City won the battle of two reserve teams after the game went to extra time and then penalties. Henry, scorer of two goals in normal time, saw his spot kick saved before Leroy Lita blasted his way over the crossbar to send Stoke through to round four of the League cup. Reading started a low-key game with a mixture of youngsters and fringe first team players. Gunnarsson made a return, completing the full ninety minutes before being replaced in the first period of extra time. Long and Lita were given the full game up front, including extra time, but looked poor. Lita should have won the game for Reading before extra time after being set-up for a close range header but somehow failed to find the target. His poor showing was summed up with the final kick of the game when he handed Stoke victory with a low quality spot kick. On the other hand James Henry had an impressive game scoring twice - a first half penalty to pull Reading level just before the break and a strike on 75 minutes to make it 2-2. The Royals took a long time to get going and looked second best for most of normal time but finished the stronger side before dominating extra time without finding the vital goal to prevent penalties.
    Stoke City 2 Reading 2 (Royals lose 4-3 on penalties)
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Freak Goal Game Ends In Draw
    Added by HNA? on 22/09/08
    Reading and Watford shared the points at Vicarage Road this weekend after a game that grabbed national sporting headlines due to a goal that wasn't anywhere close to being a goal. The freak goal was awarded to the Royals, after thirteen minutes, when the linesman flagged when he judged the ball to have crossed the line - several yards away from the goal itself. Stephen Hunt swung a corner in from the right that was blocked by a defender in the middle and came back out wide to Noel Hunt who whipped the ball back in. It was questionable if the ball had crossed the line - if it had then Reading should have won a corner. Instead play continued with Bikey sending in a good effort on goal until eventually the linesman got the referee's attention. After a pitch side debate the referee gave the goal much the amazement of both sets of players, fans, and eventually the wider sporting world watching replays. It was a crazy moment that altered the game dramatically. However it wasn't the only moment of madness after Reading were denied a perfectly good goal in the second half that would have pulled them level after two legitimate Watford goals after the break. The Royals eventually did pull level at 2-2 after Long was taken down in the area and Stephen Hunt dispatched the penalty. On another day the final score might also have been 2-2 but Reading's goals might have come in a different manner.

  • Watford 2 Reading 2 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals To Travel To Stoke
    Added by HNA? on 01/09/08
    Reading will travel to Stoke City in the third round of the League Cup. The tie is likely to take place at Stoke on Tuesday 23 September, with a 7:45pm kick-off. The fixture will enable Stoke's recent signings Kitson and Sonko to join back up with their old team mates. Sonko didn't feature at the weekend for Stoke as they lost at Middlesbrough, and Kitson, who remains without a goal this season, was substituted with the score at 1-1.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Squad Weakens Further As Sonko Exits
    Added by HNA? on 29/08/08
    Reading's sell off of first team players for multiple millions continued today with the confirmation that Sonko has moved to Premiership side Stoke City for 2.5 million. Sonko's form may have been up and down in recent times, but it was certainly on the up after an impressive start to the season that included three goals. He leaves as Reading's current top scorer so far this campaign. He follows Dave Kitson who joined Stoke in the summer. The Royals are now sat on an ever growing stack of transfer money with a squad shrinking in size and experience. With Duberry out injured for up to four weeks it increases the chances of the arrival of a low budget central defender before the transfer window shuts. In the other direction there's plenty of time for the club to collect a few more million with Doyle and Harper still in the frame for transfers back to the Premiership. It's a good job the reserve side did such a good job of beating Luton Town in the League Cup earlier this week.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Chris Armstrong Signs
    Added by HNA? on 27/08/08
    Reading appear to have at last replaced Nicky Shorey after completing the signing of left back Chris Armstrong from Sheffield United. Armstrong signs for an initial 500,000 fee, which could rise depending on appearances and the possibility of promotion back to the Premiership. He is expected to slot straight into the side after Stephen Hunt has been filling in the position following Shorey's departure. Armstrong's previous clubs include Bury and Oldham before signing for Sheffield United for 100,000 in the summer of 2003. This season he's appeared just once for the Blades - taking part in a home win in the first round of the league cup.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Mooney Completes Signing
    Added by HNA? on 21/08/08
    Reading have snapped up another player from Irish side Cork City as David Mooney completed his signing on a three year contract. Although the fee is undisclosed it is rumoured to be in the region of 200,000, making Mooney another low cost - hopefully good value - signing. Mooney had been linked to join Reading throughout the summer and his signing now will do nothing to end speculation that Kevin Doyle could be leaving the Royals before the transfer window closes. Mooney is already having an excellent season and leads the Irish goalscoring table with 15 goals in his 22 games.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Luton Town In Round Two
    Added by HNA? on 14/08/08
    Reading will face Luton Town in the second round of the League Cup. The Hatters lie bottom of the football league and are set to become non-league next season after kicking off the new season with a minus 30 points total. It was a rare moment of pleasure for Luton fans after they knocked out Plymouth in the first round while Reading won away at Dagenham and Redbridge. The game will be staged at the Madejksi Stadium on either the 26th or 27th of August.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Have Your Say!
    Added by HNA? on 13/08/08
    Hob Nob Anyone? thrives on the views of fans and the website wouldn't exist without the contributions and opinions of Loyal Royals. Once again we've teamed up with the Reading Evening Post this season to give fans the opportunity to have their say on the website and in print in the Evening Post every Thursday. This season we'd like to request more direct feedback for inclusion on the match reports section of the website and in the Post. The reports are archived and go all the way back to 1994 - it's a feature we'd like to grow. If you're posting something on the discussion boards but would like to give it a wider audience and have your thoughts stored for years to come then simply e-mail us your match report and opinion. To have your say stick it in an e-mail to
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    New Season Underway
    Added by HNA? on 13/08/08
    Reading's new season is underway with Reading picking up a point at Nottingham Forest on Sunday and progressing to the second round of the league cup with a win at Dagenham and Redbridge last night. Noel Hunt made his full debut and scored the winning goal with three minutes left to play. Full details and match reports below:

  • Nottingham Forest 0 Reading 0
  • Dagenham and Redbridge 1 Reading 2
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Kick-Off At Forest
    Added by HNA? on 16/06/08
    Reading will kick-off the new 2008/2009 season with a trip to Nottingham Forest on Saturday 9 August. The new season fixture list, released this morning, also reveals that the Royals will begin their home campaign with the visit of Plymouth, just as we did in the 2005/2006 season when we went on to win promotion in record breaking form. August concludes with a trip to Charlton followed by Crystal Palace at home. There's no league game scheduled for New Years Day 2009, but we have a home game on Boxing Day as Cardiff City visit the Madejski Stadium. Reading wrap up the season with the visit of Birmingham City who were relegated from the Premiership on the last day of last season alongside the Royals.

  • Full 2008/2009 Season Fixture List

  • Rumour Rating: Definite

    Dagenham In League Cup
    Added by HNA? on 13/06/08
    Reading have been drawn away at Dagenham and Redbridge in the first round of the League Cup. The fixture will be the first meeting between the two sides and will take place on either 12 August or the following day. Dagenham narrowly avoided relegation out of the football league last season, winning their final two games to climb clear of the drop zone.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Hahnemann Voted Player Of Season
    Added by HNA? on 30/05/08
    Marcus Hahnemann has been voted Hob Nob Anyone? player of the season for 2007/2008. Marcus was a clear winner in the best player category after being responsible for keeping the score down throughout the season. Hahnemann finished well above James Harper. Stephen Hunt, who collected the official award from the club, finished in third place with less than 10% of the vote. Stephen Hunt was also placed third in the most improved player category, after finishing on top last season. Liam Rosenior earned second place after coming into the side impressively in the second half of the season taking Murty's full-back place. However, Andre Bikey was a very clear winner - taking nearly two thirds of the vote to win the award.
    In a season that ended in relegation there were much fewer highlights than in Reading Football Club's recent history. The one result that stood out was the 3-1 home victory over Liverpool. On the other hand, there was plenty of choice for the worst performance of the season. The two crucial results over the season were home defeats to relegation candidates Fulham and Bolton. Those two defeats saw those two teams finish above us and Reading relegated to the Championship. The Fulham defeat was obviously the worst - at a crucial stage of the season giving Fulham the advantage in the final run in. Those defeats were low points of the season and perhaps the lowest points for the past three seasons. Looking ahead to next season, and most fans think Reading could be in line to bounce back up to the Premiership. However, more fans think Reading will be battling it out in the play-offs (nearly half of the vote) than claiming automatic promotion (a third of the vote). The figures suggest it's close between Reading going back up and facing further seasons in the Championship. A significant percentage of voters saw the season as a mid-table non-event with only a handful thinking things could get even worse.

  • Full Results For 2007/2008 End Of Season Awards
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    End Of Season Awards 2008
    Added by HNA? on 14/05/08
    As another season ends, this time in rare disappointment in the recent history of Reading Football Club, it's time once again to vote for the highs and lows of the season. The Hob Nob Anyone? End of Season Awards, running every season since 1994, are the orginal Internet votes for players and matches of the season. Voting is now underway - so follow the link below to get your votes in.

  • End of Season Awards 2007/2008
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Fans Rally To Keep Coppell
    Added by HNA? on 14/05/08
    At least a couple of hundred fans staged a "keep Coppell" rally at the Madjeski Stadium last night to encourage the greatest manager in the history of Reading FC to stay. Following Reading's relegation at the weekend, after the game at Portsmouth involving Fulham didn't go our way, many expected Coppell to leave following comments that he was unsure of his future. Since our relegation to the Championship the vast majority of fans have been quick to show their support for Steve Coppell. Following discussion on the Hob Nob Anyone? website, a rally was staged at short notice that saw fans turn up at Steve Coppell's "manager" parking space at the Stadium. The lamp post and the railings by the space were covered in posters to show support for Coppell and to ask him to consider continuing his successful management with the Royals. There is no doubt that it would be great news if Coppell stayed on to guide Reading towards another promotion from the Championship. Last time round he took Reading up in record breaking style - the Royals are officially the best team ever to play in the Championship thanks to Steve. So far the signs are good and the rumours are that Coppell will stay in an announcement to be made today.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Added by HNA? on 11/05/08
    Reading were relegated from the Premier League despite stuffing Derby 4-0 at their place. Everything rested on this fixture and Fulham's fixture at Portsmouth. The Royals did their part and were three goals up before news broke, with just fifteen minutes left to play, that Fulham had scored at Portsmouth. Fulham's goal secured their three points to enable them to finish above Reading on goal difference and send Reading back into the Championship after two seasons in the top flight. The Royals had been undone by poor results earlier in the season, today there was only one team in it as Reading notched up a comfortable, but empty, victory. Things had looked so promising throughout the afternoon until those last fatal fifteen minutes at Fratton Park. There was a party atmospehre at Pride Park with random inflatables filling the away end. The travelling fans were in good voice, and things looked good for Reading early on when we took the lead fifteen minutes into the game. An impressive move saw the ball played out to Harper on the right who hit a superb shot across goal and into the top corner. The rest of the half was a nervy affair with Derby rarely threatening. After the break, and with the score still 0-0 at Portsmouth a second goal seemed vital. It came just after the hour when Shorey's shot wasn't cleared and Lita did well to cut the ball back from a tight angle for Kitson to tap home. Reading, who had started with Lita and Kitson up front saw Doyle replace Kitson and nearly immediately get on the score sheet from close range. Doyle's celebrations were massive as the away end went mental, and he picked up a yellow card for his efforts. Reading were in full control and appeared to be heading towards Premiership safety. Murty had an excellent shot from the right just wide of the post, and Lita was about to bury one before a last ditch tackle. Then it all fell to pieces with Fulham scoring at Portsmouth - and reality came crashing down. Good work from Hunt saw Doyle cross and Lita to head home. It was a good goal to make it an impressive 4-0, but Lita found himself celebrating alone as the rest of the team trudged back to their own half for the restart. The fans behind the goal hardly celebrated this one and despite all our efforts on the final day we were relegated. Our best win of the season but too late to save us.
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Spurs Deliver Probable Fatal Blow
    Added by HNA? on 05/05/08
    Reading look favourites for the drop after a massively disappointing 0-1 home defeat to Spurs. Fulham's victory over Birmingham saw them jump above Reading and out of the bottom three, while Bolton secured their Premiership status with a home win over Sunderland. The results mean it's two from three to join Derby in the Championship next season - with Fulham, Reading and Birmingham set to scrap for points on the final day of the season. However, most importantly, it is now out of Reading's hands. If Fulham match Reading's result, or do better, next weekend then Reading are relegated. We are fully reliant on Fulham dropping points at Portsmouth in their final game next Sunday - and we have to get a result at Derby. Although a draw could be enough for Reading if Fulham lose and Birmingham fail to win it seems unlikely it would do. Even a Reading win at Derby might not be enough to save us now. It's now six games without a goal for Reading who have managed just two points from those six games. We only have ourselves to blame for what now seems like a likely relegation. However, Spurs were a class act in this weekend and looked a class above their opposition who are likely to be separated by a division next season. Spurs dominated the first half with flowing football that saw Reading fail to get a look in. Whenever Spurs came forward they found space and looked dangerous, while Reading were static and out of ideas. Reading's defence simply couldn't cope. It was 0-1 on sixteen minutes when Keane walked through the Reading defence and scored with a simple finish for the only goal of the game. Spurs should have increased their lead before half time with Reading hardly taking part in the game. Just when we thought the team had given up all hope of avoiding relegation there was, at last, signs of a fight back. It took a long time for us to get going, with only half of the second half left, but when we did we might well have snatched a draw with some much improved football. Rosenior and Bikey both went close but were denied. The result was quite simply a disaster. We have to play like we did in the last twenty minutes for the full ninety at Derby to have any hope. We have to find the net at last and win. And Portsmouth, with the FA Cup final around the corner, have to do us a big big favour against Fulham. This result was probably fatal.

  • Reading 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Pressure Increases Despite Away Point
    Added by HNA? on 28/04/08
    Relegation pressure increased this weekend despite the Royals picking up a point away from home in a goalless draw at Wigan Athletic. It was a lively game with both sides going close to finding what would have been the only goal of the fixture. Leroy Lita was recalled to the side and had a lively game, despite Reading extending their run to five whole League games without finding the net. The result would have been good on any other day, but the situation now looks worse after Fulham won away at Manchester City to move to just three points behind the Royals. Fulham's goal difference is better than Reading's opening up the relegation battle further with seemingly two teams from a possible four set to exit the Premier league. Meanwhile Birmingham picked up a point at home to Liverpool to stay within a point of Reading. Bolton drew away at Tottenham to stay above Reading on goal difference.

    16th Bolton: 33 points, Sunderland (h), Chelsea (a)
    17th Reading: 33 points, Tottenham (h), Derby (a)
    18th Birmingham: 32 points, Fulham (a), Blackburn (h)
    19th Fulham: 30 points, Birmingham (h), Portsmouth (a)

  • Current Table

  • Wigan Athletic 0 Reading 0

  • Rumour Rating: Definite

    Time Running Out To Escape
    Added by HNA? on 21/04/08
    Time appears to be running out for Reading to escape relegation from the Premier League. With three games left, a inevitable defeat at Arsenal saw Reading drop a further place to just sit just one point and one place outside the relegation positions. Coppell fielded a dramatically changed line-up that included a string of defenders - either resting players for the run-in or punishing players for last weeks poor showing. In either case it was clear we had come to lose this game and just keep the score down. And 2-0 was a respectable result although we had to rely on the crossbar and post again coming to our rescue alongside another excellent performance from Marcus Hahnemann. Arsenal dominated the fixture with the exception of a bright period midway through the second half when a string of corners and a couple of half chances gave hope for the rest of the season. However Reading were already well beaten after Arsenal struck on 30 minutes and 38 minutes and there was never going to be a way back. Meanwhile Fulham look doomed to relegation after a home defeat against Liverpool. Bolton's away win saw them jump out of the bottom three and above Reading to leave a three way scrap to avoid the final relegation place between Bolton, Reading and Birmingham.
    Remaining Fixtures:
    Bolton: Tottenham (a), Sunderland (h), Chelsea (a)
    Reading: Wigan (a), Tottenham (h), Derby (a)
    Birmingham: Liverpool (h), Fulham (a), Blackburn (h)
    Fulham: Man City (a), Birmingham (h), Portsmouth (a)

  • Arsenal 2 Reading 0
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Relegation Fears Return
    Added by HNA? on 12/04/08
    This was a shocking result and a exceptionally poor performance from the Royals that showed a total lack of ideas. A win would have almost certainly meant another season in the Premiership - instead this result blows it wide open and dragged Reading right back into the relegation battle. It's hard to see where any more points are going to come from having just been so comprehensively beaten, at home, by a side seemingly doomed sitting just above Derby at the foot of the table. And we were soundly beaten. If it wasn't for the crossbar we'd have been on the end of a 0-5 humiliation. Fulham appeared a good side, playing some reasonable football and were supported by an excellent travelling support that made noise all afternoon. Reading were a distant second in all departments. Reading may have helped the visitors look good but this really must have been a magical day for the Fulham fans who saw their first away win for a season and a half and saw their team secure a lifeline for Premiership survival. The good news before kick-off was that Glen Little was back in the line-up - on the bench after a long lay off from injury. The bad news was Kitson was dumped on the bench. And the pattern was established early on with a fair few balls flying in the Fulham area and with no-one in there to get on the end of them. Fulham took the lead midway through the first half with a cross from the left which was buried from close range. Reading didn't know how to get back in the game. Time seemed to drift with little happening until our only real attempt of note during the entire first half was when Oster went on an excellent run past a couple of players before delivering a good cross to Doyle. It was a rare moment when Doyle was in the box to receive a delivery. He did well to get his head on it but perhaps should have done better as he could only direct his header wide of the left post. Keller in the Fulham goal must have been getting bored watching Hahnemann get more than his fair share of the action. Hannemann pushed a powerful effort onto the crossbar before having to perform a duplicate with a header that came off the inside of the bar as Reading hung on. A hatrick of crossbar hits saw a free kick fly into the bar again and back out into play. A brief moment of hope followed the introduction of Glen Little and David Kitson with thirty minutes left to play. Little got an amazing welcome from the home fans and immediately got stuck in, charging through to win the ball and run towards goal. The glimmer of hope was quickly forgotten with both Little and Kitson failing to make an impact as time slipped away. Instead Fulham looked more and more comfortable and Reading were doing precisely nothing in the final third of the pitch. In injury time we never expected to get anything but instead Fulham sealed the win with a break down the right and an impressive finish across goal and past Hahnemann. The home fans streamed towards the exits to leave the ground half full well before the final whistle. Meanwhile the Fulham fans were having a disco dreaming of a great escape. Their side are now five points behind the Royals with four games left to play. Bolton's win saw them climb to three points behind the Royals but with a better goal difference. With Arsenal next to surely provide us another beating there's a possibility we might rely on Fulham and Bolton failing to continue their recoveries in the next weeks.

  • Reading 0 Fulham 2 - Report and Opinion
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Recovery Continues Despite Defeat
    Added by HNA? on 17/03/08
    Despite going down 1-2 at in-form Liverpool this weekend, it was clear that Reading have emerged from their bad run as a side well capable of retaining their Premier League status at the end of the season. This was a narrow away defeat, and Reading may have claimed a point with their determination, against a side that are flying. The Royals got off to an excellent start when Oster crossed from a free-kick to find Matejovsky well outside the area and unmarked. Matejovsky hit it first time to send an amazing effort fizzing into the ner for his first goal for the Royals. A goal of nearly the same style and quality saw Liverpool pull level 14 minutes later. Torres scored a free header after the break to complete Liverpool's turn around and put them ahead. However, it wasn't plain sailing for the home side as Reading attempted to secure an equaliser in the final minutes. There was a strong appeal for a penalty after substitute Kitson's goal bound effort struck the arm of Gerrard. Liverpool held on but it was another encouraging performance from the Royals.

  • Liverpool 2 Reading 1
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Out Of Bottom Three With Second Win
    Added by HNA? on 10/03/08
    Reading jumped out of the bottom three with a second successive victory to finally put an end to a run of eight straight league defeats. Following last weekend's last minute winner at Middlesbrough, this was much more convincing. Reading played confident, positive football to earn a 2-0 victory that was a fair reflection of a game in which Reading were much the better side. The vistors did have their moments and might have earned a first half penalty when Ingimarsson looked like he had conceeded only for the City player to go in the book. However, after the break there was only one team in the game as Hahnemann had very little to do. The Royals enjoyed the better possession and eventually looked likely to find the openings with a string of chances. Kevin Doyle was excellent all afternoon. He might have scored but was best when creating. His cross found Long just after the hour to put Reading ahead. Moments later another excellent cross from Doyle found Long again as Reading looked to extend their lead. Kitson, off the bench, wrapped up the win with a couple of minutes left to play with a solo goal, getting the better of three defenders before placing his shot just inside the post to make it 2-0.

  • Reading 2 Manchester City 0
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Big Changes As Record Run Extended
    Added by HNA? on 25/02/08
    Reading manager Steve Coppell has promised big changes to the line-up for next weekend's trip to Middlesbrough as the current side struggled to an eighth successive league defeat against Aston Villa. The only consolation was Nicky Shorey firing home a free-kick, with the last kick of the game, that saw Reading get on the scoresheet for the first time in six games. These are desperate times for Reading with the teams above the relegation gradually moving away as Reading suffer defeat after defeat. This wasn't an entirely terrible performance from Reading, we worked hard and played some good passing football but looked out of ideas up front once again. Defensive mistakes cost us and Villa defended with ease as Reading never looked likely to get anything out of the game. It was all too easy for the visitors who never looked in danger. The first half was poor and Reading had Barry to thank for firing a penalty high and wide after a harsh decision to give hand ball. Villa took the lead when Cisse went flying in and totally mis-timed a tackled leaving a simple pass and finish. The second half Reading were much improved and managed to go close a couple of times. Villa's second came on the break with Reading pushing forward - this wasn't a defeat through lack of effort. It's hard to imagine Reading winning a game at the moment and next week's trip to an improving Middlesbrough seems mission impossible whatever the line-up might be.

  • Reading 1 Aston Villa 2
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Reading Drop Into Bottom Three
    Added by HNA? on 11/02/08
    Reading's seventh straight league defeat - equally the worst in our history - saw the Royals complete their drop from mid-table to the bottom three. As Reading completed their fifth fixture without finding the back of the net Birmingham moved above the Royals with a point at West Ham. This was another fixture that Reading were unlikely to win that underlined the disaster of last week - losing at home to Bolton with perhaps our worst performance of the season. This was better from Reading but still short of finding a vital win. On another day we might have picked up a point. Stephen Hunt nearly scored with an early free-kick, James Harper hit the post when Reading were attempting to find an equaliser, and in the dying minutes Kebe - making his first Reading appearance - was denied with a last ditch tackle. We also had a penalty appeal turned down in a scrappy fixture in which neither side dominated.

  • Everton 1 Reading 0
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Reading Slip Further Into Trouble
    Added by HNA? on 03/02/08
    Reading's "must-win" encounter with Bolton Wanderers at the Madejski Stadium ended in a sixth straight Premiership league defeat, leaving the Royals staring at the exit to the Championship. Following a run of tough fixtures this was the game Reading were expected to turn it all around but they failed miserably and slipped to 17th and just one point away from the bottom three. It started brightly enough with Reading looking a good bet as they controlled the opening twenty minutes. However, for no clear reason, the game gradually slipped away from Reading. Bolton scored with a direct goal just after half an hour - a boot upfield from the keeper, a knock on and a finish to put Bolton ahead. Reading quickly looked a spent force. Despite plenty of possession and a whole series of corners Reading failed to create any clear chances and looked unlikely to find their way back into the game. Bolton beat the off-side trap to double their lead and seal the win - sending the home crowd streaming for the exits. The Royals had no ideas to break through the Bolton defence, which held firm with ease, and time slowly passed to what eventually seemed an inevitable defeat.

  • Reading 0 Bolton 2
    Rumour Rating: Definite

    Royals Face Relegation Battle
    Added by HNA? on 31/01/08
    There was only ever going to be one result from this fixture with Chelsea the in-form Premiership side and Reading struggling at the foot of the form table - this defeat made it a run of eight games without a win and it was our fourth straight defeat. The poor run has seen Reading slump to 16th position - just two places and two points outside the drop zone. Reading certainly didn't shame themselves in one of the toughest fixtures of the season - the narrow victory may have been slightly generous to the Royals, but while the result was never in doubt, Reading put in a reasonable performance in the second half. However the truth was that Reading failed to make any chances throughout. With Kitson missing up front we struggled and all we could take from the game was a narrow defeat and a set of corners that failed to produce. The Royals started brightly enough, winning an early corner, before Chelsea settled down into constant attack. Marcus Hahnemann showed his best and worst with two good saves followed by a flap at the ball which saw Reading need to hack the ball clear off the line. It was clearly just going to be a matter of time before the home side went ahead. With just over half an hour played the only goal of the game came when a cross saw Ballack out jump the entire Reading defence to head past Hahnemann. To Reading's credit they kept searching for the equaliser and won a whole series of corners at the end of the first half and into the second half but failed to make a break through, looking weak up front. We failed to force a save with our rare efforts failing to find the target. When we did threaten to at last break through Lita failed to read it as a rare chance went begging. Perhaps Reading's best effort was an Oster free-kick that wasn't far from the target. However Chelsea looked comfortable and played out time to pick up a straight forward three points against a side now facing a relegation battle.

  • Chelsea 1 Reading 0
    Rumour Rating: Definite

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