Reading Football Club News: March 2019

Important Win As Relegation Fears Ease

30 March 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Mo Barrow and Yakou Meite combined twice in space six minutes in the first half to score the goals which gave Reading a much needed and thoroughly deserved victory over a Preston side looking for their seventh successive away win to boost their chances of making the play-offs. On the half hour Barrow's pace took him clear of the North End defence to deliver a perfect cross for Meite to slide in and finish at the far post. Meite reciprocated six minutes later flicking on a long ball to put Barrow in behind the North end defence again. Once again Barrow's pace proving too much for the visitor's defence as he nipped in between centre back and 'keeper and slipped the ball into an unguarded net.

This was a significant win in terms alleviating the fear of relegation and boosting confidence we enter as the crucial final phase of the season. Three wins, a draw, and only one defeat in the last three games is indicative of a good run of form.

Another Game - Another Must Win

29 March 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading face Preston North End at the Madejski Stadium this weekend knowing only a victory will do as they attempt to avoid relegation. Every game is vital now, with just eight games of the season remaining and the Royals just a single point out of the bottom three. With a difficult run in to the end of the season, a home match against Preston might even be considered one of our better chances of picking up three points despite the visitors sitting in 7th place and only outside the play-off places on goal difference. Preston have won four out of their last five league games and will be favourites for the win.

The Royals also have to play top of the table Norwich City away, 4th placed West Brom at home, and 5th placed Middlesbrough away. Our other home games are Brentford and Birmingham City on the final day of the season. With Birmingham City now just four points ahead of Reading after their nine point deduction it's possible that final game could have implications for both sides. Apart from the game against Birmingham all our remaining fixtures are now against sides in the top thirteen places in the table. It's difficult to see where all the points are going to come from to enable us to survive the drop.

Midfielder Andy Rinomhota is likely to still be missing from the starting eleven, but could make the bench, as he returns to training this week after missing most of the season so far injured. Sam Baldock, who scored for Reading against Preston back in September, is in a similar situation as he looks to return from injury but may not be quite ready for the visit of Preston. Nelson Oliveira remains out with his hamstring injury but is looking to take part in Reading's relegation battle before the season wraps up.

Last season Reading were 1-0 winners over Preston at the Madejski Stadium and earlier this season we were 3-2 winners on the road. That 3-2 win was our first league win of the season and Reading will have a rare chance to pick up six points off one team this season on Saturday afternoon.

Reading's Remaining Fixtures

  • Sat 30 March: Preston North End (Home)
  • Sat 6 April: Hull City (Away)
  • Wed 10 April: Norwich City (Away)
  • Sat 13 April: Brentford (Home)
  • Fri 19 April: Bristol City (Away)
  • Mon 22 April: West Brom (Home)
  • Sat 27 April: Middlesbrough (Away)
  • Sun 5 May: Birmingham City (Home)

Championship COMBINED FORM Table at: 26 March 2019
4Preston North End642083+514DWDWWW

Championship Table at: 26 March 2019
7Preston North End3879334248382426+857

Leeds Cruise To Straight Forward Win

12 March 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Taking on Leeds looking for three points to go top of the league with a team significantly weakened by injuries presented a severe test of character and resilience for The Royals, and although losing by three goals at home is never a good thing, with so many key players missing, and teams around Reading also losing, it made little difference to the relegation battle. In fact to get this fixture out of the way without losing ground on their immediate rivals was not a bad outcome for The Royals. Leeds had the game won by half time with three well taken goals and for a while it looked like Reading were heading for an even bigger defeat than Theresa May. United however could afford to keep something back for their bigger battle against third placed Sheffield United on Saturday, and with a better second half performance Reading limited the damage to their goal difference.

Royals Climb Table With Dramatic Late Win

09 March 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

The course of a game, or even a season, can often hinge on a single moment, and in the sixty-ninth minute of this dramatic home win for Reading, we witnessed one of those moments. An astonishing save from Martinez prevented Powell from scoring from close range when the Wigan forward met a perfect low cross from Massey. Had he converted the chance it would have given Wigan a two goal lead and put the result beyond doubt. Having been guilty of careless distribution which led to Wigan's second goal, Martinez made amends with his outstanding save which arguably gave a Reading a lift, at a crucial point in the game sparking a revival which turned the game in their favour. Whether or not that was the case we can't be sure, but it certainly kept Reading in the game.

Encouraged by some extremely weak refereeing by Andy Davies, Wigan attempted to bully Reading, disrupt play, and waste time at every opportunity but ultimately justice was served in a fitting manner. With a couple of minutes of normal time remaining Reece James went down and lay motionless as if suffering a serious head injury. Judging by the way he miraculously 'recovered' so quickly his reaction was somewhat exaggerated. His intention was clearly to run down the clock. The fact that it also halted a promising attack for Reading was, from Wigan's point of view, a bonus. It backfired horribly for them when, from the resulting drop ball, Barrow received the ball some thirty yards out and drilled a magnificent equaliser past Jones. Reading now had the upper hand and in the seventh minute of stoppage time (mainly accumulated through Wigan's time wasting) Meite headed home powerfully from a corner to complete an exhilarating comeback. The Madjeski Stadium was in a state of euphoria the like of which had not been experienced for very long time. Jose Gomes and Meite were booked for their celebrations, but I don't think anyone cared at that point.