Sunday, August 21, 2005

TOP Reading 5-0 Millwall

We're the best team in London
No, the best team of all
Everybody knows us, we're called Millwall
Let 'em come let 'em come let 'em come
Let 'em all come down to the Den
Let 'em all come down to the Den

No-one likes us. No-one likes us. No-one likes us, we don't care. On the contrary, Millwall are always welcome visitors to the Madejski. The reason for that being that no opposing team has been defeated on more ocassions at the MadStad than Millwall; this defeat made it an impressive sixth defeat in seven visits for the loveable cockney rogues.

We are Millwall, super Millwall. Actually, for want of a better phrase, they're a ruddy bloody shambles. That said this was still an entirely satisfying result to put us on top of the Championship table. In fact, Floyd on Football is of the opinion that we didn't even play particularly well against the Lions and the obvious conclusion must be that there is much, much more to come from this Reading side.

The first goal was not long in coming and followed some early Millwall pressure. A corner was cleared to Convey on the edge of the Reading box and the Yank made good with his legs past a couple of challenges to sprint clear from the half way line. The Convey of last season would have messed this kind of chance up, but this new and improved version rolled the ball calmly past Marshall. After his countryman Hahnemann had made an excellent save to deny May's free header following lapse Reading defending, Convey was soon in action again and denied by the inside of the post from a well placed free-kick. His chance would come again quickly though as very soon afterwards Millwall 'keeper Marshall handled a Lita long-ranger from outside of his area as his shambolic defence played him in to trouble. Under Marshall Law, the Lions number 1 was dismissed and a lack of replacement 'keeper on the bench meant that defender Mark Phillips had to take over in goal and he immediately had to fetch the ball from the net as Convey's freekick slipped under him.

Two up and a man up, Reading began to get into the groove and set about winning the game before half-time. Lita had a couple of chances before Harper did add the third; his headed effort sneaked in past Phillips following a free-kick from that man Convey. The inevitable fourth came on the stroke of half time as ex-Royal little Sammy Igoe amazingly reached highest to handle in the box. Dave Kitson's poor penalty should have been saved by the Millwall 'keeper but it crept past him and you couldn't help wonder whether they'd have been better off putting Captain Mark Phillips in goal. Half time and talk of record scorelines at the Madejski; these are heady early season days.

The goal-fest didn't continue. Adrian Serioux replaced Phillips between the sticks and was just as eccentric as his immediate predecessor, if a little more successful. Millwall played with a going down fighting attitude in the second half and whilst they barely worried Hahnemann they at least strung a pass or two together in front of their travelling handful of supporters who began to berate their sack-happy board. A fifth goal did come with ten minutes left as Sidwell crashed home Little's corner with his head; pleasingly, this means that after four league games each of Reading's 'front six' midfielders and forwards have registered a goal which is terrific bearing in mind the turgid season in front of goal we suffered in 04/05. A good day was rounded off with the news that each of the three teams above us in the table lost away from home. All in all a good day at the office, in fact Millwall's defending was funnier than The Office. Top of the league, we're having a laugh.

Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Shorey, Ingimarsson, Sonko, Little, Sidwell, Harper, Convey (Hunt, 59), Lita (Doyle, 62), Kitson. Subs not used: Stack, Makin, Oster.

Floyd's Favourite: Bobby Convey. Classy.


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