Wednesday, September 21, 2005

CHANGES Reading 1-0 Luton Town

A Reading side showing four changes from Saturday's win over Crewe extended the unbeaten run to ten games following a turgid 90 minutes of cup football against a Luton side who offered little indication as to exactly why they are fellow high fliers in the Championship.

This Carling Cup tie was a flat beer ocassion lacking any fizz. Coppell had said pre-match that this was an extra game that he didn't really want, in the middle as we are of a run of 7 games in 3 weeks. Eric Obinna and Sekou Baradji were drafted in for full debuts and our wing-wonders Convey and Little were also rested in favour of Hunt and Oster. Whilst Oster's late goal moved us into round 3 of this competition, Hunt's showing was totally woeful. On last night's evidence, he couldn't cross a pools coupon and looked very much a League One player. He wasn't alone in looking out of place though; Sekou Baradji totally and utterly failed to come to terms with the pace of the game in the first half, only natural perhaps, and in Eric Obinna Reading appear to have unearted another clumsy and cumbersome forward in the Tony Rougier and Mass Sarr mould; I counted 7 ocassions on which Obinna was flagged offside first half and time after time his first touch was diabolical.

The visitors didn't look much more impressive themselves, as ex-Royal Dean Morgan proved that Reading's loss isn't necessarily Luton's gain. Morgan took a number of shocking corner kicks for Luton as they attacked the North Stand in the first half which were so deep they almost ended up in Basingstoke. Luron had plenty of attacking options in Morgan, the hefty and uncivilised Steve Howard and that perennial Bournemouth cheat Warren Feeney. Howard had the ball in the net shortly before half time, burying a low effort under Hahnemann following a through ball from Nicholls but the flag for offside had long since been raised. When he did manage to stay onside late in the second half, Howard showed crass incompetence when sidefooting an open goal wide of the target. There were precious few attempts on target throughout a game blighted by poor control and constant offsides and Reading's best effort prior to the goal was provided by a rare moment of class from Obinna who used his pace to skin the Luton defender before getting to the byline and pulling back for Lita to have an effort blocked.

It was with ten minutes left that Reading made the breakthrough which put Luton out of their misery. Obinna was fouled wide on the left touchline and OSTER clipped a freekick into the box. The ball evaded Sonko and Lita as well as the unaptly named Luton goalkeeper Brill before finding nestling in the far corner. It was a joke of a goal to settle a Stan Boardman comedy routine of a football match but it was enough to put us in the hat for round 3 and hopefully a more inspiring draw than this one. A worthwhile night if only to see how the fringe players would fare - put it this way, they shouldn't hold their breath if they expect to get into the side for a league game in the near future.

Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Makin, Ingimarsson, Sonko, Oster, Baradji, Harper, Hunt, Doyle (Lita, 57), Obinna (Cox, 85). Subs not used: Federici, Gunarsson, Little.

Floyd's Favourite: Oster. Spared us further tedium.


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