Sunday, September 18, 2005

CUTTING Reading 1-0 Crewe

After being pegged back by a late Coventry equaliser 8 days ago, Floyd on Football remarked that a point at the Ricoh Arena would be decent business provided we followed it up with a minimum of four points from the two home games that followed. Six points from two very contrasting games is an excellent return which consolidates Reading's position in the top two and gives us a little breathing space.

After the thrill-a-minute encounter against Palace, this was a different ball game. There was a fair amount of pre-match expectation that Crewe would just die in our arms. Not so, the Railwaymen are a neat and tidy outfit who are tough to break down and after the bright Reading opening they chugged along seemingly content with a point until they ran out of steam and a late winner denied them. It was a bright opening from the home side and only miskicks in front of goal by the previously prolific Doyle and Lita denied Reading an early opener. Some of the football in the opening stages really pulled Crewe apart, but instead of going off the rails they stood firm against the onslaught and tightened their grasp on a goaless point. Indeed, Crewe might even have led at half time - only denied by the flag as the pacy nuisance Jones buried the ball low under Hahnemann following a swidt counter-break. A waspish side, Crewe are a side with very few star names but a good footballing side nonetheless, pinging the ball around the park albeit with little purpose at times.

Reading dominated much of the second half but only really threatened fleetingly against a well trained defence. Crewe once again came closest to scoring when a corner was nodded against the crossbar, Graeme Murty's clearance was illogically headed back towards his only goal where only the cranium of Harper prevented a daft own goal. At the other end Convey was busily effective and passed to Doyle when he has a decent opening on goal himself, then a few minutes later he kept the ball when he should perhaps have squared it to Lita. On both ocassions the chance went begging and a goaless draw was beginning to look inevitable. The forwards, so threatening against Palace, were having an off day and when a goal finally did come it came from an unlikely source. Substitute Oster floated over a cross with less than ten minutes play remaining and in the melee Ivar Ingimarsson stooped to head us in front. The ball squirmed towards goal, barely crossing the line before being hacked clear with Reading players in attendance to help squeeze the ball over the line. The linesman's flag confirmed the goal.

The goal was hard on Crewe who had very little left in the tank. Substitute Obinna almost added a second with an instinctive snap shot, but the one goal was enough to stretch the winning run at home to five on the spin in all competitions and nine unbeaten overall as Reading show no sign of hitting the buffers.

Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Makin, Ingimarsson, Sonko, Little (Oster, 79), Gunarsson, Harper, Convey (Hunt, 83), Lita (Obinna, 78), Doyle. Subs not used: Stack, Baradji.

Floyd's Favourite: Convey. Constant menace.


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