Sunday, October 16, 2005

COME DANCING Reading 2-0 Ipswich Town

Reading made light work of a shambolic Ipswich Town outfit this afternoon as the gap over third placed Luton Town was increased to a not unsubstantial 6 points. Reading's wingers Convey and Little tore Town apart, dancing down either flank like Angela Rippon on acid. The ever impressive Kevin Doyle was at his impish best and scored a deserved goal whilst at the back the 24 carat Sonko looks better with every game.

The last time Reading played Ipswich Town 10 months ago, the visitors were well clear at the top of the table and with a stoppage time winner at the MadStad they looked to be coasting to promotion. Except that stoppage time goal didn't prove to be the winner - Reading went down the other end and scored even later in time added on. That was the cue for a slump down the table as Ipswich slid down the league quicker than a buttered ferret down a drainpipe in a loss of form which echoed that which we ultimately suffered ourselves. However, whilst Coppell had the opportunity to move in the transfer market in the summer to better our squad which was found lacking, his opposite number and fellow Scouser Joe Royle has had to perform alchemy at Ipswich. The loss of the likes of Bent, Kuqi and Davis was inevitable and sympathy for them is limited as they are still suffering from the profligacy of their most recent Premiership campaign.

Whether Reading can learn from the mistakes of Ipswich last season and go on and secure what is becoming an increasingly secure position remains to be seen, but clearly after 4 successive draws between the sides over the last two seasons, we showed that we're a far better side than them these days. The first goal could and should have perhaps arrived after barely two minutes. Doyle got in behind De Vos with a clear run in on goal but the visiting skipper tugged back the young Irishman. Quite incredibly, referee Tanner did not seem to want to give the decision until he noticed the frantic semaphore of his assistant. Consulting with the linesman having awarded an obvious freekick, Tanner totally bottled the decision and showed an inexplicable yellow. A total disgrace, and with the recent Paddy Kenny fresh in the memory, Floyd on Football is of the opinion that if referees do not have the bottle to make decisions which require a mandatory sending-off they should be removed from the league list, simple as that. The sense of injustice was only compounded by a poor freekick being smashed into the wall.

Another let off for Ipswich followed shortly afterwards after good work by that man Doyle. His pull back after skipping the right fanastic was turned wide by Lita who should be finishing chances like that. The reprieve didn't last too long as before twenty minutes had been played Reading took a thoroughly deserved lead. Doyle again, linked up quite beautifully with Makin and pulled the ball across for Ipswich defender NAYLOR to slide desperately into his own net under pressure from Lita. Reading continued to press but it was ex-Royal Nicky Forster who was the next Ipswich player to put the ball into the net, this time at the right end. Sadly for the visitors it followed a clear handball and apart from the familar raise of the linesman's flag, this was the last we saw of Forster all afternoon and he was withdrawn well before the end to polite and appreciative applause for his six years of service.

Despite this scare, Reading had dominated territory and chances and the game was made safe two minutes after a break which Ipswich would have been grateful for, such was the chasing they endured in the first half. Brynjar Gunnarsson, the snappy little Boris Becker impersonator, won the ball for the umpteenth time in the centre of the park and pinged the ball out to Luis Figo impersonator Glenn Little. A Glenn Little cross is normally a good one and DOYLE was the grateful recipitent as he buried a header past the busy Lewis Price. Reading easily won the midfield battle which put pressure on the dogged Ipswich defence, the presence of two luxury-type players like Magilton and Currie in the Town midfield was the difference as they barely had a kick with the industrious Gunnarsson and busy Harper dominating proceedings, winning tackles, keeping ball and feeding the wingers.

To be honest, the only moan must be that we didn't increase our already impressive goal difference to the tune of at least two or three more goals. After Parkin, showing all he had learned at Swindon Town, wasted Ipswich's best chance with a headed opportunity which was the footballing equivalent of passing GO! and collecting 200 pounds. At the other end, Reading contrived to crack the woodwork twice within two seconds as firstly Lita belted against the post, the ball falling kindly to Doyle who sent a rocket from close range which spanked the underside of the crossbar as if it was a naughty child. Convey and Kitson, making a welcome substitutes return from injury, fired over. Lita had a shot bravely saved by Price, who also pushed a Shorey drive over the top. Hunt also tested Price with what was a tame effort in comparison with Kitson's thunderbolt which was a whisker away and must have caused some serious damage to the advertising hoardings. These are just edited hughlights as Reading won the shot count 19 to 3, although it would be remiss of Floyd on Football not to mention Proudlock's instinctive piledriver following Hahnemann's clumsily dropped cross under pressure - Sonko to the rescue with his chest which must be made of iron, he flung himself at the ball.

This was too easy for Reading. The crowd enjoyed asking various officials and subsitutes to give us a wave and took great satisfaction in taunting that arch-villain Jim Magilton who to his credit responded to the chants of WANKER, WANKER WHAT'S THE SCORE? with a two fingered salute. Two fingers maybe, but it was Ipswich who Foxtrot-oscar'd off with no points as the mammoth unbeaten run never looked under any threat.

Reading: Hahnemann, Makin, Shorey, Ingimarsson, Sonko, Little (Oster, 72), Gunnarsson, Harper, Convey (Hunt, 81), Lita, Doyle (Kitson, 64). Subs not used: Stack, Baradji.

Floyd's Favourite: Doyle. Class in a Guiness pint glass.


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