Wednesday, November 02, 2005

LOOPY Reading 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield. The home of snooker and benefactors of 6 league points and a cup victory to the Royals already this season. In fact, if Reading and Sheffield's own Blades continue on current form then the rest of the Championship will require snookers to catch up at this rate.

The Owls were pussycats at the Madejski last night; after a bright opening they rolled over and had their metaphorical tummy's tickled. It was a bitty, scrappy, tatty first half and Reading were relieved to take a half time lead with a scruffy goal. The second 45 however was a masterclass; a Ronnie O'Sullivan 147 maximum break of a performance on the green baize of the Mad Stad. The passing football was crisp, accurate, swift and thrilling to watch even if it only yielded one further goal. With the Blades demolishing Luton Town 4-0, the gap between the Royals and 3rd place is now a mammoth 9 points. Even the stoical Floyd on Football is finding it hard not to get carried away.

The Owls ruffled a few furthers early on though as Reading flapped defensively in the opening exchanges. Ibrahima Sonko was clearly less than 100% fit and there were gaps at both ends early on; Richard Wood failed to find the target with an early header for the northerners, Kitson was denied by Lucas and Convey climbed well to head a half chance well over. David Blunkett is a famous Sheffield man and even with guide dog in tow he would have fancied his chances as Richie Partridge was put through a Grand Canyon of a gap in the Reading defence. Hahnemann advanced, smothered and that was just about the last we saw of Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday. The lead which Reading had barely merited came immediately after that glaring show of profligacy in front of goal by Partridge; Hahnemann's long accurate throw, Doyle stretched his legs and the Owls defence down the left flank, his ball inside for Kitson ended up in the visitors net via the hapless Glenn WHELAN. Kitson wheeled away in celebration, the tannoy announced his goal and the crowd chanted his name - but this goal was clearly not Kitson's.

The second half was much more convincing and not unlike the alamo at times. Reading pegged Wednesday back for long periods, squeezing the life out of their opponents with Boa Constrictor passing, slithering across the park with the excellent James Harper picking out the tricky wingers Convey and Harper with almost nonchalant ease. The visitor's goal was always under threat, never more so than when in an astonishing passage of play Murty's fierce cross was deflected goal bound and blocked, Convey's follow up was desperately ushered onto a post by the Owls defence, Sidwell's further follow up was heroically saved by the excellent Lucas with the ball falling to Doyle whose effort at point blank range was hacked off the line. The referee was next to come to the rescue for Wednesday; that man Doyle again skipping into the area only to be brought down and awarded.....a free kick when a penalty was the glaringly obvious outcome to 16,000+ people inside the stadium.

Such wonderful football wouldn't go unrewarded for too long. The deviously brilliant Glen Little tormented Wednesday once again down the right flank and put Kitson in on goal with a marvellous through ball. KITSON, at an angle to the goal, went for the middle pocket and laruped the ball past Lucas who did very well to get out of the way. A quite brilliant goal which sent the MadStad crowd potty. That was the end of the scoring but by no means the end of the entertainment; Royals kept the crowd on their feet with a series of ole' style one touch passing which was a joy to behold and kept Wednesday against the cushion for the remainder of the game.

The Wednesday supporters began to file their way home long before the end, knowing that their team were a mere sideshow to far superior opposition. Amongst their disgruntled number was the famous Tangoman, whose party piece seems to be proving what a wonderfully dedicated supporter he is by going topless at matches. Give that man an orange. Floyd on Football noticed that well before the full time whistle he had finally covered up his wide girth and perhaps next time he removes his shirt he might want to consider putting it on Reading FC for promotion.

Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Shorey, Ingimarsson, Sonko, Little (Oster, 81), Sidwell, Harper, Convey (Hunt, 72), Doyle, Kitson. Subs not used: Stack, Osano, Obinna.

Floyd's Favourite: Little. The Figo of the Championship.


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