Wednesday, February 01, 2006

GOING CHEEP Reading 4-0 Norwich City

The signs were that yesterday was to be a big evening for RFC. Taking another step towards promotion was the aim, and the signs were held proudly aloft in the stands BRING IT ON/BE LOUD BE PROUD. Floyd on Football was glad to volunteer to be part of an army of STAR members responsible for handing out banners bearing the legends in bold italics above with the hoped for effect of providing a noisy and colourful stadium bowl for our record-breaking players to run out to. The Football Club had kept this secret from the players and it formed part of the management's ploy to lift the players that little bit more going into the final third of a successful season.

This being Reading Football Club, the banners met with mixed reception of course and some of the banners ended up as paper aeroplanes in the second half as there was little by way of tension to focus on by this point as Reading had long since wrapped up another convincing and perfectly formed victory. Floyd on Football was still handing out the last of the freebies and purchasing a programme by the time the first goal was scored. Having missed the ocassion of Nicky SHOREY's first goal of the season, eye-witness reports will form the basis of the goal description; Doyle fouled by Doherty advancing in on goal, Reading's left-back quickly curling home the resultant free-kick past a flat-footed England 'keeper Robert Green after barely 6 minutes of the game.

Prior to that, Lita apparently should have buried a headed chance and after that first goal he appeared to have been chopped down by a panic-ridden Norwich defence after a good run. The loose ball fell to Doyle who saw his shot saved by Green. Referee Mason waved away a further Lita appeal before Etuhu clipped wide in a rare moment of panic in the Reading rearguard. To alleviate any real fears, a second goal was soon forthcoming. Twinkle-toes Little, The Entertainer of the Championship, skipped gaily down the right hand side to lay on a simple cross for SIDWELL to crash home a header. Not even 20 minutes played and the result was safe. It could have been even more than two before half time; Convey cracking a curving effort fractionally wide following smart work from Murty and Harper, Lita causing Green to fumble and gather at the second attempt with a fizzing effort and Doyle's dangerous cut-back being gathered by the over-worked Canaries 'keeper. Two down and Norwich chairwoman the saintly Delia Smith, sat amongst the visiting miserable band of travelling supporters, won't have enjoyed her half time pie.

For the sake of symmetry, Reading scored another couple of goals in the second half of this emphatic win. Reading's defending was sloppy at times and Jarret, Etuhu and Johansson were wasteful in front of our goal and to sum up Norwich's inadequacy their best player was former Royal Andy Hughes, who sent in an inch perfect cross for Peter Thorne to head astonishingly off target from practically under the crossbar. Any Norwich goal would have been rendered an irrelevance by Reading's third ten minutes into the second half; Doyle embarassed the Norwich defence by beating them twice over before laying on a tap in for the ubiquitous LITA. Little was withdrawn after an hours worth of tricks more magical than Paul Daniels and David Copperfield put together yet Reading still threatened constantly and CONVEY took the fourth with twenty minutes remaining, latching on to Shorey's delicious lofted pass and meandering through Norwich City centre before dispatching low past Green following a classy run which brought the house down.

This, by now, was showbiz and as the placards rained down on the pitch from the amused Royals fans the visiting team also threw in their cards. Lita could have added another and Gunnarsson was only saved by a mixture of Green's brilliant reflexes and the post. We settled for just the four then and whilst this particularly night out was a recipe for disaster for Delia the card-sharp Royals made it an astonishing 30 games in the league unbeaten which is effectively two-thirds of the season. Trudging triumphantly from the ground, Floyd on Football noted just how many happy young Reading fans were clutching their BRING IT ON banners with proud affection. Our fan-base of the future might just be beginning to think that every day following RFC is as emphatic and triumphant as this, another joyous ocassion in an exultant season.

Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Shorey, Ingimarsson, Sonko, Little (Oster, 60), Sidwell (Gunnarsson, 71), Harper, Convey, Doyle (Long, 74), Lita. Subs not used: Stack, Hunt.

Floyd's Favourite: Little. Another masterclass.


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