Sunday, February 12, 2006

REGIONAL DIFFERENCES Reading 2-0 Southampton

Reading's latest easy victory on the ceaseless march to promotion was a particularly satisfying one given that it was at the expense of the Saints, a club who have for far too long been top dog in the south of England.

The bias towards the south coast in the regional media is best illustrated by tuning in to a South Today bulletin. Their studios are based in Southampton which Floyd on Football would suggest is hardly centralised for a region which spreads north into South Oxfordshire and east into Sussex. The powers that be at Broadcasting House fritter away goodness knows how much licence-payers money every year covering in minute detail events such as Cowes Week, as if the thrill-a-minute world of yachting is likely to be of any interest to their Thames Valley based viewers. Reading has always seemed to play second fiddle to the south coast clubs in terms of football coverage on the regional version of the BBC and it is with glee that Floyd on Football envisages Roger Johnson's sports section will be delivered through gritted teeth next season as Reading take on the mantle of the south's Premiership team with the wretched Portsmouth seemingly doomed to a long-overdue relegation.

That Southampton are in such a sorry state must be due to their megalomaniac chairman, jolly hockey sticks Rupert Lowe, who seemingly changes managers as often as most other people change their underwear. The Saints fan foolish enough to pay good money to watch their team in the flesh when they could have drowned their sorrows watching the SKY televised game in the pub once again audibly voiced their dislike of their chairman who oversaw relegation last season to be followed up by their embarassing efforts this year to reclaim their place in the top flight. Following this entirely comprehensive defeat, the Saints are now 17 points adrift of the play-off pack and a mere 7 points ahead of the relegation zone. How amusing it would be to see Southampton fall to a second successive relegation in a supremely satisfying league season which sees old friends and regional rivals such as Portsmouth, Brighton and Swindon already on the cusp of the drop from their respective leagues themselves.

The Reading supporters, ever willing to antagonise, sang their own chairman's name and it was Mr Madejski's most expensive footballing purchase who served up the opening goal after a quarter of an hour. The goal owed much to Southampton's slopiness and complacency, a fitting metaphor for their recent footballing fortunes, as Dyer was caught in possession and was robbed easily by Little who fed LITA for an almost embarassingly simple tap-in. Reading escaped a couple of close shaves before the game-breaking second; debutant Rasiak firing hopelessly wide when scoring seemed easier and Ostlund nodding against Hahnemann's post. Those were to be the last remotely nervous moments of a truly satisfying evening however, as Hahnnemann's long kick was controlled by DOYLE and thundered home at Bialkowski's near post with precision for a goal remniscent to the effort that the Irishman scored at home to Palace back in September.

And that was that, done and dusted long before half time. What little spirit Southampton had was broken by that second goal and Reading won at a familiar canter. The second half passed with very little by way of clear-cut opportunity not that that would dampen in any way the enthusiasm of the biggest crowd of the season at the Madejski. Reading beating Southampton is hardly headline news these days, but even so you can imagine the disappointment around Broadcasting House, SO14 as their local favourites fell to another sorry defeat. Berkshire 2-0 Hampshire.

Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Shorey, Ingimarsson, Sonko, Little, Sidwell, Harper, Convey (Hunt, 81), Doyle, Lita (Kitson, 75). Subs not used: Stack, Gunnarsson, Oster.

Floyd's Favourite: Little. Worth the admission fee to watch a genius at work.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home