Saturday, March 18, 2006

LEN GODDLE Reading 1-1 Wolves

The Son of God is alive and well and living in Berkshire. Local resident Glenn Hoddle, the David Icke of football managers, said in the build up to this game "the pressure is on Reading". What pressure would that be Glenn? We started the game 15 points clear at the top and inching ever closer to promotion, whilst his own team have a battle on just to reach the end of season lottery of the play-offs. Given the money invested in your squad and the sizeable wage-bill, I'd say that the pressure is well and truly on the manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers - a club with a delusional sense of their own importance with an impatient fanbase who have grown increasingly accustomed to expensive failure.

The last time these teams met, Mr Hoddle had a bit too much to say for himself once again and his pre-match comments backfired in spectacular style as Reading wrapped up a routine win at the Molineux. Reading once again started positively at home, Kitson heading a Murty cross wide and the much improved John Oster getting across the Wolves defence at the near post to be denied by Postma. Convey, in his best whippet-like form playing in an unaccustomed central role in a new 4-3-1-2 formation, tried his luck from 20 yards but his own special moment was to come. Not so Aliadiere, who finished clinically only to be denied by the offside flag - the highly rated Arsenal loanee later missed a total sitter to complete a rather miserable day for him on a personal level. Reading merited their lead taken midway through the half - Kitson chased a long ball into the left channel and centred where Doyle retrieved and fed Oster who put a delicious ball across the box. Waiting to do so at the far post was CONVEY who took a touch and crashed home a measured effort.

The rest of the half was end-to-end with no further goals added. Hod moves in mysterious ways and the Wolves supremo had selected the sprightly Kenny Miller to play right wing-back thus depriving the visitors of the diminuitive scot's attacking threat, but he was involved in the move which Mark Davies thwarted by the alert Hahnemann when clean through and Reading clearly hadn't learned their lesson as Frankowski amazingly managed to put a loose ball wide with the visiting supporters already out of their seats acclaiming a certain equaliser. In reponse, Ingimarsson put a header wide, Convey tried his luck at distance again and Doyle made a chance for himself with some glorious skill before dragging the final effort wide. Another clear cut chance in a lively first half fell to the head of Sonko - the Senegalese putting a free header wide from an Oster centre so inviting as to require an RSVP. Sonko's response was to kick the upright in frustration at missing such a good chance.

The pace was relentless as the game resumed after the break after words of half time wisdom from Steve Coppell and Songs of Praise from Glenn Hoddle. Convey drove a well struck effort down Postma's throat whilst Harper had an effort blocked and Doyle's unlikely attempt at a chip almost extended our lead. Being good christians, Wolves will feel they deserved their equaliser which came twenty minutes into a second half of almost continual Reading pressure. MILLER made the most of a rare opening to curve a right footed effort around Hahnemann. Game on again and Wolves took the game to Reading with their new found hunger. Hahnemann denied the increasingly frustrated Aliadiere, smothering when the frenchman had been put clear and Reading only threatened sporadically with Shorey's sky-bound volley and Kitson charging down the 'keepers clearance only for Postma to gather his bearings with the ball never really threatening to slip over the line.

Reading were continually frustrated by a fussy linesmen on the near side who gave some iffy looking offside decisions - it is what God would have intended - and Wolves should have sneaked a somewhat underserved win as we entered time added on. Substitute Carl Cort flicked ona throw in with the Reading defence napping to give Aliadiere an inkling of an opening. He skied it over from close-range, hallelujah. For the second week running a home draw at the MadStad against half decent opposition and once again in the opinion of Floyd on Football a draw feels like a win in our lofty position with Sheffield United losing again we extended the lead to 16 points and Leeds failure to win at Coventry means we will be promoted with a win at Coventry next Saturday. Praise the Lord Steve Coppell.

Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Shorey, Ingimarsson, Sonko, Oster (Hunt, 88), Gunnarsson (Sidwell, 84), Harper, Convey, Doyle, Kitson. Subs not used: Stack, Makin, Long.

Floyd's Favourite: Convey. Switched to a more central role and ran Wolves ragged.


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