Team: Ikeme, Stewart, Gorkss, Connolly, Hill, Leigertwood, Faurlin, Ephraim, Taarabt (Ramage), Simpson, Priskin (German).
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Borrowdale, Buzsaky, Cook, Vine.
I thought that we deserved a point. We battled all the way, and as the game went on, Reading became more and more frustrated, at times they were woeful. The substitutions that were made were too little, too late. Taarabt was not in the game that much and as for Priskin, how long will it take for NW to see the light ? A disgraceful referee who was booking players for good tackles and being swayed by the home crowd ! Good to meet steveqpr881 and not forgetting ‘sat nav Tenner’
We were saying on the way home that it was almost like the script had already been written before the game. As the match progressed we knew that we would go down to ten men and at some point if the home side hadn’t scored, the referee would award them a penalty. Stewart was dismissed after receiving a second yellow and four other Rangers players were booked. I thought it was actually even more than that. One Reading player was booked for diving near the end but the referee really was a disgrace. Looking at the stats, I see that the R’s committed 14 fouls to Reading’s 18 ! Our best chance fell to Jay Simpson who blasted the ball over from close range.
We weathered a difficult period when we cleared two off the line and Ikeme made a very good save. Rangers battled for what we thought would a good point in the circumstances but denied after 85 minutes with that penalty. Not looking for a scapegoat, but I do wonder why Priskin is preferred over the other options we have ? Great support from 2,024 travelling R’s fans and our friend with the sombrero has a new horn and a new routine. Turning his back on those mouthy home fans to our right, he bent over and strategically positioned his horn to show them his contempt. Good to see steveqpr881 in his local and thanks to jj for the lift.
It sounds like sour grapes, but when I read on LFW that the ref was a 28-year-old rookie, I thought ‘here we go’. I just knew he was going to ruin a game of football and I was right. Had it been at Loftus Road, he would’ve favoured the home crowd there no doubt, as every time the crowd moaned he reacted !!! I think he must be related to Stuart Atwell, and Reading fans know him very well. From the 20th minute onwards, the ref decided that, ‘I’m going to be the centre of attention tonight’. Considering the amount of cards dished out, I don’t recall a bad tackle all night. For Stewart’s first, he was about to clear the ball when a player nipped in front of him, from the blind side I might add, he crouched down to head the ball about 4ft off the floor and Stewart’s boot accidently connected. Now unless the ref expects professional footballer’s to be physic, how was Stewart supposed to know what the Reading player was about to do ? It was at that point that I said: “I bet we have a red card in the 2nd half.” My mate chipped in with: “And they’ll get a penalty in the last minute.” Then some stranger to my left turned to me and said: “I don’t think he’ll wait that long to give us a red card.” So we were all right.
Considering that we played with 10 men for 50 minutes, up until the 70th minute we had created the best two chances. On 30 minutes, Adel Taarabt on the left wing by the dugouts, sent an inch perfect pass with the outside of his right boot to Jay Simpson who had made a great run through the middle. He was about 18 yards from goal and hit it first time, but it was too close to the keeper and was blocked. Then again on 60 minutes, a speculative 25 yard shot from Ephraim was palmed away by the keeper into the path of Simpson, who from about 4 yards, lifted it over the keeper, but unfortunately over the bar as well. We only came under any serious pressure in the last 15-20 minutes, but all Reading did was give the ball to either centre back who just launched it into orbit and in the direction of Jimmy Kebe on the left wing. Twice we had defenders on the line to clear decent shots and Ikeme made one decent save all night. Gone was the Reading we all saw against Liverpool and Villa in the FA Cup recently.
As a spectacle it was awful and added to that, every time our players even cast a shadow near a Reading player, it was a free kick. Our team worked their socks off and considering they only had nine men out there (Priskin doesn’t count), they deserved at least a point. But the referee decided he would add to his woeful performance by just frustrating our efforts time and time again. Three Reading players were spoken to and warned about challenges in the 2nd half, whereas we got yellows without even a word. But the ref really surpassed himself when Ephraim on the counter-attack, went into a 50-50 ball on the half-way line and nipped in front of the defender and was away clear on goal, although there were two other defenders to his right 20 yards away. The Reading defender’s arm was brought up and Hogan suffered a forearm smash that wouldn’t have looked out of place on WWF. Not only did the ref not book the player, but he didn’t even give a free kick. Ephraim was furious, as were all of us and NW. Then in the lead up to the goal, Ephraim was beaten over by the corner flag and as the player was going past, his trailing arm went smack into Hogan’s face. It looked like he was caught in the eyes, again nothing. ! The play carried on into the box and we all know what happened next.
Going back to the team, on hearing conversations on leaving the ground for the past four games, it appears EVERY fan can’t believe what Priskin brings to the team that Balanta, German or Buzsaky doesn’t. So surely we can’t all be wrong ? NW has picked the same starting X1 for four games, something that eluded our past ten Managers I believe, BUT I still can’t see what he sees in Priskin ? In fact, last night me and two mates celebrated at 8.21pm when he had a shot at goal !!! He gets knocked off the ball too easily, pace wise he makes Dean Coney look like Linford Christie and has a bigger turning arc than an articulated lorry. The only way you know he’s out there, are those yellow boots he wears. His link-up play at times is non-existent, heading balls on to no one, giving the ball away and he doesn’t appear to know the word ‘TEAM’. It said it all the other week when West Brom took off the left back marking him and replaced him with a forward !!! To the other players last night, great effort from all of you. It was really appreciated and that’s why the majority of the 2,000 R’s fans stayed till the bitter end to applaud your efforts.