Oh god, this is gonna be a long journey…….
Reading vs Sunderland
The day had started in a good way, we’d met all the usual suspects and a couple more who we hadn’t seen in a while in the pub, it’s always good to catch up with old football mates, people that remind you of better times (and worse). Reading’s ground is not well situated with regard to drinking establishments but to be honest Callaghan’s bar on the corner of the Holiday Inn is not bad for an only option, but the prices leave a lot to be desired – I’ll not go any further!
The team arrived via text while we were in the pub and whilst I’m no football manager I was surprised to see Wallace dropped to the bench in favour of Chopra and Stokes ousted to the bench – he and Jones seem to have a good understanding, or at least the beginnings of it.
The game started off with us kicking towards their fans and them to ours and we actually started ok. Andy Cole missed a glorious chance… twice…. and the rest of the half was spent at our end which as I’ve already explained wasn’t good as it meant our lot were defending. I could at this point be done by the Trade Descriptions as “defending” is not what it was, it was more like headless chickens running around and contributing very much to what should have been our downfall, make no mistake we should have been buried by half time. Mcshane was the worst – what has happened to him? I was very encouraged by his early season efforts but he just looked way, way off the mark yesterday. On this showing the argument about who should be in goal is irrelevant as nobody could be expected to play behind a back four as shoddy as that, although Gordon pressed his claim with a wonder save from Stephen Hunt and we went in, somehow at 0-0. Half time came and went with the usual scrum in the bogs, although this one was particularly bad I’m not sure you’d want to hear my ramblings about getting stuck in the exit/entrance for 10 minutes.
Second half was a better game of footy altogether, Hunt hit the post with a cracker and we huffed and puffed but actually seemed a lot more together in defence. The referee seemed content to give them a lot of the decisions and us a lot of the cards but there again I am very biased! As seems to be the normal at the minute a Sunderland substitution means the opposition score a goal, not because of the change of personnel you understand, it just happens – weird. This time Collins made a challenge on our left which I felt was a good tackle but the referee didn’t (no surprise there). The free kick was sent in, Gordon pushed it out straight to their player and the tap in was duly despatched into our net. Bugger…. How would we react? The answer was pretty well and with a few minutes to go we won a penner, no honestly we did. Now I’ve read a few reports that say that the pen was “charitable” “generous” and “debatable”….. no, sorry but watch it again, Jones nicked the ball past Sonko and was brought down, Sonko did not touch the ball and did touch Jones – that is good enough reason for me. Chopra took it and took it well under what must have been a lot of pressure, gerrin we’ve escaped with a point we all thought. We actually then proceeded to have our best period of the game, Chops hit a nice swerver that Hahneman (sp) tipped over and then Jones should have looked up and put Stokes in when one-on-one with the keeper, ah well we still have a point… well we should have done if it wasn’t for another piece of last minute lunacy from our friends in charge. We all know what happened so I just wanted to say that from my point of view, the assistant referee gave it immediately which must have meant he was certain that it was a goal, isn’t that the way it works? Strange then that several reports, tv programmes and replays later we still don’t have a definitive answer even with Mr Shearer’s technology lesson. The lino wasn’t certain, he had a guess and in my opinion got it horribly wrong…Ok some I have spoken to and read about have argued that Reading deserved to win the game, irrelevant, completely. The fact of the matter is we have been dealt a crap hand yet again and have to suck on it.
So off we trudged on what seemed like an eternal journey back home, gutted doesn’t even come into it…. Still we have Man United at home next, surely we’ll get a fair crack from the officials at that game…. Aye reet!
The Hero – I should say heroes, the lads and lasses that made the trip down 3 days before Christmas – give yourselves a pat on the back we were fantastic
The Villain – Sorry but the linesman, he’s ruined my fucking Christmas… the man with the most amazing eyesight in the world….yet five minutes previous to his cock up couldn’t see when Dwight Yorke ran the ball about 2 feet out of play and back in again.
Have a good Christmas everyone, I hope Santa is better to you than that twat with a flag was yesterday 😉