Sunday, December 11

Reading rampant against red-card Irons

Reading 3 West Ham 0

We’re in Colchester at a boutique B & B celebrating our wedding anniversary (strangely Her Indoors wasn’t tempted by Reading away) wondering what the Romans ever did for us. Matt texts from Reading, revealing that he is in his lucky Dukla Prague away shirt accompanied by WAG Lisa. They're at Reading Art Gallery and Museum for lunch looking at a Robert Gillmor retrospective. I raise the middle class football fan stakes by revealing we’re at Tudor Dancing in the pre-Norman Trinity church made from recycled Roman bricks and stone.

Sadly that lucky Dukla Prague away shirt appears to have turned West Ham into a team of Half-Man Half Biscuit. As we’re touring Colchester Castle, built on the site of the temple sacked by Boudica, we discover that West Ham are also under siege from barbarian tribes. Matt’s text reads: “0-3 down + down to 9 men. 4 minutes left – would take a draw.”

Our cause isn’t helped by Demel going off injured after two minutes. Looking at The Football League Show, Faubert nearly sets up Collison and we almost score through Diop. In a scrappy game we look fairly comfortable at 0-0 at half-time. But the Irons suffer from Joey O’Brien stupidly getting involved in some handbags with Hunt and then lunging in on McAnuff for two quick yellow cards. From the free kick West Ham reject McAnuff finds space on the left to set up Pearce to score. The second goal sees La Fondre cross over the stranded Green and the unmarked Church head home.

Jack Collison compounds the situation by also getting red-carded. Kebe extracts the urine by miming pulling up his socks and Collison retaliates by clattering into him. He was provoked by Kebe’s showboating, but it’s a stupid reaction.

Reading score a third as Church gets ahead ofCole, on as a sub, to score with another header from a set piece.

Two defeats in a row is getting worrying, though we remain second. Our defence, so solid all season, has conceded five bad goals in two games. Cole had a really good game against Burnley, but was on the bench against Reading, which seems strange from Big Sam, while we have O’Brien and Collison suspended and Taylor, Demel and Baldock injured. Suddenly Barnsley becomes a very important game indeed.


Pete May said...

Lisa comments: It wasn't a great performance to begin with and the sendings-off were disastrous. Small boy next to me tried to get a chant of 'Let's go down to eight men' going after Collison was sent off but it didn't really catch on!

In the first half, we had one shot cleared off the line. In the second half, Piq managed to get right in on goal and then put in a very feeble shot, straight at the goalie, while falling over and trying to claim a penalty - and they were our only chances. We had a free kick in a good position in the second half - but needless to say, Nobes put it straight into the wall and that was that.

We were surrounded by some very angry fans who shouted and swore so much they made Matt look positively restrained. They kept yelling 'Second ball, West Ham, second ball'. We were doing pretty badly with the first ball, so maybe a second one would have helped!

matt said...

Can't disagree with Lisa's comments. It was interesting that what the very very angry fans were most angry about was Faubert switching to right back after the first sending off, as he had been our most threatening player. Considering how unpopular he he used to be, he has really turned it round this season. Still no one calling him Gustave, mind (although Linda is catching on). I did consider pointing out that Faubert had dropped back because of the sending off, but they seemed a little volatile.

Other than that, everything that could have gone wrong, did. And the transport was chaotic - I would much rather be sent to Coventry. The Sloop John B song is generally overused but it does definitely apply to Reading, it is indeed a S***hole, and we did want to go home. Unfortunately, we couldn't, as we could not get on the bus.