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From My Seat: Reading (H)

By Ken Buckley   ::  02/03/2013

Back to league business and the tantalising goal of Europa competition of some sort. From the moment we entered our Walton watering hole the atmosphere seemed just a little flat and the walk up to the ground was similar.

The game started and within five minutes we had two situations that we would rather do without. First within a minute a cross found Jelavic well placed but his free header was best described as the effort of a player with confidence shot as he contrived to head toward the corner flag rather than the much bigger target of the goal. It was embarrassing but I felt for him and as the game would unfold he would be awarded the undying support of all in the stadium as he strives to get a goal.

Then on a more serious note on five minutes Jags went to clear in regulation fashion but the Reading number nine Le Fondre came in late and high and left Jags needing urgent attention and such was the nature of the injury he left the field at a gallop to be replaced immediately by Heitinga which was not a good sign for Jags. The Ref. cautioned the Reading man with yellow when on many an occasion such demeanours are flashed red and this should have been one of them.

Reading took the initiative for a while whilst we sorted ourselves out and in that period Mucha who was at last making his debut blocked a Kebe effort with his body and forced the ball wide, Kebe went after it but pulled up lame and was replaced. We still hadn't settled properly when Reading attacked again and Le Fondre had a good shot come back off junction of bar and post with keeper helpless.

It took us a good half hour to come to terms with things and this coincided with Fellaini shrugging off his torpor and becoming involved in a meaningful way.

Baines put a cross in that invited Pienaar to make a name for himself but his effort only afforded a name he would not want as he made a pigs ear of his effort.

Good through ball put Jelavic in one on one but a combination of poor first touch and his inability to round the keeper he just poked it forward but the keeper had moved swiftly out and the ball just bounced away off his body. The effort of a woefully out of form player but still the faithful let him know they were still with him. The half moved on but in truth it was a bit boring even though we were on top we just didn't seem to have any finishing ideas. Mirallas was looking lively and forced a good save from the keeper and won the odd corner but all of this came to nought and the players and crowd showed signs of frustration. H/T was approaching fast and not much seemed to be happening, Reading had the odd break and such was our inability to capitalise on the odd chances we made the crowd seemed anxious fearing a Reading goal.

This all changed when Coleman who was looking one of our better players today went on a run and outwitted and outpaced a couple of Reading players ad from the by-line put a cross in that the towering Fellaini headed home. The celebrations from the players was ecstatic yet the crowd showed more relief than anything else. With three mins left it crossed many a mind that we do tend to get lax just after scoring and indeed Reading did attack and we all worried, added time arrived and as it drew to a close the enigma that is Fellaini tried the most adventurous of outside of the foot looping shots from near the corner flag that had the keeper stretching to paw it away.

H/T whistle and the conversation was centred on how we should have been further ahead, our chances of lifting the cup and the managers decision on his future at seasons end, most seemed quite blasé about it, sort of if he goes he goes and who ever comes in will be under the same constraints as he has been with our present owners. Most see our future more dependant on supportive owners with the where with all to deliver funds to progress the club on and off the field. Until that takes place its as you were.

We started the second half much brighter and after a misfiring few minutes when Reading had a couple of forays that could have undone us but floundered thank goodness we looked the likelier with Mirallas prominent and signs that Pienaar had fully woken up. Mirallas driving into the box which afforded both Fellaini and Jelavic chances to convert but neither had the coolness to slot home instead they snatched and failed but the ball stayed in the box and Jelavic was felled but the Ref ignored it and I was not surprised as the Croat is forever throwing himself to the ground and Refs are now starting to ignore him thus robbing us of getting something from proper fouls. The management must see this so I hope they act for everyone's sake.

The hour mark arrived and both teams merely sparing when Osman fed Pienaar with a short pass some thirty yards out. Pienaar set off on a run inside passing two Reading players as though they were not there and firing in a rocket of a left foot shot that left the keeper to admire it and then pick it out of the net. Tremendous celebrations and the faithful gathered ecstatic. Goal of the month contender?

Things looked a touch easier now and players and crowd seemed less agitated as Reading became less and less of a threat. One of our youngsters Akpan who was let go lined up against us today and in my view the manager was right to let him try elsewhere.

Mirallas again powered into the box and shimmied ' twisted and turned and put in a shot that flew past the far post with Fellaini a bootlace from connecting. I thought if Mirallas had shown a modicum of composure he would have scored.

Mirallas though did what all good pro's do and soldiered on and got his reward just before the 70min mark when the ever improving Pienaar put in a delightful through ball and Mirallas raced on and hammered it inside the near post. Celebrations abounded and songs of Wembley surfaced as well as tributes to our present manager. 3-0 that's got to be all over but it never is with us. Big Vic came on for Osman and a few minutes later Hitzlsperger for Pienaar. Big Vic in that cameo looked sharper and less work-shy than I have seen all season. I hope that bodes well for the run in.

Now just as we all were ready to celebrate three points the chatter turned to keeping a clean sheet. We should have shut up as Harte came down the left and put in a good regulation cross that found Robson – Kanu unattended at the near post and Mucha was helpless. How do we drop off like that and with such regularity?

Just before the end Mirallas sent Big Vic into the box and he beat the keeper but his effort was cleared from the line.

Full time whistle, three points gained and from my seat well deserved in what was really a bitty lacklustre first half but a much more rewarding second. Reading came not to lose but did.

M.O.tM – Coleman (The new Kyle Walker) Pienaar and Mirallas close.

Jelavic still out of form but the crowd today sang and cheered the man and he did seem to respond and he will know he still has the majority of match going fans. just hope to hell it helps him get back on song.

Over 35.000 turned up and I am sure most will be happy and ready to turn to FA cup matters next week when we entertain Wigan, a game we should win but just like Oldham you never know with our lot. See you there to find out.

UP THE BLUES

Reader Comments

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Derek Thomas
057 Posted 03/03/2013 at 05:50:00
Fair as always Ken.

Re Jelly, not long ago Coleman was struggling and Jelly was scoring, and Johnny H was our player of the season... These things happen.

Ian Smitham
068 Posted 03/03/2013 at 08:32:45
I have read the other report on here also and it is interesting to note the differing styles of writing, the sort of glas half full, glass half empty phrase comes to mind. Ken, from my own seat I saw the game how you saw it, lovely afternoon, us beating an ordinary Reading, with what I would consider in the second half to be our best team. As I posted on the other report, and I am sure Mr Crooks will welcome the development of young Seamus, RB is solved. I thought The goalie was good. Fella and Gibson looked the part and the wingers looked sharp.

Again, another reflection you have picked up on, whatever gets said on here, and a lot does, Jelly seems to have full on vocal support. Likewise the renditions of "we are on the march we are MOYES's army" .

During the second half I sat in my seat, the sun was shining, I had enjoyed a beer, had my chips with curry sause and I was seeing what looks like our beloved Everton play some really enterprising attacking pacy football. We are sixth in the league, and a game away from Wembley. For those who talk about that NSNO phrase that our forefathers from generations ago, well meaning but obsolete, (different arguament for a different day-when exactly has the club EVER lived up to it?) I watched yesterday a pretty good team.

Yes the team has shortcomings, so do others above us. And as for the money, Moyes has consistently won the awards of his peers, yes he has spent money, I read he has had more money than predecessors, Mancini, Wenger and whoever at Chelsea have dwarfed their predecessors spending and asides from those that have transformed football from a financial perspective, no one is higher up than us if at all then certainly consistently.

As I have repeated, I enjoyed the game, and your report, as always summed up the mood and tone , thanks.

Dennis Stevens
069 Posted 03/03/2013 at 09:04:31
Thanks Ken. I always enjoy your reports. Absolute top quality!
Ray Robinson
074 Posted 03/03/2013 at 09:22:48
Good report, as always, Ken but, for me, until Fellaini scored that was probably one of the most lacklustre displays that I've seen from the Blues this season. We seemed to step our game up in short bursts when we played some excellent stuff, and that was good enough to beat Reading but I think we'll need to be on our game for much longer periods of the match to dispatch better sides.
Anto Byrne
077 Posted 03/03/2013 at 09:21:27
Coleman was out for a good 6 weeks and looks fresh, same for Gibson and Mirallas who are running into form. I reckon a few weeks on the side lines for Jelavic would help his game, get rid of any niggling injuries and just recharge the batteries. Sometimes you got to stop flogging the dead horse and get a new mount. Why not a Anichebe - Vellios spearhead?
Christopher Timmins
081 Posted 03/03/2013 at 09:50:35
Ken, fantastic report as always. Interesting to see who plays up top next Saturday lunch time?
Ryan Holroyd
105 Posted 03/03/2013 at 11:00:07
Coleman, whilst not as good as Baines (who is?) gives us a much better balance on the right. Him and Mirallas are beginning to strike up a good partnership.
Ian Corky
112 Posted 03/03/2013 at 11:32:29
It might just be me because I don't rate Howard, but Mucha looked solid and the defence looked better with him behind rather than the erratic Howard — just my opinion, guys.
Ben Jones
119 Posted 03/03/2013 at 11:52:20
I kinda agree with you Ray, he was doing a lot of heavy touches, his build up play wasn't the best.

But in the box, he is a huge threat, one of the best in the League, and when you have Coleman and Baines either side of him, it is gonna equal goals.

Richard Dodd
179 Posted 03/03/2013 at 15:16:36
The quality-and honesty-of Ken`s reports never fall below the excellent.

For all `the sympathy` in evidence re Jelly, I do hope we see Victor up front v Wigan next week. The questions for debate now well be whether or not Mucha `should keep the gloves` even if Howard is fit and whether Heitinga has done enough to restore confidence in his ability to cope with muscular attackers.

Ian Smitham
243 Posted 03/03/2013 at 19:06:14
Ian #112, we Ian's need to stick together, I agree with you.
Colin Malone
272 Posted 03/03/2013 at 20:01:13
Pienaar was strolling in the first half in which we were lacklustre; better second half. We have got to learn to break faster, maybe moving Mirallas inside.

I focused my attention on Jeli yesterday and I saw he needed forward balls passed into channels instead of square and back-passes from midfield. Never mind the Yak, who I loved, feed Jeli and he will score, on the ground not in the air. Got to keep him up top, ie, Lineker-style, instead of asking him to come deep.

Spencer Ramsay
308 Posted 03/03/2013 at 22:49:44
Thanks for the report Ken. Just one thing though, I thought it was Felli who passed to Pienaar for his goal?

Nice to get a well deserved win. The way we've played in the last few weeks we needed 3 to make the game safe. Bit disappointed we couldn't keep a clean sheet & with the manner in which it was conceeded. Jags being out is a worry. Jonny against Kone next week is a worry!

Nice to see Vic back & sharp. Wouldnt be a bad thing if he started up front next week. Another game & still no goal 4 Jelly! Got to wonder when its going to come now.

Lets hope our blip is over & we can now kick on till the end of the season.

COYB...

Rahman Talib
316 Posted 03/03/2013 at 23:52:33
We need to start getting Jela to score. Once Jela starts to score, things will look up for us

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