Christopher Lee

Reading 3-3 Fulham

Reading made it eight games without a win as they snatched a late point in a thrilling climax at the Madejski Stadium. However after leading for an hour, Reading will once again be gutted to let a lead slip as they remain firmly within the drop zone.

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It's good to be an exile

The clocks went back Sunday which means all you lucky people in the UK got an extra hour in bed but for us Exiles living in Far-East it means we have to stay up a bit later to catch a game.

Luckily the Premiership offers early kick-offs on Sunday so it’s not a big deal to catch the early afternoon action. The later 4pm game is on at midnight here, so is a bit tough staying up for that. Last night I watched the Everton v Liverpool cracker, but Chelsea v Man U was just a bit too late. With an early flight in the morning I crashed, hoping to catch the highlights at the airport tomorrow.

So at the airport this morning I checked in and headed to the lounge and to my pleasant surprise ESPN wasn’t showing action from Stamford Bridge but instead showing full action from Saturday’s game at the Mad Stad. No Torres, Mata or Van Persie but the blue hoops of Reading and goals from Robson-Kanu, McCleary and Berbatov. I joined the action at 1-2 down and witnessed the last ten crazy minutes. What was clear to see on TV, with a few minutes to go, was the energy of the Reading Fans urging the team on, especially once we went 2-3 down. Then at 3-3 our fans were still going for it, urging the boys forward.

Just as Everton were buoyed by their support to come back against Liverpool yesterday, there's no doubt our fans played a massive part in helping our boys get a point against Fulham. There's no substitute for being at a game but when we are on TV overseas it’s good to see our stadium and fans looking like a Premiership outfit.

So while reading reports of coin throwing by fans at Stamford Bridge it was good to see some of the positive side of football at the Madejski. On behalf of just a small Exile community I’d like to thank our fans who played a massive part against Fulham, the world is watching Reading FC now and you made a lonely Royal feel proud.

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Reading 3-3 Fulham - A Winning/Losing/Drawing Draw

Credit to Reading for twice fighting back to get a point, but even so there's something dreadfully hollow about having to feel positive about a sneaking a point from a game we could, should and needed to win. For 60 minutes Reading once again looked worthy of their place in the Premier League, but the inability of the back four to deal with the movement of Fulham's forwards ultimately led to an eighth game without a win.

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Reading v Fulham Match Thread

Mmmmmm the sweet smell of game day! Reading v Fulham is a matter of hours away so if you've got any feelings on the match, please share them here in the comments below.

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View From The Town End - Fulham

As usual we've sailed the high seas of the world wide web to bring you an opposition outlook on our next game and I'm delighted to say that Kristian Balkin from fellow SB Nation site Cottagers Confidential has given us some of his thoughts on tomorrow's game.

How have you viewed Fulham's season so far?

It's been pretty good by all accounts. Perhaps transfer deadline day was somewhat disappointing - leaving us tremendously short in central midfield but, in truth, we've handled things well and with Dimitar Berbatov leading the line we're certainly not short of class. I think it's still clear, after a dreadful first half at Southampton, that our away form needs to be rectified - you'll be glad to hear - but other than that, it's been a brilliant start to the season. And long may it continue.

We managed to swipe Pavel Pogrebnyak from you in the summer but he hasn't quite hit the same heights for Reading so far as he did at Craven Cottage. What were your views of him at Fulham and what's the best way for Reading to get goals from him?

It was clear that, after scoring six goals in his opening few games, he was a top footballer but, in spite of that, I personally wasn't disappointed to see him go. This isn't just sour grapes or anything, he's just not the same striker that, perhaps, his record with us suggested. We deployed him, invariably, in the same role in which Bobby Zamora flourished, so, using his physical presence to hold the ball up and deploying him as something of a target man. Perhaps you'd be better doing something like that with him but, then again, I'm not sure if it'd suit your style of play.

Fulham's original rise through the leagues was done largely through the investment of one former Harrods owner. Do you feel the club is now fully established for the long term or are there lingering concerns about the long-term future of the club?

I would say we're quite content with Mohammed Al Fayed's ownership and what seems most likely is that, after he goes, his son will take over. Obviously, like any club that has relied on investment for success, there is that worry that the money will just dry up and leave you exposed but Al Fayed is different - a foreign investor that has a genuine affection for the club and would hate to see it in the same sort of state it was in when he bought it. So, no, there are no long term worries.

What are your best memories of Reading v Fulham?

2008. I'm sorry but, there's little more to say than that. It was wonderful for us but it was probably heartbreaking for you.

And the worst?

I think you did the double over us in the 2006/07 season - though correct me if I'm wrong - and that's never a good thing. And, before that, I don't think we've met you since 1999 and, to be perfectly honest, I was too much of a wee small lad to remember that.

Anyone Reading fans should particularly worry about on Saturday?

I think you've obviously got to be aware of Berbatov but, aside from the obvious, Alex Kacaniklic is hot property right now after proving, at only 21, that he can cut it on the international stage with Sweden. On the other wing is usually Damien Duff but pressing for his place is new signing Ashkan Dejagah and, if his cameo against Aston Villa is anything to go by, he's going to be a top player for us.

Anyone Fulham fans are worried about?

Obviously we know what Pogrebnyak can do when he's on song but, aside from him, I like your lad Jimmy Kebe and I've always rated Chris Gunter. Jobi McAnuff is a good, solid midfielder too, who I think can cause us problems.

Score prediction.

Reading 1-2 Fulham.

Thanks again to Kristian and you can follow the CC guys on Twitter @CottagersC

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Mike Jones To Referee Reading v Fulham

Chester's Mike Jones will be the man with the whistle on Saturday as Fulham visit the Madejski Stadium.

His last time in charge of a Reading game was over two years ago as he oversaw a drab 0-0 draw between Steve Coppell's Royals and Preston, where no Reading player went into the book. (hardly surprising given how limply we were playing at the time....)

Jones has also taken charge of a Reading fixture against Fulham, officiating a third tier game at Craven Cottage in 1999 when an early Grant Brebner goal was cancelled out by two from Geoff Horsfield and one by Kit Symons.

This Season:

Games: 8 Yellows: 24 Reds: 0

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Eight & out? Is Reading v Fulham a must win game?

Reading skipper Jobi McAnuff has rubbished claims that Saturday's game with Fulham is a must win game saying it's ludicrous to attach such significance to the eighth game of the season. While mathematically he's obviously correct, how have other Premier League teams fared after going winless in their first eight?

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