Happy Halloween - 5 Ghoulish Reading FC Performances

Laurence Griffiths

Happy Halloween! Yes I know it's a totally random and largely commercial imported event but even so... Reading FC have given us plenty of amazing performances over the past 20 years but here's five that for me that in my near 19 years as a fan could well tick the box for a DVD that will have you hiding behind the sofa.

Reading 5-7 Arsenal (October 30, 2012 - League Cup)

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde tells the story of a doctor with a split personality and this was very much a game of two halves as Reading went from 4-0 up just before half time to losing 7-5 at home to an Arsenal reserve side at the Madejski Stadium. You'll be hard pressed to find a team go from sublime to useless so quickly and while Arsenal deserve the credit for not giving up, few could disagree that Reading got things spectacularly wrong. On top of all that the game took place the night before Halloween so it's well worth a place on this list.


*******

Reading 1-3 Swindon (October 13, 2001 - Division Two)

It's bad enough losing a game when you're favourites but throw in the fact it's a home game and add in that it's your big local rivals and you really do have a horror story in the making.

Some fans were calling for Alan Pardew's head after his side were brushed aside 3-1 by a Swindon team that had finished one place above the relegation zone the year before. Reading meanwhile were still reeling from a play-off final defeat to Walsall at the end of the previous campaign and this loss dropped them to 14th place in the table.

Thankfully this one had a happy ending as Pardew's side only lost two of the next 20 games to finish second in the table and secure promotion.

******

Reading 0-6 Bristol Rovers (January 16, 1999 - Division 2)

There's no way you could leave this one off the list, as the late Tommy Burns saw his team suffer the worst home defeat in a generation and to this day our heaviest defeat at the Madejski Stadium.

Future Royals Jason Roberts and Jamie Cureton got all six between them in a scoreline made even more shocking by the fact that it was 0-0 at half-time.

For fans that think a 1-1 draw at home to Millwall is painful, this was just one of a number of disappointing afternoons that would become symptomatic of our first couple of years at the Mad Stad, where crowds of 10,000 or less would watch Reading struggle on.

******

Reading 2-0 Leeds (April 6, 2012 - Championship)

If you're wondering how a 2-0 home win can make this list then you weren't there to see Neil Warnock's side do their best slasher impression as Reading were mercilessly kicked off the park. Zac Thompson saw red for the visitors but Danny Pugh could have joined him while there was no excuse for Michael Brown remaining on the pitch after his lunge on Karacan that ended up with the Turkish midfielder breaking an ankle.

Fortunately the game had a happy ending after Adam Le Fondre scored twice late on but it's hard to remember such a horrible dirty game over the past few years.

Just watch the video below for some true horror tackles.

******

Tranmere 6-0 Reading (September 20, 1997 - Division 1)

I couldn't compile this list without a game during the miserable 1997/98 season and the mixture of a long trip plus a 6-0 thrashing makes this one fit for our horrors list. The Peterborough League Cup shambles and the mauling at home to Palace in the same season come close but for those couple of hundred hearty souls who went all the way to Prenton Park this was a true horror show.

If you subscribe to the 'World' service I think you should be able to see the goals here

So that's my five nominations but I'm sure you can think of a few more! Which Reading games left you hiding behind your seat, heading down early for a pint or even walking out in disgust, let us know in the comments section below!

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