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Reading FC Weekly Roundup - April 18-25, 2011

Weekly Roundup April 18-25, 2011

Another interesting week for the Royals has just come to its conclusion. One poor performance ended in a fantastic point away at Leeds United and was followed up on Monday with a shock defeat to the nearly relegated Sheffield United.

There was also a great send off for Chris Armstrong and a few bits of news involving Reading players out on loan.

After the impressive win against Leicester we started the week in a good position in with a chance of automatic promotion if we won our final five and results elsewhere went out way.

The start of the week saw the return of Sean Morrison from his loan spell at Huddersfield Town, who are fighting for 2nd spot in League One with Southampton at the moment. He was an unused sub in four matches with the Terriers, but with little prospect of a first team place, Reading decided to recall the defender. Also returning were Julian Kelly who had a productive loan spell with Lincoln City in League Two and Nicholas Bignall who had a loan spell at Brentford. Kelly started 21 league matches for Lincoln and came away with one yellow card and helped push them away from the drop zone. Bignall managed only one start for Brentford and five sub appearances. You can check out a loan report extra here with details on some of those moves.

Wednesday saw the anniversary of Jamie Cureton’s goal that took us up to Division One from Division Two after a 1-1 draw with a Steve Coppell managed Brentford.

On Friday we faced Leeds live on Sky Sports, giving most people the chance to see the game live. A brilliant display from Alex McCarthy in-goal and the back line staying as solid as possible helped the Royals secure a magnificent point. The team really struggled to string fluent passes together and Jimmy Kebe’s threat was sorely missed after he missed the game with a thigh injury.

Then yesterday came Sheffield United, a team fighting for an unlikely survival and bottom of the league. The game started well as Reading were producing some good stuff and looking very comfortable. The first goal came from great build-up play, leading to Noel Hunt scoring from a tight angle and a second followed soon after, the ref played a great advantage and Jobi McAnuff squared the ball across goal for Hal Robson-Kanu to tap home. A tired and lacklustre Reading team then fell apart. The Royals conceded two goals before the break before former Royal Darius Henderson scored his second and United's third to condem the Royals to a first defeat since February. 3-2 to United the final score.

But despite the defeat the day was all about Chris ‘Stretch’ Armstrong who sadly had to retire not so long ago due to a battle with Multiple Sclerosis. The support for him at the game on Monday was fantastic. Credit to everyone that went to the game and gave Stretch such a good send off as well as all those who sent in well wishes. You can check out our article on Stretch here.

Results elsewhere mean that we now only need a point to mathematically secure a play-off spot and with a superior goal difference we could even qualify with two defeats, one win will also guarantee us 5th place.

Congratulations to Marcus Williams, on loan at Scunthorpe from Reading, who along with Jimmy Kebe, in the Championship team of the week last weekend (16-17th).

Loan watch- Williams played the full 90 minutes as Scunthorpe United drew 1-1 away at Coventry City on Friday and another 90 in their home defeat to Millwall on Monday, 1-2, sadly Scunthorpe’s goal difference means they are all but relegated. Dave Mooney played the full 90 minutes in Colchester United’s 1-1 draw at Griffin Park on Friday and again in their 1-1 draw at home to champions, Brighton on Monday. Finally, Ben Hamer played the full 90 in Exeter city’s 2-0 win over Oldham on Friday, keeping a clean sheet and has since returned to Reading.

The boys are away at Coventry City on Saturday in front of a potential of 4,000 away fans on inflatables day. Fantastic support. Bouncebackability is the word in mind and hopefully secure at least a 5th place finish.