This week Reading travelled up the M1 for two tricky ties, firstly against a rejuvenated Huddersfield side who sacked their manager after a draw at the Mad Stad earlier in the season, and a Derby side who look on course for a promotion and featuring a certain Mr Blackman.
Many fans would have accepted a draw at Huddersfield and a plucky defeat at Derby given the current form of the side and the fact that our leading scorer had gone, however what transpired was a draw at Huddersfield where they equalised in the last minute, and a draw at Derby when really we should have won.
This has left the Royals with some confidence leading into a now tricky away trip to Milton Keynes, who will be smarting after getting thumped 5-0 by Burnley on Tuesday night.
So how did the social and press media scenes react to the two draws?
FA Cup – Huddersfield
As you can imagine the Terriers fans were incensed by the refereeing display and whilst I can sympathise with them that, yes he was inept, he was also inept for both sides.
The story of the game was penalties that were given and ones that shouldn’t have been given, a square up between Williams and one of the Huddersfield players and a yellow card for diving.
However, The Royals' fans will point to the fact that we scored two goals from open play, and not a penalty, and that arguably we should have had a pen ourselves when Vydra got bundled over.
There are some eye opening comments from the Huddersfield fans who might do well to remember that they are 16th in the table, with a record of W8, D7, L11 which is hardly promotion form.
Many of the Terriers fans are saying that the decision to award a yellow card for a dive changed the game, personally I felt that it was the decision to bring Piazon on, who had a stunning cameo.
There is only one place to start. We all love a pop at the ref
Utter disgrace. If this was a cricket match there would be an investigation into match fixing #htafc— Greg Marah (@mrgregmarah) January 9, 2016
Robbery, all a matter of perception……
Should of won today against a poor Reading team, referee was shocking as usual not giving a penalty. At least where still in the cup #htafc— Matthew Langley (@mattlangley20) January 9, 2016
You have to be kidding right?
That footballing giant – Reading FC
Definitely thought that Town were on for a giant killing today. Spirit #htafc— Elliott (@elliotthtafc) January 9, 2016
Forget Arsenal, forget Man City, forget Leicester THE footballing Superpower – Huddersfield Town
Genuine travesty for English football that this Town team isnt competing in the top 4 of the Prem #htafc— Dominic White (@domwhite8) January 9, 2016
Given the amount of FA Cup games, and the relative league positions, then it’s understandable that a 2-2 draw by two Championship sides will hardly be the most reported action, however this is the best of what's out there.
This is the one competition where Sky don’t do video highlights so that luxury this week falls to the BBC and they do an "ok" job of it, if you were unfortunate to stay up watching the highlights package then we were on near the back end of the programme and probably would have been better watching them on the site anyway! They do however, give a fairly neutral write up alluding to an incompetent ref by the statement "a number of debatable decisions".
Sky on the other hand report that Wells rescued a draw for Huddersfield and again they also comment about the ref.
Eurosport and Sportinglife both carry the Sky Report, and the real fun and games comes from the local reports. Starting with the Huddersfield Daily Examiner they focus on Wagner’s comments or lack of them about the referee, calling it a controversial FA Cup tie. Whereas the Yorkshire Evening Post call the result "unfair" on Huddersfield. Looking a little closer to home and GetReading report that Reading were denied a winner by a pen that wasn’t a pen and then focus rightly on Piazon, who once he entered play was the catalyst for the change in Readings style and tempo.
And on to Derby…
Derby - Championship
This game was all about a certain ex-Reading player by the name of Nick Blackman. His transfer to the promotion hopefuls had raised eyebrows and the smart money was on the ex-player's revenge by scoring, and if he did how would he celebrate?
What transpired though was an effective and promising performance from a Royals team that had their tails up and took the game to Derby.
The Royals effectively took the forward line of Martin, Ince and Blackman out the game and made them largely spectators, and some enterprising play meant that what many thought was a good point, was actually tinged with a slight disappointment that we could easily have taken 3 points.
You can then, be pretty sure that the Rams faithful where a little miffed by this performance and took to Twitter to vent their thoughts.
Crash, bang, wallop.
I don't yet think "last season is happening again". But we must be careful and act on any indications last season is repeating itself. #dcfc— Alex (@ACTaylor96) January 13, 2016
Think the stats tell a different story.
Forget about last night, Reading came to frustrate Derby and play for a draw... We should be used to this by now... #dcfc— Liam (@_L1amSterling) January 13, 2016
More noise in a library...
South stand being outsung by about 7 Reading fans. Pathetic #dcfc— Nobby (@noobs2211) January 12, 2016
Teams like Reading – what ones that give Derby a game?
I cannot believe how bad we were tonight. No one performed. Bullied by a bang average side. This needs to be a wake up call. #dcfc— Alex Coates (@AlexBCoates) January 12, 2016
Let me just check where you are in the league…
A quick look around the media from the game on Tuesday to finish this week’s Alternative View and the national media actually give Reading some praise for a change!
Starting with the Daily Mail and they slightly ridicule the fact that Derby have spent so much money on a forward line for Shackell to score. But they also do say that we justified our result.
SkySports say that we marked new boy Blackman out the game, and we controlled the game against a lacklustre Derby side. There is also a video clip of the highlights and at 2.02 minutes you can be a little disappointed that we aren’t getting more. This report is also carried by Clubcall.
The more interesting reports are on the Derby Telegraph who carry a transcript of the interview with Paul Clement after the game, who understandably is not a happy bunny and pulls no punches!
The BBC’s report is all about Reading, and they also carry audio interviews with McDermott and Clement.
GetReading are oozing with praise for the team, and highlight the efforts of Piazon and Vydra once again. They go on to say how we can feel disappointed that we didn’t win the game.
Finally, just checking in with HITC and they carry a set of tweets about Blackman’s league debut for Derby and it seems that the question of where he is most effective has followed him to the iPro.
That’s if for now and we move on to MK Don’s on Saturday and then the FA Cup replay Tuesday. Here's hoping for 3 points and a place in the next round of the cup!