Reading go into Saturday’s game against Sheffield United with a very respectable record at Bramall Lane. The Royals have made 18 league trips to the home of The Blades, earning five wins and six draws, losing seven times. As it happens, the first ever meeting of the two sides came at Bramall Lane in October 1979; the Division Three match finished 2-0 to the home side.
In fact, it would take Reading until their 11th attempt to finally win a league game at Bramall Lane. Despite the two sides playing each regularly throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the Royals had to wait until February 2003 to get three points on Sheffield United’s patch. Current BBC Berkshire man Ady Williams was one of the scorers on the day:
Ady Williams (@willow1871) with a striker's finish in a 3-1 win against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in 2003! #readingfc pic.twitter.com/KnpNldpNlU— Talk Reading (@TalkReading) October 19, 2017
It would be another seven years until Reading’s next loss at Bramall Lane. In that period, the Royals ran out winners four times out of five, one of the highlights an impressive 2-1 triumph in September 2006, the club’s first ever away win in the top flight. Kevin Doyle opened the scoring after just 16 seconds, with summer signing Seol Ki-Hyeon adding a second from range.
Reading’s most recent loss in this fixture came in January 2010 under then-caretaker manager Brian McDermott. With the Royals second from bottom at the time, a sixth-placed Sheffield United side containing one Stephen Quinn ran out comfortable winners, 3-0 the score.
The last meeting, February 15 2011
Little over a year after that loss, the roles were reversed. Sheffield United, again with Stephen Quinn, were the team looking anxiously at the relegation places, whereas 12th-placed Reading had the Play Offs in their sights.
The away side were on top for most of the game, but had just one goal to show for their efforts: an 81st-minute strike from Shane Long. However, it wasn’t enough to seal the win - Andy Griffin brought down Daniel Bogdanovic in the area, who then dusted himself down before converting the penalty. 1-1 it remained.