On Saturday, Reading FC achieved something we hadn’t done for 15 months – back to back wins. After a decent outing at Portman Road, the writing should have been on the wall when Wigan scored, I mean let’s face it we haven’t come from behind to win a game for nearly two years, so in most fans’ minds a draw was probably the best we could hope for – especially as the Latics went ahead twice.
The Wigan fans were in a joyous mood up to the 89th minute, with the possibility of one of those really rare things: an away win of their own. However it wasn’t to be and they contrived somehow to not only through the draw away, but also the win.
As you can imagine the away fans where less than happy with the manager, the team and the ref. Throw in a bit of controversy for the equaliser and you can imagine how the pool of tweets I could use for this piece was, well, somewhat limited.
Special mention to the referee in this week’s edition, I mean, wow we have had some crackers at the Mad Stad, but this guy was something else. Neither team will look on him fondly and there were a few strange decisions to say the least. However the big moment was when Reece James went down injured, ok it “may” have been a head injury but the cynics among us would say there was a little gamesmanship at play, and the restart in my eyes Wigan just got it wrong.
However a quick trip around the social scene will give you a better insight!
Unlikely things for opposition fans to say about Reading #1
Also don’t think I’ve seen celebrations like that from an opposition side for a game with 10 left. Certainly not a criticism. The place was bouncing, manager was nearly in the crowd near us. Not seen scenes like that for a good while. #wafc #rfc— JamesSaintLatic (@JamesSaintLatic) March 9, 2019
He kicked the ball!!
Unlikely things for opposition fans to say about Reading #2
Felt like this a few times this season!
This baffles everyone, how does Moore get sacked from fourth in the table?
Have to admit, West Brom sacking Moore and Cook still being in a job could boggle any fans minds #wafc— Ian C (@wafcian) March 9, 2019
He has a point....
Probably a good explanation
Hate going to #readingfc ever since 2001 play-offs. But it’s a great stadium and quite lively. Always a good bit of tension. They’re scrapping like we are and they slapped the ball in the net when they needed to. We self-destructed #wafc— Nick (@Nick58089604) March 9, 2019
Lot to be said for Rotherham’s team ethic
Anyone thinking we'll stay up by default because Rotherham have harder fixtures, need realise their players have bottle unlike ours - and that they'll probably dig out a few results because of it. #wafc— DJB (@laticschief) March 9, 2019
There wasn’t a huge amount and mainly the reports follow Sky’s version of the game, which highlighted the tempers fraying in the technical area after a number of “robust” challenges from the Wigan side. They also have a fairly decent 3 minute 20 seconds of highlights, which is probably the highest for a while!
GetReading have lots of coverage on the game, quite an interesting video with Gomes asking what everyone is moaning about the equaliser for. Which I’m not sure is tongue in cheek or if he actually means it!
Wigan Today, focus their main report on the events up to the 89th minute, with token comments about the Barrow equalisers or Meite’s winner. Still they probably are right in that up to that point Wigan had been the better team and were probably unfortunate to be on the losing side. However, there are massive sour grapes around the equaliser and Paul Kendrick of WiganToday has a different take on this: he says that the Wigan player attempted to kick the ball back to Martinez when a Reading player nicks the ball off him. In reality Morsy took the ball and kicked it two yards. Your captain switching off is the reason, it wasn’t whisked away – that’s called making excuses.
The BBC carry a couple of reports on this game, with an interview with Paul Cook saying how “low” he was, ah well...
They say football is a funny old game, and this game probably emphasises the point. Let’s be honest for 89 minutes Reading were second best and in reality, only a couple of excellent saves from the imperious Martinez saved this from being a drubbing. However, they also say that you play to the final whistle and this Reading did excellently.
With the equaliser, this has legs to drag on, however when you watch it the Wigan player does kick the ball, thus putting the game back into motion. There is a lot said for the concentration that players need and this was a highlight as to what happens when that goes wrong.
What it has shown is this Reading side have suddenly found a little backbone. Ok so we were not good, and to be honest in my eyes, Swift, Barrow and Meite were not great for most of the game and in reality I think most people wouldn’t have been surprised is Gomes hauled them off.
Special mention has to go to our captain, our leader and the soul of this club. Liam Moore, he went down late in the second half with what looked to be a dislocated shoulder but managed carry on and a visibly injured Moore battled through the rest of the game. This spirit is what we need and may well get us through in the remaining games.
One thing I absolutely loved was the passion that Gomes showed when we scored the winner – when have we seen this in a Reading manager before? This is what gets fans on your side, this is what fans want to see and Gomes has it in buckets. It’s still very early days but there is a really bright spark starting to show through.
So what did we learn, what we are missing - even when Rinomhota is back fit - is a nasty player in midfield. Reading have been accused of being too nice and this game showed that when we play the more physical teams we can get bullied. We need a player in the ilk of Joey Van Den Berg, but with a bit more footballing skill. Someone not frightened to put a boot in and scare the opposition. Too many teams have come the Mad Stad and bullied us, this has to change and not for every game but some it’s needed to impose dominance. That though is hopefully next season’s problem.
There’s 10 games to go. Hold on, this is gonna be a hell of a ride!