The Royals’ League Cup trail continued with a trip to Home Park in Plymouth. With a hefty fixture schedule of four games in nine days, Jose Gomes played safe and rested the first team, giving the opportunity for the academy and fringe players to get some valuable game time.
In reality this was a massive potential for a banana skin. However, buoyed on by a travelling army of 800 fans from the Royal County, Reading eventually saw the game out with Josh Barrett producing a couple of decent finishes and Yakou Meite getting in on the act with a well-taken penalty and breakaway goal which was firmly finished.
The subplot to this happened after the game with the terrible news of Bury’s exit from the Football League, a fate that Plymouth Argyle nearly were exposed to eight years ago. Given the amount of ex-Bury players and management at the League Two club, there was an understandable reaction post-match.
On the game itself and Plymouth certainly gave us a contest, and both sets of fans took a lot of positives away from it regardless of the result.
Listening to @rlowe15 on talk sport talking about #buryfc such a genuine bloke and we are very lucky to have him at the helm. #pafc— Craig johnson (@Pilgrimcraig82) August 28, 2019
A thought echoed by everyone in football
Just watched #pafc take the game to reading and give them a run for their money. Puts it all into perspective however as I'm looking forward to Northampton away Bury are out of the EFL. This should never have happened and the fans deserve better.#buryfc come back stronger— Steve Badham (@sjbadham17) August 27, 2019
Think this might be stretching it slightly
Reminder that Scott Wootton, Nial Canavan and Tafari Moore made Championship Reading look like a non-league side tonight.— Ollie Pope (@Ollieargyle9) August 27, 2019
We'd also be in the 3rd round if Grant hadn't got injured.
Positive performance tonight, no shame in that defeat whatsoever #pafc
“Theatre of Greens!”
What a game at the theatre of greens tonight. Ryans at the wheel steering the good ship Mayflower onto pastures new. Green army. Baxter oozes class. #pafc— Pete shilson (@shilson_0) August 27, 2019
@ReadingFC That @10Joshbarrett looks a player. Great match tonight. What a cup tie! Good luck to the Royals in the next round and well done @Only1Argyle & @rlowe15 for representing the best of @SkyBetLeagueTwo #pafc pic.twitter.com/scLOIrz9JI— David Stephens (@The_Boldman) August 27, 2019
Well... can’t help it!
Would it have really been that difficult for you to have not turned into 2008 Barcelona with 20 minutes to go?— Ryan Ferguson (@PAFC_Ryan) August 27, 2019
Should have definitely been a goal kick to Reading. ♂️ #pafc #ReadingFC pic.twitter.com/F2oHD5XoX6— Jak Ball (@Jakfirst) August 27, 2019
Only one Charlie Adam!
Charlie Adam tries to stop a throw in. Already booked. Ref has a word. He then clatters Taylor in a carbon copy of Sarcevic in Saturday. Should be off. #pafc— Roger Willis (@rogerhwillis) August 27, 2019
This just needs banning
Taylor’s on fire your defence is terrified— Dave PAFC Payne (@DavePafcPayne) August 27, 2019
You just have to admire this season’s away support
Great support from Reading fans for a Tuesday night game against a team two leagues below them. #royals #pafc pic.twitter.com/Iuij7oYOZN— Jak Ball (@Jakfirst) August 27, 2019
In reality it’s hard to expect too much in the way of media interest given the events happening with Bury and some interesting cup exits elsewhere. However, The Daily Mail give us two lines and an decent picture of Yakou Meite who looks delighted with his goal!
There is 2.09 minutes of coverage from Sky on the game; it’s worth watching to see Barrett’s goal. They don’t actually have a match report which is slightly disappointing. The BBC as always have a report and the stats, saying Barrett was impressive and that Plymouth will “rue” a missed chance to take a 3-1 lead... and then we won.
The Plymouth Herald is naturally over the moon with this result, saying “they had much to admire” about the display from the Pilgrims, which to be fair is probably right.
Jose got this game right. The first team have had a fair few games in the last couple of weeks, and the league has to take priority. It was good to see some of the young guns get a run out and although by all reports it wasn’t a dominant display, a few are showing that they are capable and willing. Whether they have the guile and quality for a Championship season is a different question, but players such as Barrett are certainly pushing for a start.
Our academy is perplexing; this class look a decent one and some of the kids we have coming through the ranks certainly are showing signs of being good players. We have had many false dawns with players that we thought that would be excellent, but then seen them move on and become journeyman players. As important as it is for us to have faith in them, it’s also important that they have trust in the club and not expect too much too soon.
We move back to league action at the weekend with a tricky game against Charlton Athletic, who have had an impressive start to the season. This game is a huge test of our mettle and hopefully our run can continue!