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Random Royal Moments: Substitution Confusion

The latest moment in our series came early in Steve Clarke’s tenure.

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Reading v Norwich City - Madejski Stadium

Back in December 2014, Steve Clarke took over from Nigel Adkins in the Reading hot seat after a poor start to the season. The Scotsman’s first win would come a couple of weeks later against Norwich City at The Madejski. Hal Robson-Kanu tucked home a penalty after a foul on Michael Hector, before Simon Cox made up for a frankly unbelievable miss to double the lead.

Norwich managed what would end up as a consolation, but the circumstances were bizarre. McCleary left the field injured with two Reading subs lined up, ready to come on. The Royals believed they were making the changes, but the referee allowed Norwich to take a throw in. The ten men were unprepared, and Bradley Johnson took full advantage. A one-two opened up space, and he thrashed home from 20 yards.

In a season where Reading only mustered 13 wins, they still managed to do the double over Norwich, who went on to be promoted. The only other team to manage the feat in the regular season were Middlesbrough, who The Canaries then beat in the play-off final in a Wrestlemania-esque redemption arc.