It’s time once more for a Player of the Month award, in this case for a very erratic September. Although it only contained five games (four in the league, one in the cup), those matches included some of our biggest highs and deepest lows of the season so far.
It’s odd to think that September contained a historic thrashing of Exeter City, an excellent comeback win against promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers and a thrashing of our own at Blackpool. Oh and don’t forget a drab, goalless draw at home to Burton Albion which couldn’t have been further entertainment-wise from the Exeter match.
Hey, that’s Reading Football Club for you.
Before we get into the voting, a bit of housekeeping. We didn’t get round to announcing August’s winner, but that was none other than Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan. He took 53% of the vote, well ahead of Nelson Abbey (27%), who would have been a worthy winner himself if it weren’t for Ehibhatiomhan’s goalscoring form. Tyler Bindon (12%), Caylan Vickers (7%) and David Button (1%) rounded out the voting.
Coming up with a decent shortlist for this month’s award is a lot trickier. While there were some excellent individual performances - not just against Exeter - few players were consistent across all five games. So, this time you’ve got four players to pick from rather than five.
Average rating: 6
MOTM awards: 2nd (Cambridge United A), 3rd (Bolton Wanderers H), 2nd (Blackpool A)
Before you yell at me: the Northampton Town game was in October.
In September, Button was a solid performer (making his display at Sixfields all the weirder), appearing in the top three of our MOTM voting on three occasions. As with one other player on this shortlist, he stood out in the home win over Bolton Wanderers (in his case making a couple of excellent stops) but didn’t have the benefit of the field day at Exeter (a brilliant team performance that did wonders for some players’ average scores).
Average rating: 6.6
MOTM awards: 1st (Blackpool A)
Elliott was one of the more consistent attacking players for Reading in September, generally looking bright regardless of how the team performed overall. He did well in a first league start of the season, away to Cambridge United, and was one of the few to come out of the battering at Blackpool with any credit (and was unlucky to be hooked at half-time).
Elliott’s piece de resistance came at Exeter though, when he shone throughout the game on the right of midfield. He came up with his first goal too, adding to the second-half rout with a finish past the goalie after Reading had won it high.
Average rating: 6.5
MOTM awards: 3rd (Cambridge United A), 2nd (Bolton Wanderers H), 3rd (Blackpool A), 1st (Burton Albion H)
Savage had a solid September, appearing in the top three of the MOTM voting every time he played, winning it once. He also comes out with a very respectable average rating of 6.5, the highest of anyone who didn’t feature at Exeter City.
His high point was undoubtedly an excellent long-range hit against Bolton Wanderers which drew Reading level. It was a moment of pure quality and, considering it followed a free-kick goal at Millwall, we’ll hopefully see more strikes in that vein later this season.
Average rating: 7
MOTM awards: 1st (Exeter City A)
Vickers impressed in August but added a goalscoring touch in September, being the only player to net in more than one game last month. Having completed the turnaround at home to Bolton with a late close-range finish, he netted again a few days later at Exeter. The first demonstrated a poacher’s instinct, while the latter was a bold driving run into the box before slamming the ball past the goalie at a fairly narrow angle.
Although Reading do have other centre-forward options, Vickers was missed in the Burton game which ended in a stalemate. He brings an eye-catching array of creativity and positivity and that was certainly on display in September.
Who’s your POTM for September? Vote in the poll below or, if it displays on your device as well as Dai Yongge pays a tax bill, try this link here.