My feelings even sitting here 24 hours after full-time are still very, very mixed. It's better than a loss, and keeps us in touching distance of the teams above, but three points would’ve been absolutely massive - and I can’t help but think it’s a big chance missed.
To rally like the players did when we went down to 10 men was hugely impressive. They did everything they could to keep hold of all three points but, in the end, had to settle for a point.
It’s clear what the big talking point of the game was, but here’s a round-up of the reaction...
A good result?
It seems that I am not alone in my struggles to decide whether it was a good result or not. The feeling among the fans was mixed to say the least.
There are positives from the result and performance, and negatives too. I don’t think we’ll definitively know whether it’s a positive result until the end of the season, which I can’t even bear thinking about at the moment.
Here’s how the fans reacted to the result...
When you look at the last 2 games against 1st and 3rd I think most people would have absolutely taken 2 points. Just feels worse with other results and the way the match went tonight. 3 games to claw ourselves out of the bottom 3, it'll go right to the wire #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) April 19, 2023
Realistically, if you said a week ago we would be getting a point each from Burnley and Luton, I’d take it. Obviously other results this week have made it not look as good, but our run in now is better than at least QPR’s and Huddersfield’s imo #readingfc— Lewis Radbourne (@lewisradbourne1) April 19, 2023
Might feel like a defeat and other results have gone against us, but think anyone would’ve taken two points from both those games beforehand #readingfc— Will (@Teapotstagram) April 19, 2023
Reading 1-1 Luton Town - in context of who we were playing, that’s a great result, but nothing else seems to be going our way elsewhere. Importantly tho, Wigan and Huddersfield still to play. Huge few games inbound #ReadingFC pic.twitter.com/tL12JkUHfx— William Owen Pond (@WilliamOwenPond) April 19, 2023
2 points from the last 2 games isn't bad considering the opposition we've played. Saturday is another tough one but fingers crossed we can get something and stay in touch with the teams above #readingfc— Ryan (@Ryan1871_) April 19, 2023
If you said to me a week ago draw with Burnley and luton I’d have bit your hand off, now it feels like points dropped. One major positive though is with ince we lose both of them no doubt, hunt is getting everything out of this lot #readingfc— Nathan Adams (@Nathan_adamsss) April 19, 2023
A point is *something* against another good team, but thrown away by a calamity play makes it hard to swallow. Even the goal felt avoidable. Now need 2 wins from 3 to be safe. Coventry ticket booked, Kelvin will score. #Readingfc— ReadingBetweenTheLines (@ReadingBTL) April 19, 2023
2 points from 1st and 3rd in the League. We have kept in touch which was important. Now we need to finish the job over these next 3 matches. #readingfc— Steven Kemp (@StevenK37506094) April 19, 2023
Not sure how I feel about last night. Would have taken a point before the game but so disappointed we couldn’t hold on.. think we may have with 11 men.— Jamie Hodder (@Jamie_Hodder21) April 20, 2023
Free hit I suppose on Saturday with QPR going to Burnley #ReadingFC pic.twitter.com/fuNnH0vXEB
As absurd as Andy Carroll is, that's a valuable point I'd have bitten your hand off for pre-game #readingfc— Tom Robertson (@tommyrfc) April 19, 2023
Now the big talking point. Having seen a replay back on Twitter (you can see that below), it’s hard for me to think Carroll didn’t mean it. My personal opinion is that is completely brainless from the Geordie.
However, it was interesting to see some fans back Carroll after the game. What I do know is that his red card had a huge impact on the game and we’re now without one of our senior pros for two monumental games. And it’s not exactly like we’re spoilt for choice in terms of options as it is.
Here’s what the fans had to say...
Btw if Andy Carroll got away with that tonight you lot would be calling him a hero. Yes what he did was stupid but he’s a winner and he will do anything to try to win. The abuse he’s getting isn’t on. #readingfc— Cameron (@ronniemac93) April 19, 2023
Absolutely fuming with Andy Carroll, 1-0 up in a vital game to stay in the Championship and he goes and handballs it when on a yellow card. Really bad decision making from an experience player #readingfc— Jack (@thesimpsonRFC) April 19, 2023
It’s complete nonsense to claim Andy Carroll won us a point tonight. We started the game with a point & only conceded after we were down to 10 men due to his crass stupidity. And don’t forget the absolute sitter he missed after 2 mins. He cost us 2 invaluable points. #readingfc— Andy C #FBPE (@AndyRFCCharman) April 19, 2023
Why are we hounding Andy Carroll tonight? Are people forgetting who scored the 1st goal of the evening, as well as against B’ham? Without his goals we’d be sunk already. Back the boys, we’re still in this. #readingfc pic.twitter.com/l9wW4sQL6e— Ewan (@ewan_sparrow) April 19, 2023
Andy Carroll has let us down tonight if he’s handled the ball.— Adam GC Jones (@ajonesrfc) April 19, 2023
Can’t fault the rest of the team really.
On paper, not a bad result considering Luton’s form but I think we just about win that with 11 men. Ahhh, frustrating.#readingfc
Not terminal and in circumstances a good point. But my god it feels like Carroll's decision to try and cheat one in (when we were on top as well) could be pivotal.#readingfc— Paul Williams (@PaulFrankfurt71) April 19, 2023
What was Carroll playing at, 1 up and on a booking ♀️ #ReadingFC— William Owen Pond (@WilliamOwenPond) April 19, 2023
Just seen the carroll disallowed goal he’s an idiot for that cost us 3 points #readingfc— tyler (@tylerrzrl4) April 19, 2023
Chilling by the pool, for the life of me, I can’t understand how people are going mad about Andy Carroll. The bloke is prepared to win at all cost for his team. What is the problem. #readingfc pic.twitter.com/7XEZioSQcV— Kieran McGuire (@KieranMcGuire) April 20, 2023
Well, what’s done is done as they say. We can’t change the result, we can’t change Carroll’s red card. We have three more games to get more points than QPR and/or Huddersfield.
On paper you’d say QPR have the toughest run-in and we play twice before the Terriers play again, which could be key in terms of putting on the pressure. All that matters is that, come 5pm on Monday 8 May, we’re outside of the bottom three.
That all starts on Saturday at Coventry.