So that’s yet another away game without a win - but there is perhaps more to be optimistic and positive about than appears on face value. It was a strange match really. In the first half Reading were dominated - Exeter City played really well and we should’ve been two or three down. However, against the run of play we managed to nick an equaliser.
In the second half it was pretty much role-reversal. We weren’t as dominant as Exeter were in the first half, but we played a lot better and for large proportions were the team who looked most like scoring. But then, alas, the Grecians went and grabbed a last-gasp winner.
There will be a lot to learn from this result for the players and manager, but it still stings a bit. Here’s how the fans reacted...
Another away loss
Obviously you can’t pin much of this on Ruben Selles - he’s only been in charge for the last two league away games - but for the fans’ mental health more than anything, this record on the road needs to be sorted.
We haven’t won away from home in the league since the last game before the World Cup. It’s just ridiculous really. And it’s becoming pretty unbearable for the fans...
We can’t win away when I go I’ve just accepted #readingfc— James Townley (@jtownley17) August 26, 2023
That old familiar feeling - yet another away defeat for RFC #readingfc— Stevie p (@stevie_p1871) August 26, 2023
If my counting is correct, 15 away (league) losses on the bounce. Close to entering the top. Is this another record we can break? #readingfc— Josh Derbyshire (@Jd0tD) August 27, 2023
Finally back. Tell you what, it would be nice to go away and see a win. Dream big #readingfc— Rich1871 (@richiec87) August 26, 2023
One for the statto’s:— PEDRO‼️ (@PictonPedro) August 27, 2023
Who holds the record for the worst winless league away form in the football league?#ReadingFC must be a contender having not seen a victory away from home since November 2022.
I haven’t seen Reading win away since my stag weekend, Fulham away sept 2019. #readingfc— Brad Ray (@BradSRay) August 26, 2023
Starting to sink in. We will lose away games to teams that have played at a lower level than us for the last 25 years and possibly regularly. So much hard work needed to turn around the habits and culture of the last 6 years..some good signs but it will be a long road.#readingfc— Nick Knight (@NJK20171) August 26, 2023
Not all doom and gloom
Although the away form is horrendous, if we judge this game in singularity, I think a draw would’ve been fair.
In that second half we were the better team and had big chances to score through Femi Azeez and Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan. Ben Elliott was another bright spark who I thought looked the real deal, and it was just a momentary switch-off which cost us a good point.
So yes, frustrating, but there’s a lot we can take away and learn from and there are still signs that Selles is building a decent team...
The likes of BBC Berk's have to realise that we're in transition, at the start of a process, a work in progress. There is no magic wand in sight. It's not a "poor start" it's thoroughly expected.— Bobbins (@ohbobbins) August 26, 2023
We'll get better. The signs are there. #readingfc
Second half much better and we should have won. Azeez really decent up top with Kelvin whose link up play was good. Draw ultimately would have been fair so gutting to lose, struggled with the shape when Mukairu came on/off within minutes #Readingfc— Nick Houlton (@Houlton11) August 26, 2023
The 2nd half we were much better but still looked a bit open at the back. But It's hard to be too harsh on this very young an inexperienced team, we still massively lack depth as well. I honestly do feel over the longer term under Selles we will be a decent little side #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) August 26, 2023
We didn't drop points today bottling a win, or a draw. We dropped points pushing for a win, and being caught out at the other end. Big difference - and far more acceptable #readingfc— Marcus Pike (@MarcusKPike) August 26, 2023
Always dissapointing to lose but a little perspective please.— Brightside (@BrightsideRFC) August 27, 2023
A massive rebuild going on, such in experience will show through
This season will be hit and miss but they need to be able to make mistakes to get better, aslong as fans stay patient they will get improve#readingfc
Not great, not terrible. Plenty to work on, defensive unit is essential so hopefully Bindon has recovered by next game. Wasteful chances a concern, Exeter deserved the win on balance of play probably. Move on, win the next game. #readingfc— Dave from Reading #SellBeforeWeDai (@shakefon) August 26, 2023
I think some fans are expecting 3-0 walks in the park every week...— Jimmy ⚽️ (@QuiminalRecord) August 26, 2023
This squad is only going to get better over time. It’s a shame to not grab a draw but learn from it and move on.
Few decent signings and we’ll have a very competitive squad #ReadingFC
We would be wrong to expect a good start given the issues in the summer. I’m genuinely encouraged by the direction we are going in. Made some good signings playing some nice football and going with a youthful side. Better than playing veterans who are on the decline. #readingfc— Steven Kemp (@StevenK37506094) August 27, 2023
Well, it was much better than Port Vale.— Adam GC Jones (@ajonesrfc) August 26, 2023
Some promising bits from us. Still need a striker and a left-back, today reinforced this.
Disappointed to lose and will need to turn around our away form sooner rather than later, but it wasn’t a horrific performance.#readingfc
Yep it’s an annoying result and it certainly left me feeling sour on my three-hour drive back to the Midlands, but - as I say far too much - we need to look at the bigger picture.
And that picture is we have a very young, inexperienced team with a new manager who wants to play an intense style of play. I remind myself to look at my own predictions back at the start of the season when I, and plenty of my fellow TTE writers, predicted a difficult start.
There are signs of a decent team here and we just need to stick with them, it’ll take time.