A Royal Affair: Game Two

4 12 2006

Following Reading’s 1-0 victory over Wigan, the Premiership newcomers take on Everton at Goodison Park in the hope of scraping a point to aid the relegation battle.

Game Two: Everton v Reading

 Everton

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Following Reading’s 1-0 victory over Wigan Athletic, the fans are in a jubliant mood as the team boards the coach for the journey up north to Everton’s Goodison Park. Joining the players was Glen Little, finally back from a pre-pre-season injury and ready to have some involvement in the clash. Despite keeping a clean sheet, I took the risk of changing the back centre pair, resting Ingimarsson and pushing Billy Jones into midfield, allowing Bikey and Mate, two on-loan defenders, a chance to impress. Adu also started his first game, and Greg Halford was given a role upfront to rest Kevin Doyle.

Again, we started brightly, although we did have to contend with some early pressure from the home side. Freddy Adu was looking lively and could, perhaps should, have given us the lead early in the first half, instead firing over the bar from close range. We needed a little bit more luck, and it wasn’t too far away. After just half an hour of play, Andy van der Meyde picked up his second yellow card, leaving Everton with a gap in the midfield and giving us more of a chance to break through the defence.

By half time we were looking good – quite solid in all areas, although the defence had been run ragged during a tough 45 minutes. Little and Adu made way for Ireland and Doyle, and the second half was similar to the first. Both sides seemed to be taking it in turns to have an effort on goal, and with the minutes ticking down, we looked good for a fourth point of the season. As the assistant signalled four minutes of added time, we made one last push to try and sneak a victory. Somehow we found the strength and energy to make one last push into the Everton box, and when Greg Halford found Leroy Lita free of his marker, the England youngster turned and shot a vicious strike past the Toffee’s goalkeeper, Tim Howard. Our fans were absolutely wild – although so to were the home fans, only for different reasons. They couldn’t believe the goal was given, argueing that Lita had been offside when he received the ball. Thankfully for us the goal was given, and with just seconds remaining we hung on to the lead, giving us a surprise second victory of the season. No-one had expected us to be in such a good position, albeit after two games. But so far we have yet to concede and are looking at back to back victories in such a vital time of the season. However, next up is a home tie against Manchester United, a side that won’t give us anywhere near as much space as Wigan or Everton. Can the record remain?

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5 12 2006
The Football Manager Community » FM Community Digest 05/12/2006

[…] A Royal Affair Game Two […]

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