A Royal Affair: Game Fifteen

24 01 2007

A Royal Affair collates my attempts to take relegation-favourites Reading from the lower regions of the Premiership to higher heights. So far results have been encouraging, and the players are working well together as we strive to make our target of forty points by the end of the season.  

Welcome to the official Reading F.C website

Royals claim famous victory

Plucky Reading stun Champions

Reading shocked the footballing world this evening after Leroy Lita and Bobby Convey helped the Royals to a surprise 2-0 victory over Premiership champions, Chelsea. Two goals either side of half time caught the Blues unaware, and gave a warning to the rest of the Premiership that Reading are certainly no pushovers.

With regular number one Marcus Hahnemann out of action following a training injury – and set to miss at least two months of football – it was up to the former Arsenal shotstopper Graham Stack to step up for his first game of the season. Going into the match, Reading were certainly worried with many fans hoping Stack would be able to keep a strong Chelsea attack at bay.

Along with Stack, the Reading team’s changes included Bobby Convey’s inclusion ahead of Freddy Adu on the left wing and Dave Kitson was preferred up front, with Kevin Doyle suffering the effects of a niggle picked up during the week.

Chelsea started the first half very attacking minded, and before the Royals could even break through the Chelsea defence, the visitors had enjoyed a number of times to test the inexperiened Stack. But as Chelsea pushed forward late in the first half with a corner, Reading were able to break after James Harper picked up on a poor pass by Ashley Cole. Harper’s sweeping cross covered half of the pitch, finding Ibrahima Sonko pushing up field. His low range through ball was picked up by Leroy Lita, and the young striker stormed through the defence to fire past Petr Cech.

Leroy Lita celebrates his first half strike

Lita acknowledges the fans support

Seconds later, and the Reading fans could not believe their eyes. Half time, and the home team were in the lead. Jon Harlye replaced de la Cruz at half time, and before Chelsea could mount a comeback, the Royals had somehow found the spirit to add to the goal scored just before the break. Bobby Convey picked up on a poor pass by John Terry, skipped past the England defender and fired a low shot past Cech. Convey, scoring his first of the season, looks increasingly fitter following his injury set back at the start of the campaign, and his performance really did earn that goal today.

After the second strike, Chelsea tried to test the Reading defence, but the ever reliable Sonko and Jones stood up well against the multi-million pound team. Reading did well to keep possession to ensure the three points would stay with them, and by the end of the game even the Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, admitted that Chelsea were below par today.

“We simply were not good enough. When Reading scored, we just didn’t do what we should. But it is of no matter – we still have this title.”

However, the defeat opens up the title race even further, and few fans could have expected Reading to be sitting in second place – just a couple of points behind Chelsea – at this stage of the season. Kevin Dillon, the Royals assistant, congratulated the players on the win.

“We worked our socks off today, and we were the better team. It’s not often you can say that against Chelsea, but we’ve some great lads here with some fantastic spirit. We don’t think we’ll be challenging for the title by the end of the season – we’re realistic. But the relegation fight everyone said we’d be in is certainly not a concern for us.”

Reading take on Manchester City next Wednesday at the City of Manchester Stadium, so make sure you go grab those tickets soon!

Reading Line Up:-

13. Graham Stack (GK), 21. Ulises de la Cruz (DR), 4. Nicky Shorey (DL), 3. Billy Jones (DC), 2. Ibrahima Sonko (DC), 12. Seol Ki-Hyeon (MR), 11. Bobby Convey (ML), 6. Steve Sidwell (MC), 16. James Harper (AMC), 9. Leroy Lita (ST), 14. Dave Kitson(ST)

Subs: 10. Shane Long, 28. Stephen Ireland (on for Kitson), 15. Freddy Adu, 7. Glen Little, 19. Jon Harley (on for de la Cruz)

Match Facts:

Reading 2-0 Chelsea
Premiership
Scorers: Leroy Lita (45), Bobby Convey (47)
Attendance: 24191
MOTM: Billy Jones
Sunday 18th November 2006
Points Total: 26

Missed any games? You can read all previous reports here!

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2 responses

24 01 2007
A Royal Affair: Game Fifteen « The Football Manager Wordpress Community

[…] A Royal Affair: Game Fifteen This article is originally taken from Blog FM  […]

21 07 2009
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