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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Reading

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A fine sunny and warm spring day here in Norwich and by the look of the empty seats around me, more than a few decided they had better things to do than attend a football match. On the stroll up to the ground we were discussing the feeling of apathy that has crept over us since any realistic play off hope was finally extinguished midweek. It has been many years since the final few games had so little riding upon them.Ruddy made his expected return between the sticks and Oliviera was preferred to Jerome up front. It was also good to see Wes make a comeback to partner Pritchard in the middle while Murphy came in for Wildshut. City were the first to show with an attack down the right that came to nothing but within a minute were back on the front foot for Howson to fire in a twenty yarder that Al Habsi could only parry. Oliviera looked odds on to net the loose ball but was bundled over for any obvious penalty. Unbelievably no cards were shown but the City striker exacted full revenge with a hard low shot into the corner.It was an ideal start but for the next ten minutes Reading dominated possession with some crisp football although without ever really threatening a goal. A free kick just outside the City box was easily caught by Ruddy and when City broke a delightful move from Wes and onto Pritchard left Oliviera with curling twenty yarder that came off the outside of Al Habsi''s righthand post as the home faithful oh''d and ah''d. The disappointment didn''t last long however as Reading were unable to clear a free kick and when the ball came back into the area there was mayhem until Wes clipped the loose ball high into the net.Reading were now at sixes and sevens and City began to look rampant. We were barely a quarter into the match when after further City harrying, Pritchard latched onto a loose ball and thrashed it past Al Habsi who could only stand and stare. It was lovely to watch as the home team ripped Reading to shreds with now, almost nothing coming back in reply. Just after the half hour a corner almost brought a fourth goal and Oliviera raced wide to retrieve the ball before it went out of play. A neat side step to beat his man and he ran across the edge of the box before unleashing a low drive that Al Habsi did well to palm away at full stretch. Unfortunately for him Russell Martin was first to react to steer the ball into the opposite corner for number four.A few minutes later we were in a stunned dreamland as Pritchard raced forward unchallenged to slot another low shot into the corner for a fifth goal in thirty five minutes. In sixty odd years at CR I don''t think I''ve ever seen anything like it and the fun continued but this time for Reading when Ruddy brilliantly parried Grabban''s close range header and a combination of him and Klose could not clear the ball which fell kindly for Kermogant to side foot in for a consolation.With halftime almost upon us the scoreboard electrics had just enough time to cool down before  the scintillating Wes Hoolahan, again wriggled into the area and despite close attention from two defenders and the keeper he manage to hook the ball in for number six as it ran loose. Needless to say when the ref finally called a halt there were no boo''s.The talk at halftime was about records. I certainly have never seen us score six in one half. I recall some sevens back in the old Third South and an eight in the FA Cup and my dad telling me about a ten back in the 1930''s.When play resumed it was relatively quiet for a quarter hour with only a long range effort from Reading that Ruddy touched over but then the game sprung to life again. Murphy went clear down the right twice but made the wrong decision when Oliviera was screaming for the ball. Minutes later he should have scored himself when Wes put the ball over but although it beat the keeper it crept a foot wide of the post.For the next fifteen minutes chances came and went in such profusion that I can scarcely remember the order. Murphy somehow conjured Olivieras cross over the top from almost on the line then the big City striker made the wrong choice himself by trying to curl an 8 yarder past Al Habsi when a simple side foot to Murphy must have brought a goal. Pritchard wriggled along the byeline and tried to squeeze his hat trick goal in from much to narrow an angle while City players were queuing up on the six yard line.The fun continued as Al Habsi somehow blocked Murphy''s shot from point blank range when he latched onto Pinto''s cross before desperate defending saw the ball to safety. Klose then tested the Reading keeper with a strong header before Dijks went even closer as his header came back of the bar. Jesus Christ, how this was not double figures was incredible. On 80 minutes Pritchard left to wild applause as Josh came on.Surely the half couldn''t go scoreless but with just a few minutes left it looked that way as Oliviera and Wes went off for Naismith and Jerome. Thankfully some sort of justice was done when Murphy broke down the left and Jerome picked up the pieces from close range as Reading failed to clear. The Ref finally took pity on Reading by refusing a stonewall penalty after Murphy was felled then added only a minute to a half that had seen six substitutions.Football is a funny old game, you think you''ve seen the lot then you see a game like this. Seven goals, but how it wasn''t ten or twelve only God knows.

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Thanks Ricardo."Needless to say when the ref finally called a halt there were no boo''s."Believe it or not there were some in the Snakepit! And in the second half there was a contingent that booed Russell martin everytime he touch the ball. Came from the same group that booed Jacob the other week.Hopefully this group will be some of the ones that are not renewing their season tickets! Reading just looked devastated after a while ans showed nothing.

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Superb

Thought we dominated Reading more in the 2nd half, yet only won ''it'' 1-0.

Felt we played very well, not outstandingly brilliant, but it was all game for once,and that we have lost to worse teams than Reading this season, a bit bizarre tbh.

Ref was ridiculous. He didn''t have much to do, but what he did, wasn''t very good at all.

Pritchard was great, and deserved MoM.

If I''m honest, I touched the match ball, at 1-0, and gave it a lucky rub, so that could be seen as lucky.....................

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Terrific report, Ricardo. Thanks.

Quite how you remember all the action, especially in a game as eventful as that, I don''t know. You must have a great memory! Keep up the good work.

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[quote user=Crabbycanary3]Superb

Thought we dominated Reading more in the 2nd half, yet only won ''it'' 1-0.

Felt we played very well, not outstandingly brilliant, but it was all game for once,and that we have lost to worse teams than Reading this season, a bit bizarre tbh.

Ref was ridiculous. He didn''t have much to do, but what he did, wasn''t very good at all.

Pritchard was great, and deserved MoM.

If I''m honest, I touched the match ball, at 1-0, and gave it a lucky rub, so that could be seen as lucky.....................[/quote]They should kick it straight to you from the kick off every game.[:D]

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Thanks Ricardo. I only managed to see the goals in the evening. But at least your reports join uo the bits between the goals.

One thing I@m curious about. Any idea what Russell Martin was signalling after he scored?

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Martin said in his post-match interview the reaction​ was in part a response to some of the criticism he''s received, but also a tribute to Peter Oldfield (he held aloft hotel his black armband) who recently passed away.

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A solid report as ever. Reading were truly dreadful though - never closed any of our players down and their keeper was non-existent in the first half.

Jap Stam''s tactics showed that they hadn''t bothered to watch us very closely - so I really hope we don''t end up with that tactical genius as our manager (sorry, head coach).

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