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Match report by bellamy 11

Rovers gained an unlikely three points on Saturday in a captivating match at the Madejski stadium. Mark Hughes experiemented with a 4-5-1 formation - Gamst being allowed to try and support Benni McCarthy. McEveley stayed in the team at left back but Peter was replaced by Micky Gray on the left hand side of midfield. Andy Todd also started despite being a fitness worry earlier in the week.

The first half was an exercise in waiting for Reading to score. Doyle gave both Todd and Ooijer problems, and had a few shots threaten goal, whilst Sidwell came even closer when he rattled a header against the bar from Glenn Little's free kick. Benni had the ball in the net once when he pounced on a parry following a shot from Gamst, but the goal was rightly disallowed for offside.

Whatever Sparky said to the team at half time worked, and his substitution of Nonda for McEveley meant we reverted back to a more familiar 4-4-2. This seemed to out-fox the Royals and it was only a minute into the half when McCarthy scored again - this time lobbing the keeper. Once more the goal was ruled out for offside, but this time replays showed that the South African was level with the last defender.

McCarthy bagged a hattrick of disallowed goals when he pounced on a Savage header into the box. His frustration was evident, but it didn't take long for him to finally get on the scoresheet for real. A teasing first-time cross from Cap'n Neill was met by the flying McCarthy and Rovers were level. Reading didn't seem to be able to get a foothold in a game they (at one point) looked to be coasting in.

Bentley forced a good save from Brad Friedel Mk II, but just as it looked like Rovers were running out of ideas, Steve Coppell thought of a great one. He replaced ex-dingle Little with ex-dingle Oster, and he proceeded to give the ball straight to Bentley. Bentley had it all to do but he skinned Shorey at left back and marched towards the reading box, before launching an unstoppable drive into the roof of the net.

Reading never really looked like forcing their way back in, and in the end Rovers looked quite comfortable as they became only the third team to record a win at that ground in over a year. A real Jekyll and Hyde game finally ending 2-1 in Rovers' favour. If only we could play both halves of a game - we'd be world beaters.

Mark Hughes post match comments

"We had a real go in the second half - we were 1-0 down so we needed a reaction and we got it.

"The way we were playing and the attitude we had in the second half, we weren't to be denied."

"David's scored quality goals this season, but he'll be very pleased because that one won us the game."

Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Sonko, Ingimarsson, Shorey, Little (Oster 83), Sidwell, Harper, Hunt (Long 88), Doyle, Ki-Hyeon (Lita 75).

Subs Not Used: Federici, Gunnarsson.

Booked: Murty.

Goals: Harper 41.

Rovers: Friedel, Neill, Todd, Ooijer, Gray, Bentley, Tugay, Savage, Pedersen, McEveley (Nonda 46), McCarthy (Derbyshire 90).

Subs Not Used: Brown, Matteo, Peter.

Booked: McEveley, McCarthy.

Goals: McCarthy 64, Bentley 84.

Att: 23,074

Ref: G Poll

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