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[Archived] Rovers Vs. Reading


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Ok, boys and girls, get your inflatables out (leave the ones from Amsterdam in the closet) and get your programmes while you can because it is the last match of the 2006-2007 season. At the time of writing, a win against Reading would bolster our Euro chances, given that Totts, Bolton and Portsmouth cooperate and end their seasons on losing notes, but whatever the case may be, a win against Reading would cement top half status. Not really the place we were looking for at the start of the year, but given the difficulties we endured as well as the shed load of games on our plate, I think top half is damned fine. But, this isn’t a season in review, it’s a preview of the Reading Royals…

Reading have garnered 10 points out of their last 5 games leading to our match, just like us, coincidentally. Their last win was against the Newcastle LoonyToons as well, how eerily similar, eh? Their average attendance is in the low 24k’s while ours…ehh..well we weren’t just promoted now were we? I am not sure of the timeline but I also think their win against Bolton hastened or culminated in Big Fat Sam’s dismiss..erm..early retirement which can only be seen as a good thing. Now Bolton can go down next year and Big Fat Sam can turn Newcastle into hoofball merchants. Note to Shola and Obafemi; you lads will need to learn how to settle a ball, sharpish.

Who knows what mindframe the Royals will be in when they come to town, happy to get the season over with, fighting for their lives to get into Europe or just disinterested looking at their travel brochures for sunny-ish Blackpool or the swampy regions of Florida where the mosquito’s are as big as Vespa’s and the snowbirds outnumber the fit birds…

For me, I had to read up on my Reading history as a few seasons ago I’d never really had a reason to know anything about them. They were always lumped in with the QPR’s and the Brentford’s of the Football world. I knew their name but couldn’t tell you who was on their squad. Then comes a Yank! Marcus Hahnemann and my interest was piqued. I read up a bit and still didn’t have anything more than a surface interest. Was Hahnemann more of an Aiden Brown or more of a Brad Friedel? In other words was this guy destined for anonymity or world fame playing abroad? At that time the Magic 8-Ball could only state that Signs pointed to no. Not really a yes or no question I asked it, but the answer was general enough that I could infer what the Magic 8-Ball was getting at. It’s a very powerful sphere, that 8-Ball. At any rate the Royals floated along on the very periphery of my conscious until one day the news comes out that Bobby Convey was to join Reading. Well now! There’s a certifiable Yank talent going to Reading. For anyone who wondered, Convey was the first wunderkind for the Yanks in a long while, before Santino Quaranta, Freddy Adu and now Altidore. But anyway, Convey’s a Royal and off to the history books I went. Off to the official site as well. I followed them with great interest as they all but ran away with the Soda Water League and the off-season that ensued. Their signings were less than inspiring and I wondered if they had enough to make it in the Premiership. But at least they made an effort, unlike Watford, at making some improvements to a squad that was very nearly untouchable in the league below.

In comes Sam Sodje (a one time Rovers target) from Brentford (I really should read up on those periphery clubs), Andre Bikey (is it Beekay? Or Bike-ee? I’ve never really heard conclusive evidence either way) from Lokomotiv Moscow, Ulises de la Cruz (how the heck does this guy still get a job in the Premiership?) from somewhere deep in the mountains of Ecuador, Michael Duberry from Stoke and a few more sundry signings that didn’t make much of a splash then. The one signing, however, that did make a huge impact was Seol Ki-Hyeon from Wolves. Seol came up and became the best Korean in England, sorry Ji-Sung and Young-Pyo, but it’s true.

Seol did wonders for Reading and they were absolutely flying at the start of the year beating Middlesborough 3-2 on their own ground. For shame, ‘Boro, for shame! The Royals went on to win 4 more, draw one (a 1-1 score against the Mancs of all teams) and lose two finding themselves at the heady heights of 7th in the month of Octember(as my Vietnamese mother-in-law says it). Then like the climber who looks down for the first time after the pleadings not to, gets dizzy and drops to 11th spot(one above our Rovers) losing 5 in a row (4 Prem, 1 League Cup). Sitting at 11th spot, which was still high by any Royals standards, they started to show their real talent and everyone started to believe that lower mid-table was where the team should be. Then inexplicably, the Royals go out and win 4 in a row. This team is more streaky than a pair of my nan’s undies! Of course after this run, they go out and bottle it once again losing 4 (including their loss to us at their home ground. Take THAT!) and drawing 2, reminding me of when my older brother and I would play King of The Hill, or dirt heap, whatever. I’d get so close and push him back a bit and he’d get a bit tired of the feeble exercise that he’d flick me down the hill laughing with diabolical mirth all the time. But with dirty knees and scraped elbows, Reading came back to trounce WHam 6-0! Something we should have investigated as we could not solve the WHam Equation not once, but twice(for shame, Rovers, for shame!). About like me and Calculus…

The long and short of it was that the Royals could not make up their minds what form to put out there for their fans all season. As we are looking up at them in the last week of the season, it shows how well they’ve done. And all of this without Bobby Convey for the most part who’s allergic to grass, by the way. Hahnemann showed he’s good, but nothing near Big Bad Brad’s caliber. Not surprising at all, but encouraging to see that he was no Roy Carroll either. Kevin Doyle turned out to be one of the bargain buys for Coppell. Getting him from County Cork or Derry or wherever for a tenner before the 2005-2006 season was absolutely inspired. And everyone will be delighted to know his first goal was against the Dingles, good on ye, lad! But if we don’t watch out, Coppell might give Hughesy a run at the best Bargain Finder in the Premiership. Leroy Lita (also brought in just last year for a bargain 1 million pounds) and Doyle have 19 League goals between them, with Lita being their Cup Giant this past year as he scored 7 Cup goals. What’s interesting is the following from the Top Scorers section of their official site:

Ulises De La Cruz, Ibrahima Sonko, Nicky Shorey – 1 league

Andre Bikey, Peter Mate, John Oster, Sam Sodje – 1 cup

Now either these two groups of Royals were very coordinated in scoring that one goal apiece, or the Reading Official Site staff are a bunch of lazy See You Next Tuesday’s and just lumped these guys in for a goal. I’d be a bit put-off if I were looked at as a left-over.

The one game that sticks out in my mind is the one where Stephen Hunt single handedly brought down The Almighty Demi-God Peter Cech(Jhosay’s proclamation, not mine) with a well placed knee to the coconut. This led Jhosay to exclaim quite tearfully and melodramatically that the ambulance took 30 minutes to come to his aid, you know! He could have died, you know! You know! Well if I remember correctly the amby was there in much less time than 30 minutes, but whatever, Jhosay got his whining in and the media listened with more concern than usual. It was scary to look at, but Petr was back with a rugby helmet and he looked more goofy than usual. Why he still wears it, I have no idea. Adornment? Is he jealous of Schwarzer and his trademark dirty gray sweat pants? Is Cech that wanting for a trademark ‘look’?

There will be no Q&A this go ‘round as with the last game of the season most Royal fans are in a euphoric trance and the only thing that comes out is that they’re absolutely magic or ace or class or whatever adjective you can use that will describe their position high atop the league. Every question I asked was either answered by one word…Chuffed…or the answers started promising then trailed off mid-thought until all they could get out was “well, we’re Chuffed!” They might make Europe and they might not. But whatever the case their season has to be seen as an overwhelming success. Moreso than WHam’s post-promotion year last year finishing 9th and giving us a run for our Euro money and maybe even moreso than ours back in 2001-2002 when we finished 10th and won the Carling Cup (we DID have Duff, Dunn, Sparky and Jansen). It doesn’t really matter, though, because we need this win whether we are still in the hunt for Europe or not and I will spare no thoughts of luck or glad tidings for them until after we leave the pitch victorious.

My predictions are pretty hit and miss, but I expect a tightly contested affair with Rovers sending us out on a winning note. The scoreline will be a 3-1 with Roberts to continue his scoring trend, Gamst to chip in with another set-piece beauty and Derbyshire to score a 90 minute winner. Not sure who will score for Reading, but Roberts might actually put one in for good measure to make up for lost time, no matter if it’s our own net.

Also of note there is a Reading Royals hockey team from Reading, Pennsylvania. Yes the very same Reading where Reading Railroad came from in Monopoly. In 1748, the town was laid out by Thomas and Richard Penn, the sons of William Penn. The name was chosen after Penn's own county seat, Reading, in Berkshire, England. In 1752, Reading became the county seat of Berks county. Ahh, the synergy…

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Final home game of the season. Would be nice to have a good performance and win to take the momentum into next season.

Considering everything we have been through this season, finishing in 8th and with 54 points, as well as the FA Cup Semis and last 32 of the UEFA Cup, having a net negative spending the previous summer with key injuries to Reid, Nelsen, Savage, and Ooijer ruling them out of at least half the season, I think we have done well.

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Despite a few doom-and-gloom predictions lately I reckon home win for this one.

Benni hattrick beating those 2 ponces to the golden boot!

Didn't he "score" 4 at their place. Now if the linesman can just get the decisions "right"

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Well Roberts wont be on the score sheet after last nights antics...

I'll take a 3-0 Rovers victory, Benni (2) and Samba.

Crowd: 24,395 (with 2 of them being me and my pa). Come on Rovers!!!

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Well Roberts wont be on the score sheet after last nights antics...

I'll take a 3-0 Rovers victory, Benni (2) and Samba.

Crowd: 24,395 (with 2 of them being me and my pa). Come on Rovers!!!

I've got a feeling this could be high scoring.

I'm going for Rovers to win 4-2,and hopefully end the season on a high note.

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Party time last day of the season. Another great year for Rovers thanks to the visionary, the man who invited us all on a trip to the top and continues to suprise, the greatest fan ever, good ol' Uncle Jack. What's everyone bringing?

Balloons? all those cup semi final flags?

A toilet roll lobbed each?

LETS PUT ON A SHOW ON THE TERRACES!

Rovers 3-0

Benni, Gamst, Derbs

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If we beat Reading by 4 goals we will finish above them , we are capable of scoring 4 at home but we can't keep the back door closed either.

Rovers 4 McCarthy (2) Pedersen Derbyshire

Reading 1 Sidwell

I'll go with that prediction safe in the knowledge Sidwell is not playing. He is walking out on a Bosman so he is not even making the trip up to Ewood.

It would be nice to see Bentley get back to form and break his 2007 scoring duck by the way. So a McCarthy hattrick to get half a Golden Boot and Bentley in a 4-0 win offsetting the disappointment of the Trotter implosion loosing us our Intertoto place.

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Probably jinxing this but here goes..

Rovers 4

Benni x 3

Derbs

Reading 2

Doyle x 2

Question, what happens if Drogba and Benni end up on the same amount of goals each? Will they saw the boot in half and give either player a chunk or what?

From BBC:

Blackburn striker Jason Roberts is suspended, with Matt Derbyshire or Shabani Nonda set to replace him.

David Dunn is doubtful with a thigh problem while Zurab Khizanishvili, Robbie Savage and Steven Reid are again ruled through injury.

Reading's contract rebel midfielder Steve Sidwell is unlikely to play.

Glen Little (Achilles), Graeme Murty (calf), Bobby Convey (knee) and Ibrahima Sonko (knee) are out

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A toilet roll lobbed each?

LETS PUT ON A SHOW ON THE TERRACES!

I would really like to see the sight of 5,000 odd bog rolls being lobbed on to the pitch. A Lancy version of the 1978 World Cup final.

Big day Sunday, footy at Ewood then The Twang in Liverpool straight afterwards!

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Can anyone confirm if tickets are on sale tomorrow at the match.

I havent sorted mine yet

Get the purple penetrator revved up Ricky....... from the official site...........

Tickets are on sale right up until kick off, prices are from £15 for Adults, £14 for Seniors and Club 16-21 Members and £7 for Juniors. Call the ticket office on 08701 123456 for full information.
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