A Right Royal Disappointment
With the R's having the strange distraction of a cup fixture in late September, Rangers' hosted Reading in the Third Round of the Capital One Cup.
Lofty Heights took advantage of witnessing such an occasion.
When the Third Round tie against Reading was pulled out of the hat after our victory against Walsall we knew that this would be a must not miss game for myself, Sam and Jenson as we all live not too far away from Reading and all share a similar dislike for them so this game meant a lot to us and also meant we may have some bragging rights earlier than we expected.
Along with us were Jess (who sat in the Upper Loft with us for the first time), Lofty, Luke and my mate Pete, who is a Chelsea fan but actually likes visiting Loftus Road and really dislikes Reading so we all shared the same feeling at the back of a chilly Upper Loft.
Jenson and Lofty arrived in good time for kick off with myself, Jess and Pete just making it to our seat in time, whilst Sam and Luke missed the opening 5 minutes of the game.
As we took our seats we got our first glimpse of Le Penis (not the actual thing) but he was started his first game since joining from Marseille on deadline day. If his shorts are anything to go by then he must be hung like a horse!
The opening exchanges saw the R's look to be getting into their usual rhythm and slowly take control of the game, whilst Reading's tactic for the night was hoof it to Pogrebnyak and hope that someone can receive a flick of him.
Kieron Dyer fashioned the first chance of the game as his cross-come-shot flashed across the face of the Reading goal with no R's player able to get a touch to poke home from close range.
This spurred on Rangers' and they took the lead ten minutes later.
Junior Hoilett was the creator and scorer of his goal as he dazzled the Reading defence, skipping past three challenges before slotting home to give him his first goal in the famous Hoops shirt.
We barely got our bums back on our seats and elation turned to frustration.
Reading were awarded a soft free kick (not for the first time) and Shorey's cross into the box was met by the unmarked Royals captain and former Hoops centre back Kaspers Gorkss and his bullet header left Cesar with no chance.
Just a few minutes later and the R's really should've made it 2-1. Granero's delightful free kick found Cisse and the usually potent Frenchman should only fire his shot straight at McCarthy.
As we got past the half hour mark Cisse again had a great chance to put Rangers' back in front. Cisse run from the halfway line in a Les Ferdinand fashion diagonally before hitting a shot that unfortunately this time flew wide of the mark.
At half time we gathered on a jam packed concourse as the Blue and White bar was closed, so myself, Jess and Pete queued up for a pie and a drink for the majority of half time only to find that there was no hot food available for us. We made our way back upstairs very hungry and disppointed!
The second half started off quite scrappy but the R's once again played the ball around the field in a patient manner whilst the visitors where intent on making their hoof and hope tactic work.
Hoilett had claims for a definite penalty waved away by a referee that was putting in one of the worst and one sided performances that I have seen in quite a while.
The R's kept puffing away and finally got the goal they deserve on 71 minutes.
Gorkss attempted clearance was blocked by Granero and the ball looped in front of Cisse before he allowed the ball to bounce four times without being challenged and as the chance seemingly disappeared, Cisse let fly with a half volley from 25 yards out and found the corner of the net with McCarthy in the Reading goal having no chance.
Cisse's celebrations of whipping his shirt off earned him a booking, but who cares we were winning..........
Just five minutes later it was level again!
Faurlin was adjudged to of fouled Karacan in what was a really soft foul considering that Hunt had got away with two blatant elbows on Faurlin with the referee in full view previously.
Once again that man Shorey stepped up and this time he took aim at goal. It looked like he had found the back of the Lower School End before the ball dipped, hit the underside of the crossbar and went in.
I hate to say it but it was a very well taken goal.
It got even worse four minutes later, Hunt was going no where in the corner before turning Onouha inside out and quickly laid the ball to Robson-Kanu and he crossed along to the unmarked Pogrebnyak, who for once had the ball at his feet and he backheeled the ball into the bottom corner when it seemed like Cesar had just about got over to make the save.
It could've got even worse in injury time when M'Bia was harshly adjudged to of fouled Pogrebnyak and the bald ref from Berkshire unbelievably pointed to the spot.
Cesar made a fine save from Pogrebnyak's penalty but all was too late and the R's long cup run was over!
I'm not being biased in the slightest in any of the above, however I have to say that Reading are the worst team I have seen this season and we still lost to them! They were long ball and very short on ideas yet our defensive frailties really showed last night. Was is also worrying is that we are creating chances but not taking them. It was good to see Cisse grab a goal last night as his confidence looked to be shot to pieces before that wonder strike.
We got into some really good wide positions last night, mainly down the left with Park and Hoilett but found ourselves short in the box with just Cisse waiting for anything to come across to him.
I also have to say that despite the effort he puts in that Mackie was dreadful last night. We had acres of space on the right hand side on numerous occasions last night and Mackie had drifted in, meaning we had to rebuild our attacks. Also when he was making runs he never looked where the ball was and just run aimlessly, leaving Dyer exposed if Reading gained possession and hit us on the counter.
M'Bia looked comfortable in the first half but wasn't all too impressive in the second half, it will take a few matches for Le Penis to get match fit and used to the pace of English football.
Our Man of the Match vote was unanimous will Junior Hoilett gaining all the votes from the gang.
I will return after Monday's home game with West Ham, I hope to report on good news finally!
Keep the faith!!