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Reading 2011

The Madejski stadium welcomed Football Aid 2011 to Reading for what was set to be a thrilling encounter. Royals fans would get the chance to play on the Hallowed Turf where their heroes had only narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League a few weeks ago. It was a bright, sunny evening with the pitch in great condition. The fans were out in force and looking forward to an enjoyable evening’s entertainment.

Wednesday 1st June 2011
Reading Home vs Reading Away
Kick Off: 18.30
Match Officials: Julian Hitchcock, Steven Gregory, John Payne & Steve Worsley

The Away side in their black kits got proceedings underway kicking from left to right. However, it was the Home side in their traditional blue and white kit who nearly opened the scoring. Bailey gathered the ball at the edge of the box, he showed some nice close control and cut inside to create an angle for himself before firing across goal. Keeper Enright did well to get a vital touch before knocking the ball out for a corner.

The game started at a furious pace with both sides keen to take an early lead. After a nice passing move it would be the Home team that broke the deadlock. Bailey won a header from a clearance from Harrison before flicking the ball on to Joslin. He drove down the left flank before passing inside to Barnett who played a neat one-two with Alnutt. Barnett showed good vision feeding Joslin who had made an intelligent run into the box, Joslin managed to look up and cut the ball back for Paul Bailey who had the easiest of tasks of slotting the ball into the net from 2 yards. (1-0)

The Home side were nearly two up immediately from the restart. The Away side were sloppy in possession and carelessly gave the ball away. Bailey drove forward on goal and unleashed a shot which was saved by Enright at full stretch.

The Away team wouldn’t have long to wait until they were back on level terms. Medlicott held the ball well before being supported on the left flank. He laid the ball off and the cross was fired into the box, Warner played a neat dummy before Andy Payne finished skilfully. The number 7 took on the shot first time and with the outside of his right boot curled the ball into the top right hand corner. A great finish. (1-1)

In almost no time at all, the Home side had managed to restore their lead. A corner was lofted in to the edge of the box and was struck first time by Martyn Barnett who showed great technique in firing the ball at goal. The Away side could only watch as the goal line clearance came agonisingly back off Enright and bobbled over the line. Barnett will claim the goal and rightly so after a terrific volley. (2-1)

The game was proving to be a very attacking affair with play flowing end to end as both sides pushed in search of another goal. Home keeper Harrison had to react smartly on more than one occasion to keep the Away side out. Nick Medlicott almost scored in spectacular fashion but narrowly failed to connect with this bicycle kick.

This was becoming a real treat for the spectators to watch. Jenner picked up the ball at the edge of the box and managed to twist and turn away from the Home defenders who closed him down rapidly before somehow creating an angle for himself. From about fifteen yards he crashed the ball off the underside of the bar, the ball bounced down and out before Phil Warner got to the rebound and sent a looping header back over the helpless keeper. (2-2) A goal that was no doubt created thanks to Jenner’s work but full credit to Warner for showing great striker’s instinct and following up.

With four goals before the half hour mark this game looked like it could be a real classic. With about ten minutes to go in the half the Home team nearly got their noses in front again. Jelleyman drove down the right hand side and into the opposition half before playing a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Bailey. He picked his spot but was denied by a great reflex save by Enright who diverted the ball wide of the corner.

It would be the Away side who would take the lead for the first time in the match. Jenner played a ball over the top from midfield for Elliot Sexton to chase. Sexton with time and space down the left picked out his man and found Medlicot, who shot from 4 yards forcing a superb point blank save for Harrison. But it was Phil Warner again proving that in true ‘Pippo Inzaghi’ fashion that positioning is one of a striker’s greatest gifts, as the ball fell for him to lash into the net from eight yards. (2-3)

Not to be out done, the side in Blue launched numerous forays in an attempt to find an equaliser before half time. Barnett capitalised on some sloppy passing from the Away team by driving towards the box from the left hand side. He fed Bailey who couldn’t find space for a shot, so elected for a neat turn and played the ball back to the edge of the area for the waiting Martyn Barnett who slotted the ball home from 18 yards. Barnett again showing great composure, taking his time before unleashing his effort. (3-3)

In the dying moments of the first half the Away side almost found themselves in front again. And yet again it was Warner who was involved, coming very close to bagging his hat-trick. A corner was whipped in which Warner won and bulleted towards goal only to be stopped on the line by a terrific header by Jelleyman. A narrow escape for the Home side.

The first half ended all square with both sides playing some great attacking football interspersed with some good defending as well.

Half-Time: Reading Home 3 - 3 Reading Away

The second half would start in the same way the first ended. Both teams were determined to play fast attacking football. On fifty minutes the home side would restore their advantage. With the ball bouncing around both teams struggled to get hold of it, eventually the ball fell for Feehan who attempted to calmly pass back to his keeper. Unfortunately he didn’t see Raymond Prior lurking over his left shoulder. With the keeper off his line and coming to clear the ball Prior nipped in and lifted it over Enright who was caught in no-mans land. Prior reeled away in celebration as the ball crossed the line once again giving the Home side the lead. (4-3)

They only had to wait a few minutes until they were pegged back once again by an Away side who would just not give up. Phil Warner would strike again giving him his hat-trick and his side their fourth goal of the evening. Slatcher did well to win the inswinging corner and flick the ball in towards goal. Warner caught it perfectly with a diving header and watched the ball nestle in the back of the net before celebrating. (4-4)

Somewhat predictably the score line wouldn’t stay the same for long. Joslin won the ball in the middle of the park from Harrison’s clearance and gave the ball to Fullam who knocked a long angled pass in behind the defence for Campbell to chase. Mark Campbell showed a good turn of pace, controlled the ball before finally firing it home to give the Home team a narrow advantage. (5-4)

It would be a set piece which would be the Home side’s undoing once again. Their lead was once again lost when that man Phil Warner notched up his fourth goal of the evening and a well deserved equaliser from the Away side who had been piling on their pressure since they went behind. Again Warner did well, winning a corner and heading in from six yards. (5-5) With twenty minutes remaining it would be a real battle to decide who would come out on top.

Almost immediately after the restart the Home side were in front again. This time the goal came about with build up that started from the back and involved stringing several passes together. Philmore did well to spot the dangerous long through ball from Lewis and reacted to cut out the pass. He played it out wide to Matthews who showed good vision in picking out Mills, he fed the ball inside to the unmarked Fullam, who drove forward deep into opposition territory before spotting the run of goal scorer Mark Campbell. Campbell with the ball at the edge of the box turned away from the defenders with quick feet before firing the ball back across the keeper into the bottom corner from 18 yards. A very classy finish indeed for the substitute. (6-5)

The Away side tried to respond quickly and pushed forward. However, it was the Home team who would put a cushion between themselves and their opponents shortly after. Barnett did well down the left beating his man and hitting the by line before cutting the ball back for Robert Fullam, leaving his team mate to control the ball and blast it into the back of the net. (7-5)

With only minutes remaining the Home side effectively ended the game as a contest. Martyn Barnett turned from provider to goal scorer in what was arguably the best goal of the game. Joslin chased down what looked to be a lost cause and from the by line he played the ball back for Barnett. With no real options on Barnett drifted inside and shot from an angle from 25 yards and would have been delighted to see his spectacular effort sail into the net. (8-5)

Not long after the Home side added their ninth goal of the evening. Fullam picked up the ball from a kick out before playing in Mark Campbell, who had made a great run in behind the defence, Campbell made no mistake as he fired the ball past the keeper to give his side an unassailable lead. (9-5)

Both sides continued to attack but neither could add to their tally before the end of the game. The score line perhaps looks a little harsh on the Away team who played well for so much of the game but in the end it was the Home side who ran out comfortable winners at the Madejski.

Full-Time: Reading Home 9-5 Reading Away

Man of the Match Home: Raymond Prior
Man of the Match Away: Phil Warner
Moment of the Match: Martyn Barnett

Home Team: Edward Harrison, Gordon Jelleyman, Glen Phillimore, Steve Vinnicombe, Matt Allnutt, Kevin Mills (capt), Martyn Barnett, Paul Bailey, Raymond Prior, Paul Joslin (subs) Robert Fullam, Joe Matthews, Mark Campbell
Mascot: Courtney Mills

Away Team: Nick Enright, Vince Sexton, Mark Feehan, Jon Joslin, Elliot Secton, Andy Payne, David Jenner, Phil Warner, Scott Slatcher, Nick Medlicott (subs) Mark Bacchus, Peter Lewis, Daniel Kirby, James Gerken
Mascot: Brooke, Freya and Ronnie Slatcher