Reading 1-1 Millwall ~ Match Musings

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I have been a bit lackadaisical in recent weeks, swanning off to foreign climbs when the football season is in full swing can be infuriatingly crass to some of you but not me anymore; I love it. I have missed a few games, granted but I have discovered that the world keeps on spinning if I don’t go to every game, I realise that this is a selfish attitude to take but such is life. I don’t stop you from snorting a line or two off the nubile breasts of a Soho prostitute who is dressed as bozo the clown, do I?

But less of who is to blame for my lack of musings, let’s crack on and give you an insight into Reading away, the home of the polyvinylchloride brigade, the neoprene of narcoleptic nobodies that give new meaning to the phrase “you stupid bunch of cunts”.

These morons didn’t sell their souls to the bastard SKY Premier League demon, they offered their virginal passions on a plate with no qualms at all and what little life this sad little club once held was sucked out quicker than a digestive crumb up a vacuum cleaner.

They have the full repertoire of banal songs, gleefully bounced out by a small choir of about 150 blue and white hooped dildoes, sporting the almost regimental soul patch facial accoutrements, who were gathered on our right creating about as much semblance to a football stadium atmosphere as a cub scout jamboree all singing “kumbaya my Lord” or at a push “Michael rowed the boat ashore”…hallelujah my arse

The whole “Madjeski experience” is on a par with a Billy Graham get together complete with idiotic ramblings from the mong with the microphone regaling us with his wit and wisdom while urging the home “fans” to “make some noise, for the boys”. It made your teeth itch.

Onto footballing matters now though and Lomas has endured a torrid time from the fans over the last two shambolic away games, the Lions shipping goals like the sea in a ship wrecked galleon, the feelings were once again attuned to the fact that we needed a slice of luck here or there (QPR at home being the sort of thing) to satisfy the Lomas Out brigade and salvage a bit of pride and dignity before all hell would break loose as the spectre of relegation would once again haunt our dreams.

Lomas had recalled Feeney from his loan spell at Bolton to bolster the subs bench as he named an unchanged team from the starting eleven that did well against QPR.

Forde in goal, Connolly, Robinson, Shittu and Malone across the back, Bailey, Abdou, Trotter, Woolford and Waghorn in midfield and McDonald as the front man, the 4-3-3 or 4-1-2-1-2 or 4-5-1 formation being the modus operandi of choice for the troubled ginger one.

The game plan must have been to settle early and not concede a goal and as the 1000 or so Lions fans roared the lads on as the ref got the game going and we didn’t exactly start with any real compunction, even though the ball was hoofed unceremoniously out for a throw in right from the off.

We looked reasonably comfortable, no real worries and even when Reading won a free kick out on the right of our defence after about ten minutes, it didn’t seem to be too dangerous and even after the ball was curled across the face of our goal it looked like meat and drink for Shittu to head away but the Millwall behemoth got it all wrong and never even got a jump in before Morrison leapt unchallenged to head past the stricken Forde. 1-0. Oh Christ, here we go…

Well, we didn’t buckle and we didn’t capitulate and it is fair to say we actually looked quite determined, even when former OTH favourite Le Fondre hit a menacing low drive, we didn’t look at all in danger of shipping in a second goal.

Trotter was doing a sterling job in midfield and McDonald was proving what a gem he is by giving their defence more than enough to cope with, his tireless running is truly amazing at times.

We lost Connolly about half way through the half, he pulled up and signalled the bench immediately that he was in trouble so Lomas had no option but to trade him for Jack Smith but the change did not really make any difference to our play and we carried on regardless.

We actually looked the better side for long periods, Woolford had a shot blocked, McDonald had one go close and Malone did very well to carve out a chance that bamboozled the Reading defence but his inviting cross was hoofed clear by a worried looking home side.

We forced Reading back at every opportunity and almost got an equaliser when Trotter got his head to a Waghorn corner but the big midfielder’s header went right across the face of the goal.

Forde pulled a classy save out of the bag in first half stoppage time but apart from the goal, it was the only other time Reading looked dangerous.

The second half saw no changes for the kick off and we picked up the pace immediately, probably a little bit too gung ho as we almost got caught out when Le Fondre hit the post with a half chance but Forde gratefully swallowed up the rebound to avert any more danger.

We virtually went straight up the other end with McDonald who burst through their rear-guard and was unlucky not to score as the outstretched boot of reading ‘keeper Federici just deflected the ball wide of the far post.

Again it was the busy McDonald forcing Federici to make a diving save as his low drive had the Reading defence completely non plussed. We were clearly on top now and the home side were struggling to keep us out. We thought we had the equaliser though 0n around the 55 minute mark when Waghorn sent a delicious free kick into the box which saw Robbo flick the ball on and Shittu bundle it over the line but the celebrations were cut short by the lino’s flag so the ‘goal’ was ruled out for off side.

Feeney replaced Woolford on seventy minutes and the winger was soon terrorising the Reading defence sending over a couple of lovely crosses from out wide after haring down the wing and when Morison came on for Bailey about five minutes after Feeney, he was desperately unlucky with a header from another inch perfect cross from the re vitalised wing man.

Time was running out for the Lions but we never gave up the fight and with five minutes still to go we had the added problem of Abdou getting a red card for a second bookable offence.

But even the ten men battled hard and Reading had no real answer to our attack and when five minutes of added time went up the lads still kept rallying to the cause backed by the travelling fans who, top their credit, never gave up either.

And just when it was almost over, we got a lifeline. McDonald again, a constant thorn in Reading’s side, brushed aside his markers and burst through on goal and as he took the ball past Federici the hapless ‘keeper pulled him down.

The referee took a second look and then pointed to the spot. A penalty for Millwall in the last minutes of injury time? Had this ref read the right script? Unbelievable! But the work still had to be done and up stepped Trotter, showing no nerves at all and blasted the ball in to the top corner. 1-1 and the celebrations in the away section went, as you can imagine, went ballistic.

It was no more than the lions deserved, their overall performance was worthy of at least a point if not all three. The final whistle went soon after with Millwall still on the attack and looking for the winner. It was a very, very decent performance and we left the ground feeling like we had actually won.

So, another point on the road to safety and with a home game against top of the table Burnley coming up, a much needed point as well. But judging on this showing, Lomas has enough going for him to grind out a result against them so it’s all back to the Den to watch the drama unfold.

Lomas has had a little bit of luck on his side for the last two games with two equalisers in stoppage time but I like having a lucky manager, there is nothing wrong with being lucky,

"OK lads, this is what we'll do. As soon as we see somethin', we'll attack it. Right?"
The best plans are the simplest ones ...”
Terry Pratchett
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