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Reading v Burnley as it happened

Reading 0-2 Burnley (agg 0-3)


To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Jonathan Stevenson

2155: So no need for extra-time or penalties as Burnley wrapped up their spot in the £40m/£50m/£60m game at Wembley on 25 May against Sheffield United. I'll see you then, though I'd expect to see you before, too, if I'm honest. How about tomorrow, for Wigan v Man Utd? OK, it's a date. Thanks for your company.

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Gav in Reading, via text on 81111: "Steve Coppell will go of his own accord after that display."

2150: It's incredible to think that Reading, who at one stage of the season seemed almost certain of promotion, did not win at home since 27 January, when they beat the eventual champions Wolves 1-0. Funny old game.

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From Pompey_Canuck on 606: "If Sheffield United go up do you think that they would use the money that they got from West Ham to sign Carlos Tevez? That would be both brilliant and hilarious. He certainly wouldn't have to worry about being on the subs' bench."
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2146: Burnley have been absolutely magnificent all season long and few could argue they do not deserve their big day out at Wembley for the Championship play-off final. But spare a thought for Reading, who started the campaign like a house on fire and ended it like a damp squib. What a cruel game football can be.

Burnley's Graham Alexander: "We didn't play very well in the first half and it took every ounce of effort to keep us in the game, but the two goals - what can I say? They were absolutely superb. However, getting to Wembley isn't the achievement or the prize, it's a horrible place to lose so we want to go and win the game. The job isn't done."

BBC Radio 5 Live

BBC Radio 5 Live's Mark Bright: "The two goals were just fantastic, but the best player on the pitch for me tonight was Graham Alexander, who was a real unsung hero sitting just in front of the back four. What an opportunity Burnley have got now."


2139: Full-time Reading 0-2 Burnley (agg: 0-3)
Hats off to Burnley, over the two legs they deserved to go through and two unbelievable strikes have helped them book a place at Wembley on 25 May. As for Reading - we haven't see the last of them, and let's hope we haven't seen the last of their manager Steve Coppell.

2136: There will be three hopelessly out-of-place minutes of stoppage time.

2135: Burnley are picking Reading off now and Joey Gudjohnsson tries his luck at a screamer, but it drifts a bit high and a bit wide.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Madejski Stadium: "This semi-final is over. Both sets of fans know it - as illustrated by starkly contrasting emotions. The Burnley fans are chanting "Are you watching PNE". I don't think they are. Their season is over - and Reading's will be in a matter of minutes."

2133: Jay Rodriguez chases a long punt forward from Brian Jensen and gets there just ahead of Marcus Hahnemann, but under pressure he loops a header wide from the edge of the Reading box. It matters not a jot.

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From Steve, a very relaxed Wolves fan, via text on 81111: "Good luck to Burnley in the final. Very good footballing side and hopefully they have enough to see off Sheffield United."

2131: Reading are attacking, but in the loosest sense of the word - they're just going through the motions. If this was a boxing match, it would have been stopped after the second goal.

2129: The Mad Stad is rapidly heading towards empty as Burnley take off Wade Elliott and bring on Chris Eagles, who might just enjoy the big wide spaces at Wembley in 13 days' time.

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From WiseMrBadger on 606: "This is heartbreaking for Reading. A full season wasted, often in the top two, play much nicer football than Birmingham, and now cruelly staying outside the Premier League party. Brings tears to the eyes."
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2125: Steven Thompson, scorer of a truly spectacular goal, gets his deserved rest as local boy Jay Rodriguez comes on for Burnley with a bit more than 10 minutes left.

2123: Chris McCann heads a routine Burnley corner from the right into the ground and into the arms of Marcus Hahnemann. Reading have gone.

2120: Christian Kalvenes goes in a little too hard once again as he fouls Shane Long, but referee Mike Riley keeps him on the pitch. From the resulting free-kick the ball bounces for Dave Kitson, but he turns and shoots a couple of yards over. Just not happening for Reading.

2117: Joey Gudjohnsson comes on for Martin Paterson as Burnley prepare to play out the last 20 minutes. He deserves a rest after that goal.

2116: Dave Kitson's shot from 30 yards takes a deflection and falls kindly for Shane Long inside the Burnley box, but his mind is all over the place and he shoots wildly over the bar.

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From Anon, via text on 81111: "I really hope Burnley get promoted - no offence to Sheffield United, but Burnley are a better and more effective version of West Brom."

2114: This game is threatening to creep towards a very unsatisfactory conclusion. Reading are utterly shell-shocked and they do not look capable of any sort of response.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Madejski Stadium: "Burnley's fans think they are home and dry. Their songs are all about Wembley, Owen Coyle and just how super and amazing it is to live in Burn-eh-lee. True or not, it would take a brave man to suggest they won't be meeting Sheffield United at Wembley on 25 May."

2110: Shane Long couldn't keep a pass in by the corner, and proceeded to kick the flag out of the ground in frustration. For a man who's been booked, not very clever.

2109: Reading have about half an hour to score three times, otherwise Burnley will play Sheffield United in the play-off final at Wembley on Monday, 25 May.

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From Zippy, George and Bungle on 606: "I thought you wouldn't see a better goal this season when the first strike went in. But that second goal was incredible - Maradona-esque."
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2105: There cannot have been a Championship game this season with two such high-quality goals. They really both were majestic strikes. If you get the chance to see them, my word take it.


2103: GOAL Reading 0-2 Burnley (agg: 0-3)
Two stunning goals, game over. A long punt from Brian Jensen isn't dealt with by Alex Pearce and it falls to Steven Thompson on the left-hand angle of the Reading 18-yard box. He proceeds to hit a quite magnificent, dipping volley that flies over Marcus Hahnemann, clips the underside of the crossbar and goes it.

Yellow card

2102: Shane Long is the next man into the referee's notebook with a clattering tackle on Clarke Carlisle, and Steve Coppell is furious on the touchline. Mike Riley is a bit too much in the action right now.

Yellow card

2101: Dave Kitson is straight into the book, not really sure what that was for, possibly a bit of back-chat to Mike Riley, the under-pressure official.

Yellow card

2101: Wade Elliott is booked by referee Mike Riley for a bit of silliness with Jay Tabb as they went up for a header. Bit naughty.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Madejski Stadium: "Reading probably haven't played this well at home in months but, nonetheless, find themselves a goal behind and approaching crisis point. Steve Coppell certainly had some artillery to call upon, and he wasted no time in doing just that."

2058: Jimmy Kebe, Marek Matejovsky and Simon Church are promptly hauled off by Steve Coppell, with Dave Kitson, Stephen Hunt and Glen Little coming on.


2056: GOAL Reading 0-1 Burnley (agg: 0-2)
That is a phenomenal goal, but Martin Paterson, having picked the ball up inside his own half, is allowed to run at the Reading defence without ever having to beat a challenge. When he gets 30 yards out, Paterson hits the sweetest left-foot drive you could imagine that fairly sails into the corner, beating Marcus Hahnemann's despairing dive. Gorgeous goal.

2053: It's long ball o'clock. All they've both done at the start of the second half is hammer it deep into opposition territory. Someone will have to be brave at some stage.

2051: They'd better not be thinking it, but Burnley are 45 minutes away from Wembley. We're back under way at the Madejski Stadium. Nervy, nervy times.

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From Ferdinaldooney on 606: "I think both managers should be brave and go for it in the second half. I hope Reading get an early goal so that Burnley have to go for it."
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From Bainbo, via text on 81111: "Brimmers from Devon: Hope it's not English you're revising for. The phrase 'a student's worse nightmare' must be an examiner's worst nightmare."

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Madejski Stadium: "Tight, tense and delicately poised, Reading have had the better of the opening half but it is Burnley, so close to getting there in the Carling Cup, who now find themselves 45 minutes from a trip to Wembley.

"The Royals ended the half very strongly and it would be interesting to know whether Clarets boss Owen Coyle, wearing his usual white sweatshirt, thinks it is a case of so far, so good or wants a little bit more from his team when they have the ball."

BBC Radio 5 Live

BBC Radio 5 Live's Mark Bright: "I'd expect Burnley to play a lot better in the second half when they are in possession, though defensively they've done everything they needed to so far. If Reading score, however, they will need to find something."


2034: Half-time Reading 0-0 Burnley (agg: 0-1)
Reading have done the majority of the pressing, but clear-cut chances are at a premium and they might have to look to the likes of Stephen Hunt and Dave Kitson in the second half. Burnley will be delighted to get in at 0-0.

2032: We're into first-half stoppage time now, there will be a couple of minutes.

2029: Dan Harding rifles the free-kick all along the ground and Brian Jensen does well to save and then gather before any of the Reading players can get to the loose ball.

2027: Shane Long fastens on to a pass through the Burnley defence and Brian Jensen gets there first, but he deflects it against Long and the ball then cannons against Jensen's right hand. Mike Riley gives Reading a free-kick on the edge of the Clarets box, but no card for Jensen.

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Brimmers from Devon, via text on 81111: "Reading fan living in Devon, should be revising but simply cant keep my eyes away from the screen. This sort of game is a student's worse nightmare!"

Yellow card

2021: Bit harsh that booking for Michael Duberry, perhaps. Marek Matejovsky controls a corner on the left-hand side of the Burnley six-yard box and his cross is heading for Duberry 15 yards out until Steven Caldwell nicks it off him. Duberry followed through in trying to win the ball and is booked for bringing Caldwell down.

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From smileitsliverpool on 606: "There is a goal here somewhere!! Think it will be Burnley on the break, if they ever get out of their own half."
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2018: Reading are playing most of the football, but - that half-chance a couple of minutes ago apart - Burnley are making it difficult for them to get in behind - they're not exactly parking the bus, but they are defending well thus far.

2015: Reading carve a hole in the Burnley defence down the right and Brynjar Gunnarsson is in acres of space to cross, but his ball along the six-yard box is cleared by Michael Duff, who took up a very sensible position.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Madejski Stadium: "That Wade Elliott shot apart, we have not seen too much from Burnley as an attacking threat so far, with players like Robbie Blake and Elliott starved of possession.

"The home crowd have really responded to Reading's positive start to the game, while the Royals young strikeforce of Shane Long and Simon Church certainly do not look overwhelmed."

2012: Really good stuff from Burnley, first from Chris McCann down their left, he does ever so well to create a couple of yards of space by the byeline and swings over a cross to about 16 yards out, where Wade Elliott catches a left-foot volley so sweetly, only to see it deflect off Jay Tabb and fly over. Might have otherwise gone in.

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From s66blade on 606: "I'm interested, as the winner plays us in the final on the 25th. No preference. Our overall team performance last night was one of the best I've seen for a good while. Can't wait to get to Wembley."
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2006: Simon Church has his first sight of goal on his first Reading start, but doesn't catch a left-foot effort cleanly from the edge of the Burnley box and it bobbles through to Brian Jensen.

2005: Very strange refereeing. Robbie Blake is not booked for a woeful challenge on Shane Long, one far worse than Christian Kalvenes' foul moments ago.

2003: Clarke Carlisle gets on the end of a Burnley corner from their right but it lacked any power and Marcus Hahnemann takes it with minimum fuss on the bounce.

2002: First real threat from Reading as a free-kick is swung over from the left and it falls to Shane Long, who shifts the ball to his right foot and fires in a drive that Brian Jensen does well to parry, before Michael Duberry's follow-up effort loops over the bar.

Yellow card

2001: Christian Kalvenes is shown the first yellow card of the night and and he's a bit unlucky, for a foul on Simon Church.

2000: Jimmy Kebe fastens on to a sloppy bit of Burnley play on halfway and jinks past the first challenge before trying to play Marek Matejovsky in, but the pass doesn't quite find its target. Kebe is a very important player for Reading tonight.

1957: Early shocking decision from Mike Riley, who gives a free-kick to Burnley despite their defender Clarke Carlisle appearing to shove his hand into Shane Long's face. Hmm.

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From Gunner-Daniel on 606: "I'm rooting for Burnley as it would be a bit of a change from the usual 26 or so teams that have been in the Premier League recently. However, I think whoever wins this match will lose to Sheffield Utd anyway."
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1954: Wade Elliott fouls Jay Tabb and from the Reading free-kick 40 yards out Brynjar Gunnarsson tries to play a cute pass into the area for Shane Long, but it's just a fraction too strong for the striker.

1953: Reading are in a real hurry to get on with this, they aren't wasting any time with throw-ins or getting the ball forward. Robbie Blake slips as he takes a 35-yard free-kick and it'll be a rare light-hearted moment this evening.

1951: Michael Duff clatters into Jay Tabb and Mike Riley is sensible in not booking the Burnley man. Reading then win a corner down the left, but it comes to nothing.

1949: It's a customary frantic start, but neither team has managed to get a foot on the ball properly as of yet. Lots of misplaced passes early on.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Madejski Stadium: "So much effort, endeavour and energy has been expended over a long and hard season by both teams. In a couple of hours time it will all seem worth it for one of them as they look forward to their Wembley showdown with Sheffield United.

"The momentum seems to be with Burnley and plenty of Reading fans seem resigned to disappointment. The Royals haven't won at home since late January. From their point of view, now is the time for that sequence to end. Plenty of empty seats in the home areas. Not so in the away end."

1947: Referee Mike Riley, who has plenty of experience of big games, gets us under way in Berkshire, after quite a long Burnley huddle it has to be said.

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From Roverdamus on 606: "As a Blackburn fan, I am undecided on whether I want Burnley in the Premier League. I would love to play them twice a season, providing we stay up of course, as the derbies are epic. But could I bear it if they beat us or even finished above us? I'm not sure."
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1942: The teams are out at the Madejski Stadium and the atmosphere is electric. The Burnley fans are certainly having no trouble making themselves heard. Not long to kick-off now.

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From James, Cardiff, via text on 81111: "I'm a Wales fan hoping young Church seizes this chance. He was all over England in the U21s back in October, the boy's a bit special."

Burnley boss Owen Coyle: "Both teams are aware of the prize that awaits them, there's no need to motivate anyone. We approach every game by trying to win it - it would be foolish to sit back and let a powerful Reading side come on to us."

Reading manager Steve Coppell: "We've looked at our situation and we've worked on a few things and we're hoping it all pays dividends, but whatever we get tonight we're going to have to work extremely hard for. Picking Simon Church is a gamble, there's no doubt, but he's a very good player."

1933: Incredibly, Burnley's Graham Alexander is about to play in his 60th game of the season, at the age of 37. What a remarkable effort that is from the penalty-taking legend. He's in his seventh play-off campaign too, and hasn't had a great deal of luck in the past.

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From Eagleeeee on 606: "Rooting for Burnley tonight. Those two cup runs showed they possess a lot of potential, and with decent youngsters such as Eagles and Paterson, a shot at the Premier League doesn't seem beyond them."
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Reading chairman John Madejski: "It's been a rollercoaster of a season and that's why we love football. It's been a good season, though I wish it had been slightly better to be honest. But this is where we're at, we've got a task to perform tonight and I'm sure we're going to do it."

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Madejski Stadium: "Two changes for each side, with Reading bringing in Simon Church and Alex Pearce for the injured Kevin Doyle and suspended Andre Bikey.

"Wade Elliott and Steven Thompson come in for Burnley, with Chris Eagles and Joey Gudjonsson dropping out."

1921: Reading v Burnley line-ups
Reading: Hahnemann, Rosenior, Pearce, Duberry, Harding, Kebe, Gunnarsson, Matejovsky, Tabb, Church, Long.
Subs: Federici, Cisse, Stephen Hunt, Little, Kitson.
Burnley: Jensen, Duff, Carlisle, Caldwell, Kalvenes, Elliott, Alexander, McCann, Paterson, Thompson, Blake.
Subs: Penny, McDonald, Gudjonsson, Eagles, Rodriguez.
Referee: Mike Riley (Yorkshire)

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From Graham Alexander, via text on 81111: "I share the same name as Burnley's Graham Alexander, so I'm cheering them all the way to the Prem so I can pick me in next season's dreamteam!"

Burnley chairman Barry Kilby: "We've been out of the top flight for 33 years, but we are so close now. Those cup runs earlier on in the season have galvanised the whole town - we get a big percentage of the population of the town watching us, and the players have responded, they've been fabulous all season long."

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher at the Madejski Stadium: "More Burnley than Reading fans inside the ground at the moment but I'm sure that will quickly change. This is Burnley's 60th game of the season, but manager Owen Coyle is confident that with Wembley beckoning fatigue won't be a factor.

"Reading boss Steve Coppell has had his team practising penalties in front of school children making plenty of noise. Simon Church is the surprise selection for the Royals. The Wales Under-21 striker starts alongside Shane Long. It is Church's first start for Reading."

1909: I presume you'll be wanting to get involved, then? I mean, you wouldn't want to leave me all of my own all night, would you? If you texted me on 81111 I'd be ever so grateful, especially if you're at the Mad Stad ce soir. Over on 606, there's a debate of sorts going on to boot.
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1905: Forget about money - this is about personal and professional pride, about wanting to test yourself on the biggest stage. Some of these Reading and Burnley players may not get so close to English football's top flight again, so they cannot afford to let it slip by. Burnley won the first leg 1-0, but it's massively still in the melting pot.

1900: The Championship may well be the fourth most-watched league in Europe, but you will not find a single person at the Madejski Stadium tonight hoping to stay in it for a moment longer. Target: number one, the promised land of the Premier League.
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see also
Burnley 1-0 Reading
09 May 09 |  Championship

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