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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 October 2007, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Reading 2-1 Newcastle
By Saj Chowdhury

Dave Kitson scored Reading's first
Dave Kitson scored Reading's first
Substitute Shane Long came on to win Reading all three points against Newcastle at the Madejski Stadium.

Reading took the lead when Dave Kitson placed a 20-yard effort past the reach of Newcastle keeper Shay Given.

Newcastle were gifted an equaliser when Emre's free-kick deflected off the body of Michael Duberry and into the Reading goal from three yards.

Long then became Reading's hero when he fired high into the net with a neat control and shot.

Anybody who thought Sam Allardyce had solved Newcastle's age-old problems at the back were left to think again after what could be politely described as a shambolic performance by the defence.

All the problems were expected at the other end for a Reading team who had conceded 11 goals in three games, but it was the visitors who did their utmost to gift Steve Coppell's men a goal.

606: DEBATE
GOONER4EVA

Reading's best chance of the match came early on when England Under 21 star Leroy Lita somehow managed to gets his feet in a muddle in attempting to convert Kevin Doyle's pass following a woeful Habib Beye defensive header.

Lita was also presented another chance to open his league account for the season but fired his shot high over the bar from six-yards after Stephen Hunt headed the ball into his path.

Sandwiched between that came one of the most comical and stupefying moments of the season when Brazilian Cacapa, under no pressure, managed to lay his backpass beyond Shay Given - luckily for the team and travelling support, the Magpies goalkeeper rushed back in time to clear the ball to avoid embarrassment.

Newcastle looked good when they had the ball on the deck and largely ineffective with balls over the top - but their attack was still a massive threat.

Their best moment in the first 45 minutes came when Beye found Michael Owen with a great looping ball from the right, but the England man's chest control proved too heavy and keeper Marcus Hahnemann easily shepherded away.

In stark contrast to Newcastle, Reading looked well organised with Ibhamima Sonko brilliantly leading the line at the back, Stephen Hunt giving the sluggish Newcastle midfield little time to think and the superb Doyle working tirelessly in order to create a sniff of a chance for his team-mates.

It was little more than a sniff of a chance that led to their deserved opener when Kitson turned after the ball came through the legs of Lita and fired in a sweet 20-yard effort over the reach of Given.

Sam Allardyce brought on Charles N'Zogbia, Alan Smith and James Milner in an attempt to inject fresh ideas to the Newcastle attack.

And it was Milner's influence that brought Newcastle level. The tricky winger's perseverance won his side a free-kick on near the right corner flag.

Emre's low delivery went through a crowd of players before bouncing on to the stomach of the unfortunate Duberry and into the goal.

It was a bitter blow for Reading, who seemed to have the stuffing knocked out of them by the equaliser.

But like Allardyce, Coppell had a trick up his sleeve in the guise of substitute striker Long.

With his first touches Long controlled and rifled his shot high into the goal after Sonko made a nuisance of himself from a long free-kick.

It was justice for Reading who were fully worthy of the victory.


  • Reading boss Steve Coppell:
    "I said to the players afterwards that it was like seeing an old friend.

    "The tempo was raised a little bit higher and it seemed to suit us. Our shape was also a little bit better.

    "We're grateful to be where we are in the table - sometimes it has been a struggle but today was a different."

  • Newcastle assistant manager Nigel Pearson:
    "Should we have taken a point? Not neccessarily.

    "We got back into it when we went a goal behind - when we conceded goals in the fashion we did it made it difficult to get something out of the game.

    "It was very disappointing. This season it has been one win at home and then an away defeat."


    Reading: Hahnemann, Murty (Rosenior 86), Sonko, Duberry, Shorey, Lita (Long 83), Gunnarsson, Harper, Hunt, Doyle, Kitson.
    Subs Not Used: Federici, Ingimarsson, Convey.

    Goals: Kitson 53, Long 84.

    Newcastle: Given, Beye, Faye (Milner 74), Cacapa, Jose Enrique, Geremi, Barton, Butt (N'Zogbia 58), Emre, Martins (Smith 58), Owen.
    Subs Not Used: Harper, Rozehnal.

    Booked: Faye.

    Goals: Duberry 76 og.

    Att: 24,119

    Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).



    SEE ALSO
    Saturday's football photos
    27 Oct 07 |  Football


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