Brian McDermott savours Reading's promotion to the Premier League after play-off pain
Reading 1 Nottingham Forest 0
Brian McDermott may find it difficult to let his hair down. But after Mikele Leigertwood's late header sent his Reading side into the Premier League after a four-year exile, he had more than enough reason to celebrate.
It was the completion of a journey from agony to ecstasy, after losing the play-off final to Swansea last season. Also it was a moment he wants to savour as his best in football management – especially when juxtaposed with his memories of Wembley last May.
"My worst moment in football was on the pitch at Wembley in May," he said. "I didn't see any good come out of that at the time, it was a really difficult summer. Then to get to where we are now – and the resolve everyone has shown to get us there – makes it my best moment in football.
"We are in the Premier League now, we have been promoted and I can celebrate for the next couple of months. I had the worst summer after losing in the play-offs – I'll have the best summer now."
The fans responded at the final whistle by staging a mass pitch invasion, which was well-controlled and entirely good-natured. But for 82 minutes, it looked as if the party would have to wait until Crystal Palace on Saturday, as a dogged Nottingham Forest outfit, bent on securing the point that would have secured their own Championship status set out to frustrate their opponents.
Leigertwood, Noel Hunt and Adam Le Fondre found Lee Camp, the Forest keeper, in fine form, while Steve Cotterill's men had chances of their own. Chris Gunter's shot hit the crossbar for the visitors, while Dexter Blackstock had an injury-time shot cleared off the line by Ian Harte, who had provided the free-kick for Leigertwood's winner.
But Cotterill was left with his own cause to celebrate as results elsewhere meant his side were safe. "We have stayed up and our dressing room is a little bit despondent," he said. "But this is not our story, it is Reading's. Big congratulations to Brian, he deserves it."
Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Cummings, Harte, Gorkss, Pearce; Leigertwood, Mullins, Kebe, McAnuff; Hunt (Le Fondre, 58), Roberts. Substitutes not used McCarthy, Gunnarsson, Afobe, Church.
Nottingham Forest (4-4-1-1): Camp; Wootton (Reid, 84), Chambers, Lynch, Elokobi; Gunter, McGugan (Greening, 84), Guedioura, Anderson; Majewski (Tudgay,84); Blackstock. Substitutes not used Cunningham, Smith.
Referee G Ward (Kent).
educationTo mark International Women's Day, Sarah Brown on how charities have brought proper joined-up thinking to the delivery of education
Latest in Sport
Michael Schumacher: Ferrari president Luca Cordero di Montezemolo admits he is still in shock over accident
Jose Mourinho claims Cristiano Ronaldo and his Real Madrid team-mates spend too much time looking in the mirror
Is this the cutest pitch invasion ever? Brazil squad embrace young South African fan in heartwarming scenes after friendly match
QPR financial results: Rangers face £50m fine in top flight of debtors
World Cup 2014: Sam Wallace picks his England squad - is there a place for Andy Carroll, and who wins the battle between Luke Shaw and Ashley Cole?
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Channel 4 announces two-hour TV show to be broadcast 'Live from Space' later this month
- 4 Man stabbed with Legend of Zelda Master Sword in serious condition
- 5 Study suggests that 'gaydars' are real - at least for women
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast