QPR 1 Reading 2
Caution is the watchword for resurgent Reading roll on
Sunday 06 November 2005
Coppell insisted: "There is absolutely no way we are thinking about promotion after what happened last season. Our first task is to make sure that doesn't happen again." Reading have not lost since the opening day and the confidence from that run enabled them to recover after James Harper had given QPR a 10th-minute lead.
Steven Sidwell picked out Dave Kitson, who flicked the ball on neatly to Harper. Sidwell's fellow Highbury graduate took the ball in his stride and beat Simon Royce with a low, slick shot from around the penalty spot. But Reading denied Rangers space in front of goal and the home side's frustration was betrayed by their captain, Kevin Gallen, who was booked for a late challenge on Sidwell.
Reading received a wake-up call at the start of the second half, as QPR came out flying and equalised through Lee Cook on 47 minutes. The midfielder latched on to a knock-down from Santos to score his second goal of the season with a cracking shot from the edge of the area. The Reading fans found their voice and the game reverted to the crazy pace it had started at as both sides sought a winner. A frantic match now had an atmosphere to match and Reading's wide midfielder Glen Little was replaced by John Oster after he lost his cool and picked up a booking.
It was Oster who turned the game with a 66th-minute corner for Ivar Ingimarsson to head a powerful winner at the near post. A dejected QPR manager, Ian Holloway, said: "I've got my health and my family, but I'm brassed off and I'm going to go home and ask the big man upstairs why we didn't get a point.
"We did everything right up to a point, but that free header has ruined my entire weekend. Sometimes you don't get what you deserve in this game and this was one of those occasions."
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