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98/99: Reserves:

Avon Insurance Combination, 21/9/98
Reading Res 1(1)
Watford Res 4(1)
Scorers: Grieves, Noel-Williams, own goal, Gudmundsson
Strange world
Report by Ian Lay

After missing the last two Watford first team games I needed my football fix. So in the middle of yesterday afterenoon I accepted a lift from Rupe to go and see the reserve game against Reading. It was a good evening. Met up with Pete Fincham, Dave Edwards and a few others and we saw a pretty good game of football.

The Watford line-up was pretty strong with the likes of Easton, Robinson, Noel, Williams, Andrews, Palmer, Page, Gudmundsson and Bazeley all starting. The rest of the team was made up of Tipton in goal, with Danny Grieves and Colin Pluck in midfield and defence respectively.

The opening exchanges were fairly even but it was Reading that took the lead. I don't remember too much about it, except that the defence got themselves in a bit of a muddle.

Our equaliser came from a free kick. I was actually distracted by a steward (as was Rupe) when the free kick was taken. He had asked us to put out our ciggies as there is a no smoking policy in the stands. Anyway Grieves curled the ball into the top corner apparently.

From then on we got stronger and stronger.

Gifton got our second goal after half time. But the third was really bizarre. A Reading defender lobbed a ball back to their keeper (a certain Mr P Bonner) who went to kick the ball straight out on the half volley. He completely missed the ball and it bobbled into the empty net. There was no one round him and no danger. Certainly the most bizarre own goal I have ever seen.

So 3-1 and we are cruising. The best was saved to last however. Bazeley (who played well all night) was played free on the wide right. He sent in a good cross and Gudmundsson from about twelve yards out volleyed first time into the back of the net. Super goal to end a super evening.

A few of things of note. Robinson came off in the first half with what looked like a thigh strain. It didn't look too serious but might mean he's not available for Ipswich.

Barry Fry was apparently at the game. Pete and I reckoned he was looking at Andrews, who has been recently put on the transfer list. Andrews, despite running all over the place, didn't have a good game. He missed a couple of easy chances and you could see the difference in class between Gifton and him.

Everyone played well apart from Andrews and also I thought Pluck looked a bit dodgy at times. Perpetuini had a really good game after coming on for Robbo, looked strong in the tackle and put in some great crosses.

As for Reading's new ground. Well, it is very nice but the no smoking rule in the stands is a bit of a pain. It's okay to smoke under the stands, just not in your seat.

So after missing three 4-1 games (in the three away games I've missed this season) I finally get to see one.

It's a strange world.