The First Time Ever I Saw Your Team: Reading

Sixer leaves something special before assuming other duties

John McCormick writes: I hitched the 120 miles home on the Friday, saw an average game, then hitched back down to Uni on the Monday (or it could have been the Sunday) as usual. It was as uneventful a weekend as I remember and I picked up no air of anticipation from the crowd, nor any indication that the club was on the verge of something special.

Pete Sixsmith was living a lot nearer to Roker Park than me, however, and was no doubt more tuned in to the eventsĀ and the atmosphere surrounding the club. He seems to think there was a bit more going on, and maybe he was right…

Read more

SAFC vs Reading Who are You?: Vito’s ‘incredible professionalism’, McShane’s steel

Anthony Smith: a boy from the Welsh Valleys with a soft spot for Reading. Photo: Chris Forsey

Monsieur Salut writes: what’s the betting on Chris Coleman making his home debut as Sunderland manager with a win against Reading (and football accumulator pages may well be the place to find the answer)? After the relief of the win last Saturday – our first league victory since mid-August and only the second of the season – there is pressure to make it two-in-a-row but also a degree of momentum and the confidence winning brings to any team. To Newcastle fans, that translates as thinking beating Burton is roughly the same as winning the World Cup.


Our Reading Who are You? interviewee, Anthony Smith, warmly recommended by Terry Pattinson, a New*as*le supporter who has previously done the honours and may well do so again unless we go up or down), covers Reading for Berkshire newspapers. He’s grown to like the Royals despite roots in South Wales – his club is Swansea – and an inexlicable fondness for Spurs. He overcame a formidable workload to find time to answer our questions. I couldn’t have taken it solely on the word of Terry, a Mag let’s face it, but Anthony comes across as the top bloke he said he was – and he clearly knows his stuff …


Read more

Salut! Sunderland up all night: Honeyman rescues SAFC vs Reading

Pete Sixsmith
Safe recovery, Pete

Pete Sixsmith is likely to be quiet for the next few days – see his explanation below – but, a glutton for punishment after his West Ham awayday, was keen to take in one more match first. The lure of Sunderland Under 23s overcame the disincentive of the weather. Time well spent? Let Sixer enlighten you …

Read more

Sunderland, Newcastle safe (ish). And the losers are … QPR, Aston Villa plus Reading or Wigan

John McCormick's examines his source material
John McCormick examines his source material

It may not seem a good time to be predicting relegation for Reading (just after they’ve beaten us), QPR (buoyed by big new signings with an escapologist in charge) and Aston Villa (didn’t we somehow contrive to make even them seem half-decent?). But John McCormick has been pottering around with his blinding statistictal science again, attempting to calculate the impact fluctuating goal differences can have on survival prospects. As things stand, he sees safety for Sunderland but not by a comfortable margin and a possible lifeline for Reading, at Wigan’s expense …

Read more

Reading FC v SAFC ‘Who are You?’: another vote for Toon Doon

Jake asks the question
Jake asks the question

Water, maybe tons of melted snow,
may have flowed under the bridge by the time you read this. The questions to Martin Brailli*, a bookseller, football referee and fan of Reading, were answered while emotions were still stirred by seven or eight minutes of heroics at home to West Brom but before the fine win at St James1 Park. He has strong memories of Charlie Hurley’s spell as manager, strong views on what shoud have happened to SAFC for failing to stage a game because of summer rainfall and an unusual philisophy on life at the lower end of the Premier …

Read more