Tag: Reading

The Promotion Jitters

Burton Albion lost 2-1 at Ebbsfleet United in the Blue Square Premier on Wednesday night. There was, in itself, nothing extraordinary about this, but this defeat marks the third successive match that the once runaway leaders of the league have failed to win and, whilst they are still comfortably clear at the top of the table, their lead, which had been in double figures with several games in hand, is down to just eight points with two games in hand. Bookmakers have already paid out on them winning promotion into the Football League, and this is starting to look like a shakier decision that it did a couple of weeks ago. They’re not the only team at the top of a table to be feeling the heat. We’ve covered AFC Wimbledon on here before – three successive draws has seen their lead at the top of the Blue Square South whittled away – but their football nemesis, the Milton Keynes Franchise, have also slumped in recent weeks, drawing four successive matches at the top of League One to drop out of the automatic promotion places, although they have games in hand on the teams above them too. In the Blue Square North, Tamworth scrambled a 2-1 win against Vauxhall Motors on Saturday, but this was their first win in three matches, and they have been overhauled at the top...

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The Goal That Never Was

It was, by any standards, the most bizarre moment of the football season so far, and it’s difficult to imagine that it will be bettered. During Saturday afternoon’s match in the Championship between Watford and Reading, a goal was awarded that was not only controversial but didn’t actually happen at all. The strangeness started after thirteen minutes of the match, when Stephen Hunt’s corner bounced off Peter Eustace and well wide of the Watford goal. Linesman Nigel Bannister called referee Stuart Atwell and advised him to award a goal, which he duly did. John-Joe O’Toole and Jon Harley were booked in the ensuing melee, but the goal stood. First of all, then, the case for the defence for the referee. While the referee obviously has the final say in all matters of this nature, it is a natural reaction that if a linesman flags for a goal, a goal is given. The Watford team’s reaction was understandable, but this reaction would have been the same had the ball landed three feet over the line. It was a case of it being the defence that cried wolf. Secondly, Atwell showed considerable bravery in awarding Reading a clear penalty with three minutes to play. It would have been understandable had he sought to even things up by not giving a clear foul. The conversion of the penalty tied things up at...

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