Cardiff 2-5 Reading
Cardiff went down to undoubtedly the best side in the division today, with the defence leaking 5 goals, 8 now in 2 games.
Cardiff named Joe Ledley and Neal Ardley full-backs signalling an attacking intention from the start and both sides began with a fast tempo. Reading's first goal came on 9 minutes when Darren Purse delayed his clearance and the Bobby Convey, expected to have been rested, delivered a good cross to the onrushing James Harper. The former Bluebird loan player scored to give Reading an early lead. On 17 minutes, Jason Koumas provided Jerome with an excellent chance to level with a sublime pass from the left putting Jerome in the clear, Jerome's shot beat the onrushing Hahnemann but also beat the post. We expect Cams to finish these chances off every time, but he is only 19, nevertheless you dont get too many chances against a miserly Reading back line. Soon afterwards, Dave Kitson fouled in prime Koumas territory, 6 yards outside the area just to the left of goal, but Koumas will have been disappointed to only hit the wall.
Dave Kitson doubled the Reading lead on 38 minutes, the man Lennie Lawrence decreed was not good enough for this level (150k) before slaphing out 900k for Alan Lee. Kitson has haunted us ever since. Shortly after the break, it was 0-3 with Harper grabbing his second of the afternoon, this was later corrected and attributed as a Glenn Loovens own goal. The introduction of Paul Parry after 65 minutes was a welcome sight for Bluebirds fans, the Welsh international winger having been out for many months. His introduction lifted Cardiff and just 2 minutes later Cameron Jerome scored from a Jason Koumas pass to net his 20th of the season and pull one back for Cardiff. The goal lifted City and we started to play with more fluency, Parry making a difference with his added width and pace. It was Parry himself who scored from a Koumas cross from the right on 80minutes, Parry scoring with a well directed header to make it 2-3 with 10 minutes to go. Reading suddenly became nervous and City dangerous with the ball. A spirited fightback until the Royals caught us on the break to end the comeback, 17 goal Kevin Doyle, signed on a free in the summer from the Irish leagues, scoring to put an end to the game, after another costly mistake by Darren Purse at the back. James Harper added a 5th and his second in the last minute as the Cardiff players were broken to make it 10 goals conceded against Reading this season.
Two mistakes by one Centre back and an own goal from the other left Cardiff with far too much to do against a fantastic Reading side, the work-rate, slick passing and calmness in front of goal are all there and in place for an assault on the premiership next season, good luck to them, at least we won't be playing them again for a while !
Dave Jones said after the game: It could have been a respectable defeat if you take away the mistakes and it is all the more disappointing after pulling it back to 3-2.
'Darren Purse had a nightmare out there this afternoon but that's his first poor game all season.'
The season is over for us now, but hopefully the spirit shown will see a few people come to support the team after what has been an excellent campaign, lets keep it going till the end and show support for the players who have given everything for the cause this season.