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Monday, 21 May 2012

See the rest of the season on FLICKR

In view of the relatively small number of page hits and zero response in terms of comments, I have decided not to continue posting images here, but instead over on Flickr.

If you like to see more from the 2006/7 season go to

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Reading v Bolton Wanderers 02.12.06

Reading chalked up their 4th consecutive win in the Premiership, with this 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers at the Madejski Stadium.

Reading Captain Graeme Murty battles with Bolton's El Hadji Diouf

John Oster and El Hadji Diouf

John Oster supplied the cross for Kevin Doyle to score the winning goal

Bolton's Feye gives Stephen Hunt a shove

Kevin Doyle battles for the ball

Gary Speed and Jaaskellainen wait for the cross
Kevin Doyle rises to head the ball
Kevin Doyle scores in his 4th consecutive Premiership game for Reading. You can even see the mark on his forehaed where he headed the ball home from John Oster cross.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Fulham v Reading 25.11.06

The short trip up the M4 into London, at the end of November, was going to be only my second away match of the season. I had never been to Craven Cottage before, although my dad had played for the Fulham boy’s team just after the Second World War.

The trip up was very straight forward, up the M4, then A4, turn right at Hammersmith and you’re there. As with most other away games, I travelled with the Reading FC press boys in their car, enjoying the football banter and gossip on the way. At most grounds, the press boys were given a parking permit, so usually we didn’t have very far to walk. On this occasion, however, parking was at a local school, but not that loca. Of course, to most the distance wasn’t that great, but when your pulling as much kit as is necessary to photograph a game, any sort of distance can seem a very long way.

I remember approaching the ground down a typical London street, a long row of terraced housing, packed with parked cars. As we neared the ground, the volume of spectators in the street grew, only adding to the atmosphere of a match day.

Turning the corner of this long street, the ground came into view for the first time. Small and quaint are two words that spring to mind, but then again this was an “old” football ground. We walked passed the statue of Michael Jackson, an odd place to find one, but then so is the Fulham boss Al Fayed.

Parting from the press boys, who always had a different entrance from us photographers, we made our way to the “tradesman’s” entrance, and squeezed our way through the ridiculously narrow opening. Another sign that this was an old ground, certainly not designed to accommodate toady’s modern photographer and all the kit he carried, or rather drag on wheels behind him.

Once inside the Stadium we soon found the “photographers room”, just off one of the internal corridors of the stand opposite the dugouts. Once we had picked up team sheets, passes, and had a cup of tea, we made our way to the pitch. Showing our passes to the relevant steward, who gave them a cursory glance, we were allowed to go pitchside.

Like most grounds, but not all, Craven Cottage limited photographers to where they could sit. Today, we could only sit along one touchline, the side of the dugouts. The opposing touchline was unavailable due to advertising boards, either end was unsuitable due to the angle of the pitch side and proximity of the crowd. Having found a spot, I settled down and waited for the game to start.

The game itself was fairly lively and enjoyable from what I can remember. Kevin Doyle scored the only goal of the game, a 17th minute penalty to give Reading a third consecutive league win in a row.
Other than that, from a personal point of view the game gave me one of my favourite images that I had captured at my time with the Reading. Here it is:

Luis Boa Morte holds off Reading's Seol Ki-Hyeon
It's not associated with a goal or celebration, just an in play shot with no particular relevance, but I just love it. The colour, clarity and lighting all combine with just the right amount of movement, both players eyes fixed on the ball, one determined to hold the other off, one determined to get to the ball. What do you think?

Anyway here are the rest of the best from Reading's 1-0 away win at Fulham.

"Look no strings", Graeme Murty's pre-match warm up
Des Lynam gets ready to take his seat 
George Best's ex-wife Angie poses for a picture
Ivar Ingimarsson waits in the pre-match line up
Ivar Ingimarsson challenges for the ball
Fulham Manager Chris Coleman
Ibrahima Sonko looks puzzled
Ivar Ingimarsson heads to clear the danger
Seol Ki-Hyeon still determined to get that ball
Jonh Oster closed down
Seol Ki-Hyeon controlling the ball

Friday, 11 May 2012

Reading v Charlton Athletic 18.11.06

Next up at the Madejski in the 2006/7 Season, Readings first in the Premiership, was Charlton Athletic.

I can remember nothing note worthy about this game except for the fact that Reading won 2-0, Graham Pole refereed, and Les Reed had just taken over the Addicks.

Steve Sidwell drives through the midfield

Glen Little

Ivar Ingimarsson heads clear

Graham Pole shows a yellow card

John Oster

Seol Ki-Hyeon heads the opening goal
Graeme Murty high fives with Nicky Shorey

Steve Sidwell watches the ball

Kevin Doyle runs off to celebrate his 72 minute goal

and is joined by his team mates to celebrate

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Reading v Tottenham Hotspur 12.11.06

With a 2-0 defeat away at Liverpool in the league, the Royals came to their next home game against Spurs on the back of a four league match-losing streak.

Apart from this game being a famous Royals victory, a 3-1 win over Tottenham, I shall probably remember this game most for Nicky Shorey’s 20 something yard drive that put Reading level in the game, his goal celebration, and Kevin Doyle’s 79th minute goal celebration.

Sitting directly in line behind Nicky Shorey, as he drove the ball with his left foot, narrowly missing Michael Dawson’s attempted block, I was in a perfect position to see the ball fizz past Paul Robinson’s diving outstretched arm and strike the back of the net. In previous entries, I have talked a little about goal scorers and their goal celebrations. Regular goal scorers have had plenty of opportunities to refine and perfect their celebrations, milking the moment and presenting themselves as the goal scoring superheroes, that their the fans adore. Players like Kevin Doyle, Dave Kitson, and Leroy Lita.

It amused me, therefore, to watch Nicky Shorey’s reaction and subsequent school boyish leaping celebration. Not the moves of a regular goal scorer. Compare this to Kevin Doyle’s rather more refined celebration, following his 79th minute goal that sealed Reading’s victory that day. Rather than leaping about like a “salmon”, Kevin made his way calmly to the sideline, opened his arms out to the crowd, and just soaked up the adoration and praise heaped upon him. It was this image that I captured, that was chosen for the front cover of the book “Reading between the Lines” written by Stuart Roach and published by Monday Books. When discussing potential cover pictures, we talked about how Kevin’s pose looked almost religious, his body the sign of the cross, the fans “worshipping” him. Ironically, it was this image that was chosen for the front cover, and the “leaping salmon” for the back.

A reflective looking Martin Jol

A pre-match Aaron Lennon
Aaron Lennon ball watching
Aaron Lennon

Berbatov shields the ball from

Glen Little
Nicky Shorey strikes the ball
and pass Paul Robinson in the Spurs goal
Nicky Shorey sets off to celebrate
and leaps for joy
Graeme Murty "out jumps" Aaron Lennon
Graeme Murty lauches the ball forward
Ivar Ingimarsson challenging for the ball
"Cover" boy, Kevin Doyle celebrates his 79th minute goal
Robbie Keane
Glen Little

The Spurs Management, not so happy

Paul Robinson
Desperate changes and some last minute advice from the bench