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|
|Berbatov shields the ball from|
|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|
|The Spurs Management, not so happy|
|Desperate changes and some last minute advice from the bench|