Reading F.C. season 2007-08

Infobox Football club season
club = Reading F.C.
season = 2007–08
manager = Steve Coppell
chairman = John Madejski
league = Premier League
league result = 18th (relegated)
cup1 = FA Cup | cup1 result = Third Round
cup2 = League Cup | cup2 result = Third Round
league topscorer = Kitson (10)
season topscorer = Kitson (10)
highest attendance = 24,135 (vs Manchester United, 19 January 2008)
lowest attendance = 21,379 (vs Wigan Athletic, 22 September 2007)

Reading Football Club played the season 2007–08 in the Premier League; only the second top flight campaign in the club's history. The team suffered a poor run of form from January, and suffered relegation on the final day of the season, as Fulham's victory at Portsmouth saw Reading finish in 18th place.

Review and events


Reading travelled to South Korea to play in the 2007 Peace Cup. Reading lost to River Plate, [cite news | date=2007-07-15 | url=,,10306~1072600,00.html | title=Royals lose Peace Cup opener | | accessdate=2007-12-31] won against Lyon [cite news | date=2007-07-16 | url=,,10306~1073787,00.html | title=Royals defeat French Champions | | accessdate=2007-12-31] and Shimizu S-Pulse, [cite news | date=2007-07-23 | url=,,10306~1075524,00.html | title=Royals miss out on Peace Cup final | | accessdate=2007-12-31] and came second in Group B on goal difference.

In Didcot, a Reading XI won 2-0, [cite news | date=2007-07-26 | url=,,10306~1077664,00.html | title=Youthful Royals earn slender win | | accessdate=2007-12-31] followed by a 6-1 hammering of Brentford. [cite news | date=2007-07-27 | url=,,10306~1079021,00.html | title=Long nets brace as Royals hit six | | accessdate=2007-12-31] Reading went away to Brighton & Hove Albion and won 3-1, [cite news | date=2007-07-29 | url=,,10306~1080485,00.html | title=Lita hat-trick beats Brighton | | accessdate=2007-12-31] then a Reading XI drew 1-1 at a rescheduled game at Tooting & Mitcham United. [cite news | date=2007-08-01 | url=,,10306~1082386,00.html | title=Cox on target in friendly | | accessdate=2007-12-31] Reading's final pre-season game was against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, which Reading won 3-2. [cite news | date=2007-08-06 | url=,,10306~1084996,00.html | title=Pre-season ends with Wolves win | | accessdate=2007-12-31]


A tough start to the Premier League season saw Reading travel to Old Trafford, to play Manchester United. Reading secured a creditable 0-0 draw, despite losing Dave Kitson to a red card just seconds after the player had entered the game as a substitute; Kitson was dismissed for a lunge on Patrice Evra. [cite news | date=2007-08-12 | url= | title=Man Utd 0-0 Reading | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]

Reading's first home game of the season was a midweek fixture with reigning Premier League champions Chelsea. Reading dominated the first half, and led at half-time through André Bikey's first goal for the club, smashed home after Petr Čech and Steve Sidwell collided in the Chelsea penalty area. Chelsea scored two quick goals, however, in the second half, to win the game 2-1, and Reading again had a player sent off, Kalifa Cissé, this time for two yellow cards. [cite news | date=2007-08-15 | url= | title=Reading 1-2 Chelsea | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]

The following Saturday, Reading gained a badly needed win against Everton. Stephen Hunt converted from a looping throw-in in the first-half, and Reading secured a 1-0 victory. [cite news | date=2007-08-18 | url= | title=Reading 1-0 Everton | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31] In their final league fixture of the month, an injury-hit Reading, without Nicky Shorey and Graeme Murty in defence, lost 3-0 at Bolton Wanderers. [cite news | date=2007-08-25 | url= | title=Bolton 3-0 Reading | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]

On 28 August, Reading began their League Cup campaign with a 1-0 victory away to League One Swansea City. Reading again played some of the match with only 10 men, after Sam Sodje was red-carded in the 58th minute, but Leroy Lita struck the winning goal in extra-time, converting a Dave Kitson cross. [cite news | date=2007-08-28 | url= | title=Swansea 0-1 Reading (aet) | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]


Reading fans could have been forgiven for expecting a victory from the opening league fixture in the month at home to West Ham United, having won last season's corresponding fixture 6-0. Two goals from Matthew Etherington, however, helped West Ham to a 3-0 victory, as Reading's defence continued to struggle. [cite news | date=2007-09-01 | url= | title=Reading 0-3 West Ham | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31] Another defeat followed at newly-promoted Sunderland, Dave Kitson scoring a late consolation from a Nicky Shorey cross, as Sunderland won 2-1. [cite news | date=2007-09-15 | url= | title=Sunderland 2-1 Reading | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]

Reading returned to winning ways on 22 September, and moved out of the relegation places with a 2-1 home victory over Wigan Athletic, Dave Kitson becoming the first Royal to score multiple times in the season, and James Harper with a late winner. [cite news | date=2007-09-22 | url= | title=Reading 2-1 Wigan | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31] The next league match was an away loss to Portsmouth in an 11 goal thriller, the highest goal scoring game in the history of the Premier League to date. [cite news | title=Portsmouth goal glut leaves Reading fed up | url= | | date=2007-10-01 | accessdate=2007-10-01] While the two sides were equal at 2-2 early in the second half, Pompey went on to a decisive 7-4 victory. Benjani Mwaruwari scored a hat trick for the home squad in this wild match, which included a missed penalty by Nicky Shorey and scoring by Dave Kitson, Liam Rosinor, Shane Long and Nicky Shorey. [cite news | date=2007-09-29 | url= | title=Portsmouth 7-4 Reading | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]

Again, Reading played one cup fixture in the month. Despite a spirited showing by a number of reserves, they lost 4-2 to Liverpool at home in the Carling Cup third round, with Fernando Torres scoring a hat trick. [cite news | date=2007-09-25 | url= | title=Reading 2-4 Liverpool | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31] . John Halls and Bobby Convey scored Reading's goals.


Reading began the month with a home game against Derby County on 7 October. In what proved to be a scrappy affair Reading came out with a 1-0 victory through a Kevin Doyle goal; Derby did not manage a shot on target the whole game. [cite news | date=2007-10-07 | url= | title=Reading 1-0 Derby | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]

Next followed an away game against Blackburn Rovers on 20 October after the international break, Reading's defensive frailties away from home showed once again as they went down 4-2, Kevin Doyle netted twice after coming on as a substitute while Benni McCarthy scored twice with Roque Santa Cruz and Tugay getting the other two goals for Blackburn. [cite news | date=2007-10-20 | url= | title=Blackburn 4-2 Reading | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]

Reading finished October with a home game against Newcastle United, Reading took the lead courtesy of a 53rd minute Dave Kitson goal but a clumsy Michael Duberry own goal in the 76th minute looked to have rescued a point for the Magpies, however a moment of tactical brilliance by Steve Coppell resulted in the winning goal. Shane Long was brought on in the 84th minute to promptly score the winning goal on his second touch of the ball. [cite news | date=2007-10-27 | url= | title=Reading 2-1 Newcastle | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]


Following victory over Newcastle United, Reading travelled to Craven Cottage with hopes of a second consecutive league win for the first time in the season. A laboured performance, however, saw Fulham win the game 3-1, after Kevin Doyle's second-half equaliser had put the Royals back in it. [cite news | date=2007-11-03 | url= | title=Fulham 3-1 Reading | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]

On 12 November, Reading hosted unbeaten Arsenal under the Madejski Stadium floodlights, and were soundly beaten 3-1, Nicky Shorey slotting home a late consolation after substitute Shane Long had headed against the bar. The result ended a run of three consecutive home victories, and cemented the five-point gap in the table between Newcastle in 11th (on 18 points), and Reading in 12th (on 13 points). [cite news | date=2007-11-12 | url= | title=Reading 1-3 Arsenal | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]

Reading rounded up November with an away trip to Manchester City, many saw this game as a certain victory for the home team considering both City's home record and Reading's away record. City took the lead thanks to an 11th minute goal by Martin Petrov only to be cancelled out just before half time by a well struck James Harper goal in the 43rd minute. Reading looked set to earn a hard-fought point but their hopes were dashed by a 94th minute Stephen Ireland strike. This result was Reading's sixth consecutive away defeat as they remained winless on the road. [cite news | date=2007-11-24 | url= | title=Man City 2-1 Reading | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]


The month of December saw an improvement for Reading. They met Middlesbrough at home on 1 December; after an entirely forgettable first half, Dave Kitson gave Reading the lead, superbly lobbing Ross Turnbull. But with seven minutes remaining, Middlesbrough's Tuncay Şanlı headed home Luke Young's cross for his first goal for Boro. The game concluded with a 1-1 draw which is what Reading required to stay out of the relegation zone. [cite news | date=2007-12-01 | url= | title=Reading 1-1 Middlesbrough | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]

8 December saw an impressive and unexpected win for Reading over Liverpool. With a controversial penalty after Jamie Carragher fouled Brynjar Gunnarsson in the corner of the box, Stephen Hunt put the ball into the back of the goal, with José Reina not standing a chance. Steven Gerrard eventually equalised after many failed Liverpool attacks before and after from Fernando Torres. A free kick was eventually awarded to Reading following an unsuccessful tackle by Gerrard, which Nicky Shorey floated into the area, and Kevin Doyle headed in. James Harper scored a fine third and Reading, with the help of the post, kept the Reds at bay for the remainder of the match. [cite news | date=2007-12-08 | url= | title=Reading 3-1 Liverpool | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]

Following a 1-1 draw away to Birmingham City, in which Stephen Hunt earned Reading a point with his second goal from the penalty spot in two games, [cite news | date=2007-12-15 | url= | title=Birmingham 1-1 Reading | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31] Reading scraped a controversial victory over Sunderland at the Madejski Stadium. Leading through an Ívar Ingimarsson goal, Reading conceded a penalty when Ibrahima Sonko appeared to trip Kenwyne Jones. In the final minute, Stephen Hunt poked a Shane Long cross towards goal, and Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon appeared to palm the ball away. The assistant referee gave a goal, however, and Reading celebrated a 2-1 victory. [cite news | date=2007-12-22 | url= | title=Reading 2-1 Sunderland | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]

On Boxing Day, Reading travelled to West Ham, leaving Upton Park with a creditable 1-1 draw, Dave Kitson equalising Nolberto Solano's opener after Brynjar Gunnarsson had been sent off for a two-footed challenge on West Ham's Hayden Mullins. [cite news | date=2007-12-26 | url= | title=West Ham 1-1 Reading | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]

Reading's final game of 2007 was against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, where the teams threatened to eclipse the 11 goals in Reading's match at Portsmouth earlier in the season. Tottenham won the match 6-4, although Reading led three times in the second half, with goals from Kalifa Cissé and Ívar Ingimarsson and two from Dave Kitson. Tottenham controversially regained the lead after Jermain Defoe headed home Robbie Keane's saved penalty, Defoe having been two yards inside the penalty area when the kick was taken. [cite news | date=2007-12-29 | url= | title=Tottenham 6-4 Reading | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2007-12-31]


2008 started badly for Reading as Ibrahima Sonko was sent off after only four minutes of a home match against Portsmouth on 1 January, for fouling Benjani Mwaruwari in the penalty area. Niko Kranjčar missed the resultant penalty, but Sol Campbell bundled the ball over the line a few minutes later after a mistake from Marcus Hahnemann. Reading failed to make much impact against Portsmouth after that, and the extra work-rate required due to being a man down showed in the second half when John Utaka outpaced Nicky Shorey for a second goal after 66 minutes to give the visitors a 2–0 victory. [cite news | date=2008-01-01 | url= | title=Reading 0-2 Portsmouth | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2008-01-01]

Just a week after losing 6–4 to Tottenham Hotspur in the league, Reading had an opportunity to give a better account of themselves in a FA Cup Third Round match at White Hart Lane. Fielding effectively a reserve team, Reading earned a replay at Madejski Stadium through a 2–2 draw and another two goals for Stephen Hunt. [cite news | date=2008-01-05 | url= | title=Tottenham 2-2 Reading | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2008-01-05]

Reading returned to league action at Villa Park, and despite an injury to Michael Duberry, and the absence of Ibrahima Sonko and André Bikey to the African Cup of Nations, Steve Coppell opted to play Brynjar Gunnarsson in defence in first half, and Kalifa Cissé in the second half, despite the availability of reserves team captain Alex Pearce. Reading fell to a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Villa, James Harper scoring a late consolation goal for the Royals. [cite news | date=2008-01-12 | url= | title=Aston Villa 3-1 Reading | publisher=BBC Sport | accessdate=2008-01-12]

Soon Reading played Tottenham Hotspur again in the 3rd Round Replay at home. Robbie Keane scored the only goal as Tottenham Hotspur went to win 1-0 and go into the hat in the 4th Round Draw.

Next Reading played Manchester United at the Madejski Stadium, despite a spirited performance Man U broke the deadlock on 77 minutes with a goal from Wayne Rooney, then in injury time Ronaldo wrapped up the points condemning Reading to their 5th straight defeat.

Reading then played Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea dominated the match and took a deserved 1-0 lead curtosey of a 33rd minute goal from Michael Ballack, despite numerous chances that proved to be the final score.


February started miserably for the Royals. First, they lost against fellow strugglers Bolton Wanderers at home 0-2 with the goals coming from Dave Kitson and Kevin Nolan. After a seventh straight Premiership loss to Everton, Reading dropped into the relegation zone.

Reading went to Everton trying to get a win. Everton proved too strong and beat Reading 1-0 through a Phil Jagielka goal just after the hour mark.

Reading's next game was at home to Aston Villa. Shorey scored their first goal for five matches in the 90th minute for the Royals, but it was all to late as Villa had scored 2 goals earlier on in the match through Ashley Young and Marlon Harewood and so Reading lost 2-1.


March started well for Reading, taking a complete turn around. Their first match was against Middlesbrough at the Riverside. The match was a hard fought battle and looked set to be a draw. However in injury time, James Harper scored the winner, making the final score 1-0. This match moved them out of the relegation zone and into 14th place.

Reading beat Manchester City 2-0, at home, to make it 6 points out of 6. Shane Long and substitute Dave Kitson scored for Reading.

Reading soon went to Liverpool. Reading went 1-0 up after a screamer from Marek Matejovsky. Liverpool won the game 2-1 in the end. In their next game, Reading beat Birmingham 2-1, as Bikey scored both goals for Reading, making Mauro Zarate's equaliser trivial. Reading drew against Blackburn in their final game in March, Marek Matejovsky being controversially sent off for two yellow cards.



Reading's goal drought continued into May, as the club slipped into the relegation places following a 1-0 home defeat to Tottenham. Robbie Keane's first half goal was enough to seal all three points for Tottenham, for whom Radek Černý made an important late save from a Liam Rosenior shot.

Reading were relegated to the Championship on the final day of the season, despite securing a 4-0 victory away to Derby. Reading's strikers found their form a little too late, as Dave Kitson, Kevin Doyle and Leroy Lita all added to James Harper's first-half goal. Fulham beat Portsmouth in their final game of the season to condemn Reading to relegation.

Match results


Football League Cup

Player details

"Last updated: 16:19, 14 May 2008 (UTC)"




Team kit

Reading's kit for the 2007–08 is manufactured by Puma, and the main sponsor is Kyocera.


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