A 90 minute rollercoaster at London Road left Reading broken hearted after George Boyd struck a last minute winner to complete the mother of all comebacks after the Royals had lead 2-0 at the break. Just when it looked like we had put all our problems behind us with a fine first half performance on the road, three second half goals brought us crashing back down to earth and staring our problems in the face.
Brendan Rodgers was left shocked with our second half performance and must finally realise what a difficult job he has on his hands to turn Reading into a force at the right end of the table this season. It could have been all so different though if we had managed to perform even half as well in the second half, as we did in the first.
Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson was pulling all the strings early on and if it wasn`t for a major slice of bad luck he would have opened the scoring, when his shot deflected wide off Royals striker Gzregorz Rasiak after appearing to be heading goal wards.
The young Icelander didn`t let that get him down though and he was to open the scoring just before the half hour. After good running in midfield, he won a free kick 25 yards out and full of confidence lined up to take it himself, letting the more experienced pro`s like Marek Matejovsky and Brian Howard know exactly who would be striking it. And he didn`t disappoint curling a fine free kick in to the corner of the net.
Before the break it was another of the so called ‘Brendan`s Babes` who got himself on the score sheet. Simon Church came in for the unlucky Noel Hunt to the starting line up and looked full of running upfront and was rewarded with one of the easiest goal`s he will ever score. Sigurdsson put in a great ball and the Welsh striker found himself completely unmarked and he headed home his first of the season.
At the break, the travelling Reading fans were extatic and they must have been confident that they would be travelling home with three points secured, especially when you consider Peterborough hadn`t won at home all season. Just as in the away dressing room, they would have talked about keeping it tight for the first 10 – 15 minutes and not giving the home side a foothold back in the game.
Problem was no one in a white shirt took any notice of that advice and after forcing Adam Federici into a decent save, Craig Mackail Smith headed home just three minutes into the second half. It was just what we didn`t want and it wasn`t to be long before the game was turned on its head.
Matejovsky, who still flatters to deceive, was easily disposed of the ball inside the Posh half and left winger George Boyd broke forward with intent. He slipped in Aaron McLean and the strikers shot found its way past Federici and sent the small crown inside London Road wild.
Federici had to make more saves to stop the home side taking the lead whilst Rasiak had our only chance of the second period, but he couldn`t convert Sigurdsson`s ball in. And in the final minute enter provider of the second goal, Boyd. Inside the six yard box he didn`t appear to have a shot on but the highly rated Scotland B international back heeled the ball into the back of the net and had secured an unlikely three points for Peterborough.
We have had some great encounters with Peterborough in the past and this one was no exception and perhaps they had got revenge for Darius Henderson`s late headers over 7 years ago in the last meeting at London Road. That won`t have crossed the mind of Darren Ferguson though who must have looked on glad he was sat in the home dug out after being linked with the Royals job in the summer before Rodgers took over.