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Winning beginnings in the New Year…

31 December 2015

A look at some good starts after the turn of the year

With 2016 right around the corner, the New Year offers a fresh wave of impetus and energy – we’ll be looking to cultivate that as we look to the year ahead.

Our first opportunity to get three points in 2016 comes on January 2nd against Bristol City (kick-off 3pm) – click here for more information about ticketing for this game, and how you could save money by buying in advance!

Nothing quite sets the tone right like a winning start – so we look back at our five most recent victories that came straight after the turn of the year…

Huddersfield Town 0-1 Reading
3rd January 2015

Few would have thought that our first fixture of 2015 would lead to a remarkable piece of history for the football club.  It seemed like a rather inconspicuous FA Cup third round tie – a trip to the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield – and after Nick Blackman’s sole strike settled the scores, Reading would just keep progressing through the rounds until a semi-final meeting with Arsenal at Wembley.  A year on, our next FA Cup adventure begins ominously with another visit to Huddersfield and another chance to write ourselves into the history books…

Reading 1-1 Liverpool
2nd January 2010

While it wasn’t strictly a winning start in 2010, the Royals – under the stewardship of then-caretaker boss Brian McDermott – earned a 1-1 draw against Liverpool in the FA Cup third round.  Simon Church had opened the scoring before Steven Gerrard equalised – but McDermott led the team to victory at Anfield in the replay a week and a half later (Gylfi Sigurdsson levelling in stoppage time, before a Shane Long winner in extra-time), and preceding McDermott’s first permanent appointment to the role of manager.  Reading made the quarter-final that year.

Reading 6-0 West Ham United
1st January 2007

The Hammers got a New Year’s hangover to contend with when they visited Madejski Stadium to kick off 2007 – Reading went into new calendar year of their maiden Premier League campaign sitting in the top half of the table, with the East London club languishing in the relegation places.  With the game just 12 minutes old, Brynjar Gunnarsson struck for Reading – three minutes later, Stephen Hunt doubled the lead.  Anton Ferdinand’s own goal for the Hammers on the half-hour effectively ended the games as a contest; Kevin Doyle netted either side of the break and Leroy Lita struck in the second half, as Reading hit their visitors for six.

Reading 5-1 Cardiff City
2nd January 2006

Like many teams in that record-breaking 2005/06 campaign, Cardiff were swept aside when they visited Madejski Stadium.   Derby had ended a run of five straight wins for Reading by forcing a draw on New Year’s Eve, but the Bluebirds were to take the full force of the Royals’ reaction.  Goals from Steve Sidwell, Ibrahima Sonko and Dave Kitson had Reading three up just inside the second half; Cameron Jerome gave the visitors some slim hope after the hour, before ginger duo Sidwell and Kitson each struck again to put Reading firmly back on the winning track.  It was a 27th consecutive Championship game without defeat for the Royals.

Reading 2-0 Port Vale
1st January 2002

It had been a bit of a spluttering start to the Division Two season for Reading in 2001/02 – but this win against Port Vale, the second in what would become a seven-game winning streak in the Championship, boosted the promotion credentials.  The Valiants had been, well, valiant in their defensive efforts throughout the fixture despite their lowly position in the table.  However Jamie Cureton finally made the breakthrough on 83 minutes from the penalty spot, and then netted his and Reading’s second with a minute to spare as the Royals began 2002 with a win – en route to a second-place league finish, and promotion to the second tier.

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