We recall when five star Reading clinched the 2005-6 title in glorious styleAn historic promotion had been celebrated after a 1-1 draw at Leicester seven days earlier. Now it was time to take the title! And, ten years ago, the Royals were crowned in quite spectacular style.
Five goals in 24 second half minutes simply blew Derby County away in front of a packed Madejski Stadium – the Rams hadn't been the first to led a handful in against Steve Coppell's rampant Reading that famous season and they wouldn't be the last either!
It was a result and performance befitting the record-breaking season all Reading supporters were enjoying every second of. Although Steve Coppell’s men were made to wait on this day a decade ago.
Josip Skoko had headed Stoke City ahead against second-placed Sheffield United at the Britannia Stadium, but Reading were being held at home against the Rams and had to delay their celebrations until just before the hour when James Harper combined with Dave Kitson to stab the ball past Lee Camp for 1-0.
Any thoughts that, with promotion to the Premier League in the bag, the rest of the season would be played at a canter were cast aside as the Royals put their foot back on the gas. When Kevin Doyle’s header flew into the back of the net six minutes later the party could truly begin - but not before the unstoppable Royals had suitably run riot.
Coppell had harnessed the Midas touch all season and never was it more evident as on this memorable Madejski Stadium occasion - his substitutes heaped more misery on Derby when Stephen Hunt supplied a central ball for fellow replacement winger John Oster, who sidefooted home a third.
It got better. Another substitute, Shane Long, thumped home a near post header to score a fourth and with seven minutes remaining of a match home fans simply didn’t want to end, Long arrowed home a magnificent fifth and even the composed Coppell allowed himself a beaming smile.
Fans flooded onto the pitch and held their heroes aloft before looking up to the Directors’ Box to celebrate as champagne corks were popped onto the thousands below them by a team of players who had achieved the highest ever finish in Reading Football Club’s history at the time.
The silverware would wait until the end of the season – still amazingly a whole five games away! But the champagne continued to flow in town that night! And Sunderland's record points tally of 105 was next in our sights...