Well we did it guys, just though. Oh and what a way to end the season in a thrilling game that serves as a solid metaphor for our campaign.
Few could argue with the result as it was a fair reflection on two open and creative teams that went for the win.
Reading started the game brightly forcing a number of early corners. The lethal left foot of Nicky Shorey was causing all sorts of problems for the Rovers defence and another of his trademark long distance efforts came rattling back off the post. This was just moments after he had drilled one narrowly wide.
Rovers looked a tad tired after the excursions of the league campaign since the FA Cup semi-final but took the lead on 21 minutes in slightly controversial circumstances.
A drilled ball across the six yard box by Morten Gamst Pedersen caused both Shabani Nonda and Marcus Hahnemann to challenge for the ball. It by-passed them both as they collided and presented King Benni with the simplest of tap-ins for goal number twenty-four of the season.
Unfortunately Hahnemann couldn`t continue as reports suggest he has broken his hand.
However, Reading managed to hit back a quarter of an hour later through Seoul Ki-Hyeon and it came as no surprise that it was from a set-piece. Another corner was drifted across and Seoul lost his marker to power a header past Brad Friedel and in off the far post.
The half drew to a close without much of a clamour as both sides casually sparred. As things were Rovers were on course for the Intertoto.
Rovers began the second period with a greater urgency and were soon back in front. After a collection of corners arrived like the common bus Rovers took the lead, again.
Quick thinking from Gamst released King Benni who in turn slid in the express train from Liverpool, Stephen Warnock. His marauding run sliced the Reading defence open and his low cross found its way through to Gamst, who couldn`t miss! But in keeping with current form he did, but in turn gave himself an assist for Player of the Season David Bentley, who did tap home!
However, Reading pegged Rovers back again. This time it was the impressive Kevin Doyle, with a diving header from another good cross.
The goals weren`t finished there though. Rovers added a third through Matt Derbyshire, who knows how to make an instant impression. He had only been on 37 seconds when he found the back of the net. He met Brett Emerton`s cross with a diving header.
However, the best was saved till last as Reading pegged Rovers back again. Leroy Lita`s attempted free-kick was charged down but Gunnarsson unleashed a thunderbolt from distance that arrowed into the bottom corner.
Both teams pushed for the win but a draw was perhaps the fair result.
As it is then Rovers qualify for Europe via the Intertoto, well we have to win a few games against obscure opposition first but if the Toon army can do it with their reserves we should be okay!
Beaten three times!!! Not often we say that but he was left exposed.
Excellent energy throughout and looking forward to watching him next season.
Solid as ever but has always showed a tendancy to get forward and this won’t change and it may be worthwhile investing in a new right-back. Definately keep hold of Brett though as he has been much improved and finally won over the fans.
Great and will only get better. His partnership with Nelsen is exciting.
Rightly crowned player of the year and put in another display. Only right that he marked the occasion with a goal. How unselfish of Gamst!
A better performance to end the season. Let’s hope he is still with us next season.
Showed that quality once more, looking forward to it next season as a luxury for the extra goals in games.
Solid again. Will Sav actually get back in? Yeah probably.
His 24th and last for Rovers? I doubt it; he will be doing more of the same in August wearing blue and white halves.
Aparantly Hughes is going to keep him. On the evidence of this I wouldn’t.
The paduan learner made it nine for a whirlwind season.
He has been great since his return. I think he will be a better player next season which can only be a good thing.