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October 27 2020 9.11am

Reading 2 - 1 Palace

Sat Mar 15 2003 - League

A last-gasp Reading goal denied Crystal Palace a point as they went down 2-1 at the Madejski Stadium.

Match Stats

Ground: Madejski Stadium (Attendance: 18063)

Reading: Hahnemann, Murty, Shorey, Brown, Mackie, Chadwick, Hughes, Harper, Sidwell (Watson, 33), Tyson (Salako, 69), Forster

Subs not used: Ashdown, Watson, Viveash, Henderson

Bookings: Mackie, Watson

Goals: Brown 66, Harper 90

Palace: Berthelin (Kolinko, 21), Powell, Popovic (Symons, 45), Mullins, Butterfield, Derry, Thomson (Freedman, 70), Routledge, Borrowdale, Johnson, Whelan

Subs not used: Black, Gray

Bookings: Powell

Goals: Johnson 76

Referee: M. Fletcher (Worcestershire)

Andy Johnson's equalising goal in the 76th minute looked to have booked Palace a point against Alan Pardew's men but James Harper's 90th minute winner left Palace empty-handed.

Tony Popovic struck a volley wide in the opening four minutes from the edge of the box.

Cedric Berthelin was called into action on 10 minutes, saving a Nicky Forster effort before Nathan Tyson shot wide.

In the 20th minute, Berthelin had to go off with a groin injury and be replaced by renegade keeper Alex Kolinko.

A few minutes later, he stopped an Andy Hughes' strike. Opposite number, Marcus Hahnemann saved a Shaun Derry effort on the half hour.

The opening goal of the game came from Reading in the 65th minute. Darren Powell brought down Andy Hughes on the edge of the box and Tyson's free-kick was back-heeled to Steve Brown who fired through the wall and score.

Substitute Dougie Freedman set up Johnson to score the equaliser from 15 yards 11 minutes later.

Noel Whelan wasted a chance to score a Palace winner in the last minute and seconds later, Harper made sure of the points as he netted Luke Chadwick's cross from 12 yards.

Post match comments:

Trevor Francis said: "In the first half the match had seven or eight chances and really some of the finishing was diabolical. I couldn't understand how it was 0-0 at the break.

"To lose the game to such a late goal was a massive disappointment. We were guilty of giving away possession too easily in a game which we could have got a well-earned point.

After this result it is now highly unlikely that we will reach the play-offs
Trevor Francis

"We did well to get back in the game with a well taken goal. My philosophy in every match is to win but there are some matches when you have to settle for a point and this would have been one of them.

"We had a strong offensive bench but due to injuries to Tony Popovic, Steven Thomson and Cedric Berthelin I could not utilise the subs how I would of liked.

"We did have a number of forwards on the pitch though which made did in turn make it difficult to keep the game tight.

"After this result it is now highly unlikely that we will reach the play-offs but even though I am a realist you do have to believe that you have a chance whilst it is mathmatically possible."

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