MATCH ABANDONED

By Rob Cooper
Last updated : 01 January 2003
Match referee Mark Warren
Match referee Mark Warren
The referee took the brave decision to anger the Reading faithful by calling the Royals clash with Leicester off at half-time.

Reading had responded best to the conditions in the first-half and looked odds-on for their first ever victory over the Foxes before play was brought to a halt.

The PA system announced that both managers had agreed that in the interests of safety the match was called off, however, both Pardew and Adams claim that this was not the case and Mr Warren made the decision himself.

In the interests of safety the referee Mark Warren's decision has to be considered the right one. The pitch was covered in puddles and the ball was scarcely rolling at all. As half time approached good football was impossible and the game was fast developing into a farce.

Mr Warren had passed the pitch as playable in a pitch inspection at 11am - the question Royals fans should be asking is why was the game allowed to go ahead in such treacherous conditions in the first place?

The Royals took to the conditions like a duck to water and could have been rewarded with what would have proved a meaningless half-time lead had Jamie Cureton not fired wide when clean through just before the break.

Martin Butler could have capitalised on a back-pass that had stopped short of its destination in the surface water but allowed Walker to beat him to the ball.

Reading piled on the pressure and forced an impressive eight corners in the first period.

At the other end Leicester, the league's second placed team, fashioned some good chances, with highly-rated Turkish international Muzzy Izzet showing why a whole host of Premiership clubs are after him.

Dickov fashioned the Foxes best chance but Marcus Hahnemann was able to repel the Scotsman's twenty-yard drive, diving low to his right and making a catch.

With the second half only moments away suspicions were raised when the Cark Park stewards were told to return to the car park. Everyone's fears were confirmed just moments later to boos and jeers. Some fans stayed to confront the referee when he came out to warm down.

The teams will meet again on an as yet unconfirmed date.

Reading Match Reports


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