Last updated : 03 August 2004 By Rob Cooper
Bobby Convey endured a difficult first Madejski appearance as a Royals player.

The 21-year-old could only watch on as Premiership giants Manchester City hit four past his fellow countryman Marcus Hahnemann.

Indeed, the USA international, who sealed a whirlwind move to Reading last Thursday, must be wondering what he has let himself in for at the Madejski Stadium.

Convey played his first thirty-five minutes as a Royals player last night, and after such a difficult evening all his elation having sealed a move to England must be gone.

Both he and the rest of the squad must realise that the hard work starts now if they are to make an impact this season.

Convey's on-field misery was compounded by the supporters off-pitch nightmare. Fans arriving at the ground without tickets faced horrendous queues when they arrived at the stadium.

With far more than normal electing to buy tickets on the day, and some minor glitches in the club's new ticketing system, fans faced a frustrating wait to get into the ground.

Whatsmore, the much-trumpeted video screen which had arrived to replace the clapped-out old scoreboard proved to be something of a disappointment.

The shockingly small 'big' screen seemed to struggle to display the correct colours and went into jerky and incoherent mode when trying to display anything resembling a replay.

Just like the team, it seems that much work must be put in if the new screen is to achieve what we were told it would.

It was a bad night all round for everyone at the Madejski Stadium. Yet when Adie Williams gave Reading an eleventh minute lead there was little sign of the potent Manchester City attacking to come.

Williams, totally unmarked, side-footed past England number one David James.

But slow-starting City very soon began to whir into action. Jon Macken levelled things mid-way through the opening period and Claudio Reyna then made it 2-1 before half time.

Reyna got his second and Sibierski also found the net in the second period as Kevin Keegan's side ran riot at the Madejski Stadium.

Had it not been for an excellent performance from Marcus Hahnemann, and heroic goaline clearances from Ivar Ingimarrsson and Adie Williams, it could have been much worse.

The players, the management, the 'big' screen staff and the fans will want to put last night behind them, but with Saturday so close there is very little time to do so.