Royals Fail To Break Down Resilient Rotherham

Last updated : 25 August 2003 By Rob Cooper

Both sides thought they could have won this game. Reading felt they should have had a first half penalty when Chris Swailes seemed to bring down Nicky Forster but referee David Crick ignored them.

"Chris told me later that he had seen penalties given for tackles like that," said Forster.

"I thought it was a clear penalty," said Reading manager Alan Pardew. "We have had some poor decisions go against us this season. If that had been given it would have been a different game." Rotherham defended for most of the match but might have stolen a winner near the end.

A right-wing move saw the ball run free to John Mullin in front of goal, but Marcus Hahnemann saved his shot at point blank range.

"The lad is sick about that," said Rotherham boss Ronnie Moore. "It was a good opportunity and when opportunities like that come along you have to take them." Reading's best effort came early on from England Under-21 midfielder Steve Sidwell who has already scored three times this season.

Forster raced down the right wing and slid the ball inside to Shaun Goater.

The former Manchester City man laid the ball off to Sidwell whose shot was well saved by Mike Pollitt.

"We lacked the spark today," added Pardew. "It was the sort of game where you need your flair players to do something to open them up.

"But they didn't and it looked as if they were a bit leg weary after Saturday's game at Derby." Both managers have been linked with the West Ham vacancy, but played down the speculation.

"Anyone would be interested but everybody gets mentioned at a time like this," said Moore.

"I feel sorry for Glenn but all I want to say is that I am the Reading manager," said Pardew.