Wimbledon 0 Reading 3

Last updated : 30 August 2003 By Footymad Previewer

When Shaun Goater decided to swap life in the Premiership with Manchester City for Reading earlier this summer, even the Bermudan could not have predicted how quickly he had adapted to life under Alan Pardew.

Still unbeaten this season, Reading march on imperiously to the Premiership spot they so narrowly missed out on last season with Goater looking at his best with his fourth goal in five games and Andy Hughes adding another.

The only worry for Reading at the moment appears to be rumours linking Pardew to the vacancy at West Ham.

Pardew did little to alleviate the whispers after the game by refusing to attend the post-match press conference whilst his assistant Kevin Dillon said: "The West Ham job has not even been mentioned and the has nothing to do with him not speaking to the media. He brushes aside all the speculation and has even signed a new contract."

Dillon added: "I've worked with a lot of managers but he is the best.'"

After surviving the initial Wimbledon pressure, Reading slowly found their way into their match with their passing game and the aerial threat of Goater always present.

The Bermudan had an early chance to open the scoring as he held off the challenge of Ben Chorley to meet Nicky Shorey's cross. Though his header flew wide he did not have to wait long to open his account.

A neat flick from Nicky Forster sent Andy Hughes free on the left, and his cross found Goater. After his initial effort was blocked, the forward wasted little time in blasting the rebound past Steve Banks.

Wimbledon, who had lost their previous four games, took their time in building a response.

Their best effort came when Patrick Agyemang took advantage of Steve Brown's slip and bore down on goal. His scuffed effort beat Marcus Hahnemann yet came back off the inside of the post and was cleared to safety.

Stuart Murdoch's side paid for their missed chances as Reading dominated the second half.

Just eight minutes after the restart, Graeme Murty's deep cross found Hughes who volleyed into the ground to beat Banks.

Wimbledon had barely time to react before Goater completed the scoring as he connected with Scott Murray's pass.

"We were poor," admitted Murdoch. "We were lucky top go in at half time just one down and 3-0 was a fair reflection. Reading were the better team without a doubt and we must improve.

"Fortunately we have a few weeks off now so we can go and lick our wounds for a bit. We need to improve both individually and as a team."