Reading vs Barnsley
Tuesday 25th March 2014
Danny Wilson’s Barnsley will be making the trip south to Reading tonight. After losing out 1-0 to a late, late Bournemouth goal at the weekend, the Reds will be looking for a win that could still see them make up significant ground in the race to safety.
Opponents Reading will be in high spirits as their 2-1 win over Birmingham on Saturday boosted them into 6th, as their play-off ambition looks like it might become a last minute reality.
This will be the 68th time that this fixture has been played in the Football League.
Barnsley wins over Reading- 23
Reading wins over Barnsley- 28
Back in October when Barnsley met Reading at Oakwell, the Reds secured themselves a deserved point against good opposition after the game finished 1-1, seeing Chris O’Grady scoring an equaliser late in the second half.
The last time that Barnsley recorded a win over Reading was in the 11/12 season as Reading were beaten 2-1 at home.
Saving two penalties during the course of the action, Luke Steele was the star of that game as his efforts secured all three points for the Reds.
Subsequently after that game, Reading went on to be crowned Champions of the division and made the step into the Premier League.
Players to watch
Luke Steele started his career at his local side Peterborough United and only made a couple of appearances for the Posh before being signed by Manchester United for a reported figure of £500,000.
Whilst never playing for Manchester United’s first team, Steele was loaned out twice to Coventry City in a bid to get some first team action.
After being replaced at United by Tomasz Kuszczak in deal that saw him join West Brom, Steele was again sent out on loan to Coventry City.
After a successful but short loan spell there, Steele’s services were required by Barnsley as the Reds needed a goal keeper ahead of an FA Cup 5th round tie against Liverpool.
Steele made his mark in a Barnsley shirt and pulled off a man-of-the-match performance as Barnsley shocked everyone and beat Liverpool.
The surprises weren’t done there and in the next round Steele kept a clean sheet as Barnsley saw off Chelsea 1-0 and made it to the semi-finals.
Those performances helped Steele to become a firm favourite at Oakwell and in May 2008 he signed permanently for the Reds.
Since then, Steele has gone on to be an ever-present player in the Barnsley team and is on his way to clocking up 200 appearances.
Garath McCleary was one of several signings made by Reading in a bid to prepare themselves for the Premier League in 2012.
After making his name in non-league football playing for Slough Town and Bromley, McCleary was picked up by Nottingham Forest.
McCleary spent four years at Forest, making over 100 appearances and at times, being a vital part of the squad.
It was only in the 2011/12 season at Forest that McCleary started to collect admirers. After being out injured for some time, he returned with a bang and scored nine goals. Four of these goals came in the 7-3 away victory over Leeds as McCleary’s efforts towards the end of the campaign saw him voted as Player of the Season by the fans.
The following season, McCleary rejected a new contract offered by Forest and singed for Reading, achieving his dream of playing in the Premier League.
During this time he was also picked up by the Jamaican national team and has since been involved in their World Cup qualifying efforts.
Barnsley’s Peter Ramage is injured and is expected to miss at least three weeks with a hamstring injury. Martin Cranie also is still out as he too is nursing a hamstring injury.
Reading themselves are nursing quite the injury list and also will be missing midfielder Danny Guthrie through suspension.
Danny Williams (knee), Mikele Leigertwood (ankle) and Jem Karacan (cruciate) will all be missing from the Royals’ team as other members of the squad will be hoping to take advantage.
L- (H) Bournemouth 1-0
L-(A) Watford 3-0
L- (H) Leicester 3-0
W- (H) Forest 1-0
L- (A) Huddersfield 5-0
W- (A) Birmingham 2-1
D- (H) Derby 0-0
W- (A) Leeds 4-2
D- (A) Brighton 1-1
D- (H) Yeovil 1-1
Barnsley win: 9/2
Reading win: 8/15
1st goal scorer:
Chris O’Grady: 8/1
Adam Le Fondre: 7/2
Referee- Stephen Martin
Assistant Referees- Neil Davies & Alan Young
Fourth Official- Justin Amey
Going to the match? (matchday tickets available at Reading's South Stand ticket office)
Over 65 £22
Young Adult (17-21 yrs) £22
Juvenile (16 and under) £12
Can't make it to the Madejski?
Barnsley Player will bring you full match commentary of the Reds in action against the Royals. Click here to sign up now and never miss the action.