Bluebirds given a right Royal spanking

Last updated : 08 April 2006 By Michael Morris
So that's it as far as play off dreams are concerned. It took a brave man to think that pre match we could perform miracles and catch Preston. After seeing us ship 5 goals to Reading today and hearing that Norwich offerred little resistance to Preston we are left with pride and a decent league position to play for.

My concerns now turn to next season. Initial questions are obvious, What players will we keep? What players will we sign but the crucial question for me is Will we keep our manager?

Dave Jones lashed out last week after losing at Southampton about the poor facilities we have to work with here in Cardiff and I hope that there is movement in a positive way soon otherwise we could lose the best manager we've had for a long while.

Neutral fans would have enjoyed both City v Reading games this season. 13 goals in total, some good open football. It's tough though for City fans to watch today and see a nightmare set of errors from Darren Purse and a superbly placed header from Glenn Loovens into his own net.

The problems started early on. Purse opted to trust his judgement that a ball on his right side would go out of play. The Reading player thought otherwise and robbed Purse then squared for former City loan player James Harper to score with ease.

Another player with strong City links, Dave Kitson, scored their second. He's linked with City because of the farcical chase by Lennie Lawrence to sign him but in the end Lennie decided he was not good enough for us. Now a couple of seasons and shedloads of goals later Dave Kitson is heading for the Premiership. Nice one Len!

Kitson scored after being afforded the freedom of the City box. He had too much time but managed to place the ball past Alexander.

Half time 0 - 2. I'm not sure how others felt but I was quite comfortable knowing we are playing the best team in the division and we weren't really going to make the play offs. I was even more comfortable in my thoughts 7 mins into the second half. Kitson broke free into the box, he tried to lob Alexander but no worries, Loovens was covering and had the oportunity to head the ball behind for a corner. Good ole Glenn, placed it inch perfect into the top corner under no pressure. 0 - 3. Who would have thought the jubilant away fans would then start fighting with I guess the stewards or themselves.

Then when all hope was lost we had a revival. Koumas blocked a clearance and charged down the right, he crossed to Cameron Jerome who bundled it in from a few feet. Dave Jones brought on Paul Parry and on 80 mins the winger headed home a Koumas corner and it was 3 - 2 and game on.

City were in the ascendancy but when you look to your rock to steady things our rock Darren Purse committed another heinous crime by losing possession in his own box and the cross that came in was headed home by Doyle to make it 4 - 2 to Reading.

87 mins had gone so it was curtains for City but as one last kick in the balls a clearance fell to James Harper and he had time to bury the ball past a helpless Alexander. That was it, final whistle blew on any remote play off hopes and on and on Reading march.

So over two games with Reading we have conceded 10 goals, scored three and to be honest entertained but that's no good when you end up the bridesmaid.

No worries, it's only second placed Sheff Utd next Friday (live on Sky) followed by Crewe on Easter Monday - did I mention it was my 40th on that day? Utd are looking to gain automatic promotion while Crewe can still save themselves from relegation after a great win today over Sheff Weds.

This season for us is over as far as relegation and promotion is concerned but it's alive and kicking as far as crucial games involving promotion and relegation for other teams.

Well done Reading, good luck in the Premiership.