Stadium Stories | City vs. Reading
Ahead of our trip to Reading on Saturday, we take a look back at our previous visits to the Royals' former home of Elm Park, as well as our recent trips to the Select Car Leasing Stadium...
City were welcomed to Elm Park, formerly the home of the Royals, for the very first time on April 21st, 1930, in a mediocre season for Fred Stewart’s side.
The Bluebirds went into the fixture at Reading having won two of their previous five league games, including a 3-1 victory over Millwall and a 2-1 home victory over the Royals a fortnight prior.
However, Stewart’s men were unable to secure another win over Reading, falling to a 2-0 loss in front of 18,112 supporters on the penultimate day of the league season.
The 1929/1930 campaign was a difficult one for City, having been relegated from the First Division the previous year.
Despite finishing the season in 8th position, eleven points behind the promotion places, the Bluebirds did manage to claim some silverware by winning the Welsh Cup.
Stewart's men reached the Final for the fourth consecutive season, and recorded a goalless draw with Rhyl, necessitating a Replay. However, this was not played until October 1930, with the Bluebirds eventually coming out 4-2 winners.
With the Royals moving to their new home, the Madejski Stadium, in August 1998, City’s last league meeting at Elm Park came on April 9th, 1994.
In an entertaining contest, the Bluebirds managed to salvage a point after an own goal from Reading defender Jeff Hopkins cancelled out an earlier strike from Michael Gilkes, in front of a crowd of 7,129.
Under the guidance of manager Eddie May, City finished the season in 19th place. Despite a low league finish, the club did, however, enjoy a fine FA Cup run that season, with a famous home wins over Manchester City.
The two sides met for the final time at Elm Park in 1998, in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. After the initial tie ended 1-1 at Ninian Park, the Bluebirds and the Royals played out another draw, with the same scoreline, in Berkshire.
Carl Dale had put City ahead after 40 minutes, but, following Trevor Morley's second-half equaliser, the fixture went to penalties, with the hosts triumphing 4-3.
The Bluebirds were first welcomed to the new-look Madejski Stadium on March 25th, 2000, with City looking to create new history against the Royals.
In front of 10,004 supporters, a second-half strike from Jason Bowen, who went on to make 134 appearances during his five-year tenure with the club, secured a fantastic 1-0 away victory.
The ex-Reading midfielder struck on 58 minutes to secure a vital victory for the Bluebirds in their bid for survival in the Second Division.
Similarly, to the 1929/1930 season though, City were unable to muster a strong run of league form in the month of April, suffering five defeats from the remaining eight league fixtures of the campaign.
It was also the season that saw the club part company with manager Frank Burrows, before swiftly appointing Billy Ayre as the club’s new Head Coach. Unfortunately, City finished the season in 21st place and were relegated to the Third Division.
In City’s most recent encounter with Reading, the Bluebirds travelled to the Select Car Leasing Stadium in April this year.
City fell behind in the opening 10 minutes in Berkshire; a clever exchange between Tom Ince and Andy Yiadom culminated in Yiadom crossing perfectly for Lucas João to head home at the back post.
City hit back in the second half, when Alfie Doughty scored his first goal of the season. The loanee latched onto Joe Ralls' pass and curled the ball beyond Ørjan Nyland.
Substitute Will Vaulks went on to net a dramatic late winner just five minutes from time, as he calmly struck the ball past the outstretched ‘keeper to give City a late lead.