We've won 3-0

Ian Wright - got his first home goal
Since the first of those more recent meetings in 1980 we have met eleven times at the Turf and we’ve won just three of them, but all three wins have been by the same 3-0 scoreline.

The first of them was in our 3rd Division Championship season of 1981/82 in a game covered by Granada TV who prior to kick off highlighted three teenagers who they thought had a big future in the game. They weren’t bad judges with Kerry Dixon and Neil Webb lining up for the Royals and Trevor Steven for us.

It was Trevor who came off best that afternoon as the Clarets won comfortably. Two early Billy Hamilton headers put us well in command and a late third from Kevin Young completed the scoring. The only disappointing news on the day was an injury to Vince Overson that was to keep him out of the side for just about a year.

We didn’t beat Reading, home or away, again for eighteen years and again we were on the way to a promotion from the same division. All three goals that day were headers and the third was a goal that the Burnley fans had been waiting for a month.

Steve Davis got the first eight minutes before half time and Andy Payton doubled the lead early in the second half. It all looked to be ending that way until a ball came back at our number 33 who headed in the simplest of chances to make it three.

Number 33 – we were still getting used to the fact that Ian Wright played for Burnley, and after scoring a vital equaliser in midweek at Gillingham, this was his first Turf Moor goal. It was simple, nothing like the spectacular goal he scored against Notts County, but the ground lifted as the former England striker went crazy.

Two seasons ago, in front of a crowd of less than 9,500 on a specially cheap ticket night, it was 3-0 again but this time we were hardly chasing a promotion. We were struggling near the bottom of the league and hadn’t recorded a single win in the previous eight games.

We were soon in front and it came from a corner, yes a corner for those who don’t believe we ever profit from one. But this was a bit different. Robbie Blake took the kick on the left but it was knocked out of the box by a defender and back to Robbie. He crossed again and this time his cross found no one, not even Reading keeper Marcus Hahnemann as it sailed into the net.

It was still 1-0 at half time but in terms of the football the game was going to form and the Clarets had hardly been in it and could hardly believe they were in front at the interval but after the restart the scoreline didn’t remain 1-0 for long.

Within seconds of the restart Glen Little forced Hahnemann into a top save with a header and just a minute later it was 2-0. The visiting keeper blocked a run from Ian Moore and the ball dropped for Richard Chaplow some 25 yards from goal. Chappy produced a stunning chip and we were well and truly in the driving seat.

Richard Chaplow - got the second with a stunning chip
Reading went straight down and hit the post but with less than ten minutes gone in the second half it was all over with a goal that came from a Robbie free kick although was deflected by Luke Chadwick and credited to the loan man for his last Burnley goal.

Three goals up and we’d been second best, but there was no way back for Steve Coppell’s team and three substitutions made no difference. Burnley were back to winning ways.

That’s it now, all the wins covered, and it’s not always been that good. There’s been a couple of mind numbing 0-0 draws, one of which was last season, there was the 1-0 defeat in the 1993/94 season when Adrian Heath was sent off because Shaka Hislop ducked, and then there was one of our 2002/03 throw one in days three years ago last month.

It came just three home games after a 6-2 defeat to Rotherham, something that we didn’t think we would repeat. We had no idea the sevens were on their way in April. This time we kept it to five as Reading went away with a 5-2 win. I’m not saying it was bad but manager Stan Ternent said after the game, “The crowd were leaving early, I wish I could have joined them.”
We were 3-0 down just after half time but pulled it back to 3-1 and then, after a good spell, got a real chance to get back into the game with a penalty.

Blake had been substituted and the duties had passed to Paul Cook. However Greek striker DImitri Papadopoulous snatched the ball from Cooky and demanded to take it himself.

He’d done this at Gillingham a couple of months earlier but Blake had wrestled the ball from him, Cook though didn’t bother and Papadopoulos’ penalty was weak and straight at the keeper. Thanks said Reading and added goals four and five before we got a consolation in stoppage time from Dean West.

It’s our heaviest defeat ever against Reading, and certainly we don’t need a repeat this weekend.