Remember the Game!
Saturday 23rd August 2003, Derby 2-3 Reading
This trip to Pride Park in August 2003 was the Scott Murray show. Making only his third appearance for the club the winger who had signed in that summer from Bristol City tore Derby apart, scoring twice and putting in a man of the match display.
The Royals took an early lead and it was another new boy who scored the goal, Sean Goater. Nicky Forster supplied the cross, or fed the goat if you will, and the striker did the rest. However minutes later we were pegged back after full back Ricky Newman gave away a penalty that was converted by Ian Taylor.
Murray then took over on the half hour and following a short corner routine (I thought we said they never work!) he broke into the area and scored his second goal for the club, following up his first the weekend before against Nottingham Forest.
We didn`t have to wait long for the third goal in blue and white hoops after Murray exchanged passes with Steve Sidwell, he extended the Royals lead before half time. It was one of the best performances for a while from the club.
Matt Svensson gave the Rams hope with an 81st minute strike but we held on and moved up to 2nd in the table after three games. We would continue on this good run until Alan Pardew left at the end of August and eventually under the stewardship of Steve Coppell we finished 9th that season, missing out on the play offs.