Royals win Mad Stad classic
30th October 2010
A late winner from Simon Church secured all three points in an amazing game at the Madeski Stadium, that saw the Royals come from 3-1 down to win 4-3 against Doncaster. Matt Mills had given us an early lead before Donny hit three unanswered goals that put them on course for the win, but the Royals never say die attitude kicked in and goals from Jam Karacan and Ian Harte levelled matters before Church struck his second goal in two games.
With Jimmy Kebe again missing with a knee injury, Brian McDermott opted to name the same side than thrashed Burnley last weekend with Chris Armstrong returning to make up the full quota of substitutes. We started well and from a Brian Howard free kick, Matt Mills tapped in from a yard out to give us the lead against his former club, and the goal owed a lot to a great header back in from Shane Long.
Doncaster equalised though with their first real attack of the game and it was former Bournemouth striker James Hayter who rose unmarked to head home past Adam Federici. Before the interval we were behind after a free kick drifted into the area saw us fail to pick up defender Shelton Martis who scored.
With McDermott`s team talk still ringing in their ears you would have expected us to come out of the blocks and get ourselves back in the game but just two minutes later we were 3-1 down after Dean Shields scored a fine individual goal, after some poor defending allowed him in.
Noel Hunt and Simon Church were thrown on for Shane Long and Jay Tabb and by the time the hour was on the clock we had got ourselves back in the game, and it was Hunt who set up midfielder Karacan who scored with a neat header.
We continued to press for the equaliser and when Jobi McAnuff was fouled on the edge of the box it gave Ian Harte the perfect opportunity to score with his dead ball expertise, and he did not disappoint. A curling left foot effort found the back of the net and sent the home fans into delirium.
Michail Antonio was thrown on for Hal Robson Kanu and it was the former Tooting and Mitcham man who created the winning goal with just two minutes left. Brian Howard played him in and Antonio squared for Church to tap home, a goal the Welsh striker clearly enjoyed.
This will go down as a classic game at the Madejski Stadium and one in which the Royals showed fantastic character to bounce back from 3-1 down, and seemingly out of the game. We will need to tighten up at the back, but in this goal scoring form we will be a match for QPR next weekend!