Mon, Aug 21, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Reading take a successful bow in England's top flight

AGENCIES

Reading overturned a two-goal deficit on Saturday and beat Middlesbrough 3-2 in its first ever English Premier League match on the opening day of the season.

Reading was struggling at home when Stewart Downing and Aiyegbeni Yakubu scored for the visitors in the first 21 minutes. But Dave Kitson and Steve Sidwell scored before halftime and Leroy Lita added the winner in the 55th minute.

Reading manager Steve Coppell said his team's poor start was the result of having to wait 135 years to get into the top flight.

"It's a proud moment for the club to have our first game in the top division," he said. "After 20 minutes, 2-0 down, we were really anxious and jittery. That was a byproduct of the buildup and how this game had been put into such an elevated position and the players couldn't really express themselves properly."

"But at 2-0 down we just wanted them to play. We know where we are and what we want to do," he said.

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