Play-Off Final Review – Reading Fan Reflection On Defeat (Interview)

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The parties in Swansea may have ended but the smiles on the faces of their fans are probably still as broad as they were the moment Scott Sinclair sealed his hat-trick on Monday.

The pain of defeat however can take longer to heal and Kristian Downer was able to cajole one Reading fan Russell Hammat sharing his thoughts on the game, his experiences watching from Wembley and his hopes for the future.

Hi Russell firstly commiserations and thank you for your time, after a few days to recover how are you feeling?

Not as bad as i thought i would – getting in the playoff’s this season was above expectations really especially after Gylfi was sold so on reflection it wasn’t a bad season.

I’ve also had a chance to watch the highlights and that’s actually made me feel a bit better because we had a lot more chances than i thought we did but i also saw that both penalties were the right decision – the first one was right in front of me but with only one split second chance (and a fair few pints) to see it was hard to tell but clearly it was the right decision – 2nd one was other end of the pitch so we couldn’t really tell but again it was a stone wall penalty.

So although we lost there are positives to take from both the game and the season as a whole.

Where did you watch the game?

I was in Wembley about 4 rows back from the goal sat almost right behind it. It was a phenominal experience, i’ve been to Wembley before but it has never been an atmosphere like that.

Can you explain the atmosphere inside the ground, for those of us watching on television?

Incredible, i’ve never experienced anything like it. Before the game we were at a Reading designated pub where spirits were high with lots of singing and laughter.

Then on the way to the ground there was just a feeling of hope running through the fans, before kick off it was unreal hearing the 80,000+ crowd in full voice (even Sir John was dancing!), it was electric.

Feeling the highs and lows with 40,000 other Reading fans was something i’ll never forget.

What were your thoughts on the start to the game, Reading started brightly but the goals were a killer, did you have any hope at half time?

From the moment i heard Jimmy Kebe was starting we thought we had a chance, his pace provides such a fantastic option and the first 10 mins made it look like we had a real chance, even after the penalty was given we still held hope.

Then 2 minutes later hope slow started draining away, 2-0 down looked like a mountain to come back from.

By half time it was one of the worst possible positions to be in but still there was faith amongst most of the Reading fans – we’d beaten Doncaster 4-3 after being 3-0 down and drew with Norwich 3-3 after being 3-0 down however those games were at home and clearly not the same magnitude as this match.

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