A bit of a strange one this, with Reading fans getting just a little bit over-excited over what happened at St James Park last month.

Maybe even more embarrassing than Jaap Stam saying that their team deserved to win, the reaction of some Reading fans to an incident in the first few minutes of the game is impressively over the top.

Newcastle eventually won the match 4-1 but after only two minutes it looked as though Dwight Gayle had given Newcastle the lead with a headed goal from a right wing cross.

The referee gave the goal and with no flag from the linesman, it was all a little strange when after the Reading players made their feelings known, the match officials then conferred.

The goal was not given and Dwight Gayle booked, the TV replays later showing that the Newcastle striker had clearly handled the ball.

reading fans

A classic case here of the match officials not realising what had happened but having a word in their ear from the fourth official, even though this allegedly doesn’t happen…

The Reading players were understandably angry when the goal was originally given and their behaviour has led to the club receiving a nominal £5,000 fine from the FA.

Case closed surely…but not according to some Reading fans with nothing better to do.

This opinion piece appearing on the Get Reading website:

‘The Football Association’s outrageous decision to fine Reading for ‘failing to ensure its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion‘ against Newcastle last month sums up the state that organisation is in.

Yes they are trying to make a stand this season about respecting officials and I have nothing against that – but they have to show some common sense and look at each situation individually.

When Dwight Gayle blatantly punched the ball into the net from a right-wing cross, it was clear to the whole stadium that a handball had taken place.

I was sitting in the press box, level with the halfway line and just behind the dug outs. It wasn’t the best of views yet it was still crystal clear what had happened.

Gayle celebrated like he had won the world cup (I’ll get to that in a minute) and Reading were quite understandably furious. The players raced over to Madley to complain, as you would expect given they had just suffered a major injustice.

And it’s a good job they did because those complaints led to Madley heading over to talk to his assistant and the ‘goal’ was correctly ruled out – and Gayle was booked.

Now I don’t know exactly what was said to Madley by certain players during those protests, but in that sort of scenario it would be almost impossible to keep your head and complain rationally.

If anyone should be getting fined it’s him, or Gayle for his blatant cheating.

What sort of example is that to set to the several thousand aspiring footballers who were probably in the 48,000 strong crowd with their parents?

If Gayle had anything about him he would now offer to pay Reading’s fine himself. It’s his despicable act of cheating which has led to this fine.

He let his fellow professionals down and now Reading are being forced to suffer the consequences. So Gayle should do the right thing, he should get in contact with the club and get his chequebook out.’

We are of course talking about two different things.

Dwight Gayle cheated and was caught, the punishment as always in these cases being a yellow card. We all want to see cheating stamped out and most fans would prefer harsher punishments for the offender but this is what the rule currently is.

As for the behaviour of the players, this is a separate issue.

Not much point in only looking to punish players when they misbehave only after nothing of substance has happened! It is exactly these type of instances where the authorities are looking for players to still respect the match officials even when they get things wrong and/or simply haven’t seen what actually occurred.

Clubs such as Arsenal and Manchester United clearly had a policy in the past of trying to intimidate match officials in an attempt to ensure they improved their chances in any situation, whether they were guilty…or the referee was.

If say Newcastle had scored a last minute winner with a Dwight Gayle handball which wasn’t then picked up on, then we can all relate to a feeling of injustice.

However, when the offence was spotted and dealt with, only for Newcastle to then go and stick another four legitimate goals in the Reading goal, there really isn’t anything to get too excited about…