Noel Hunt

Noel Hunt

Noel Hunt made a dream debut for Reading on Tuesday of last week. He scored two goals for his new club in Sweden during a pre-season game but on Tuesday of last week he really got off the mark when he scored the winning goal for The Royals against Dagenham and Redbridge in the Carling League Cup.

When he netted the goal he ran to his brother Stephen to celebrate what was an historic goal for the Hunt family because it was the first time the two brothers had played together in a competitive match. Noel was due to take his place in the Reading squad for the opening game away to Notts Forest on the opening day of the league but he missed out due to a slight injury. Needless to say he was extremely happy when I spoke with him on Wednesday morning last.

“We took the lead after half an hour through James Henry but they equalised midway through the second half. I hit the post afterwards and I thought it was going to be one of those nights because I also hit the post against Aston Villa in a friendly game the previous week but thankfully I was in the right place to score the winner in the last minute. It was a wonderful feeling. Dagenham and Redbridge really put it up to us but I felt we were the better team all through. Hopefully we will build on this result.”

Noel moved from Dundee United a few weeks before the new season and he is trying to settle down in the Reading area. “It has been a bit hectic since I came here. I am staying in Stephen’s apartment at the moment and looking around at places to buy. The market over her is a bit mad at the present time,” said Noel, who was looking forward to the All-Ireland hurling semi-final.

The draw for the next round was pretty kind to Reading and indeed Hudersfield and Sunderland, two clubs who have Waterford born players on their books. Reading will play at home to Luton Town, a club who made the news for all the wrong reasons recently as they were deducted 30 points prior to the start of the season. Their chairman is the TV personality Nick Owen.

Mixed fortunes

Sunderland and Daryl Murphy head to Roy Keane’s old club, Notts Forest. Huddersfield Town and Jim Goodwin (they defeated Bradford 4-0) in the opening round probably face the hardest match as they will welcome Championship side Sheffield United to the Galpharm Stadium.

Daryl Murphy was named in the starting eleven by Roy Keane as Sunderland open up their Premiership campaign at home against Liverpool. Daryl has been a long time supporter of Liverpool and he almost scored with a fine header against his boyhood heroes after 13 minutes when he rose to meet a cross from El-Hadji Diouf, who was making his debut for the Black Cats, but goalkeeper Pepe Reina got down well to save from the former Waterford United striker.

Roy Keane was happy with the performance despite losing the game 1-0 to a late goal from Fernando Torres. Next Saturday Sunderland play away to Spurs.

Both Stephen and Noel Hunt played a part in Reading’s first league win of the season in the Coco Cola Championship. They drew their opening game away to Notts Forest.

They had home advantage against Plymouth and they won 2-0. Stephen created the first goal when he sent over a corner kick which was headed home by Ibrahima Sonko after 13 minutes. Reading’s second goal was a carbon copy of the first with Sonko again heading home another right win flag kick taken by Stephen on 49 minutes. Noel came on to replace Leroy Lita on 88 minutes.

Jim Goodwin headed to Colchester with Huddersfield Town and for the second week running they had to settle for a draw in League One. The game finished scoreless. They had played out a draw with Stockport County in the opening fixture. Jim left Scunthorpe United to sign for Huddersfield and he will have taken note that his previous club are pointless following their two opening games.

John O’Shea reversed roles with Michael Carrick on Sunday in the Premiership. Carrick came on for John the previous week in the Community Shield final.

On Sunday last Carrick made way for the Ferrybank man midway through the first half. It was a disappointing result perhaps for Manchester United as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Newcastle United. Man of the Match was the Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given and shortly after the game he jumped on a plane with John O’Shea as they made their way to Malahide to join up with the Irish squad ahead of the midweek game in Norway.