Reading's Garath McCleary scored what could have been the Championship goal of the season in the 58th minute of Saturday's match against Burnley. Even if there were more spectacular goals this year, none had this goal's combination of excitement and importance. It was the equalizer for Reading in the 58th minute, and when it went in, it vaulted them up to the final promotion playoff place.
Their fans, as expected, were absolutely thrilled. Reading kept a good part of their squad together after getting relegated last season and could push for promotion again next year, but they're not in the best financial shape in the world. Long-time chairman John Madejski is seeking new investment after Russian businessman Anton Zingarevich played a part in sacking Brian McDermott, then stopped putting funding into the club and disappeared. A playoff place could provide a massive boost for them and secure a bright future.
Reading fans thought they'd secured that playoff place.
OH MY GOODNESS. READING FANS INVADED THE PITCH WHEN THEY DIDN'T EVEN SECURE A PLAY-OFF PLACE. pic.twitter.com/1U6otORAXM— Phil (@DraxticMeasures) May 3, 2014
...but they hadn't. Apparently cellphone service at Madejski Stadium isn't great, because Reading's supporters didn't see that Brighton had scored against Nottingham Forest in stoppage time. And now they're in for a long summer, waiting to see what kind of promotion hopes they should have next season.