AFTER a day where winter had roared in with the first significant snowfall of the year, we made our way down to the Unibol for arguably the most important match of our season so far.

No ifs and buts, Reading – only one point above us in the league – just had to be beat.

If we are to stand any chance of avoiding BWexit, then we have got to beat our relegation rivals at home.

The defence more or less picked itself with the injuries to Ben Alnwick and Mark Beevers but Phil Parkinson managed to find a well-earned place for Luca Connell to bring some freshness and creativity to the side.

In what can only be described as a dreadful first half, we were lucky not to go in at half-time two goals down.

Reading controlled the possession, leaving us chasing shadows and when we did get the ball, we gave it back far too easily.

We upped our game slightly in the second half but time and time again, the quality in the final third of the pitch let us down.

The one ray of hope seemed to be Connell, who was beginning to get some telling passes in.

Then, for reasons only known to the manager, he took him off, much to the crowd’s disapproval.

Maybe he was saving him for the youth cup match on Wednesday evening, which would seem to be an extraordinary decision, given the parlous state of the first team.

Almost immediately, we gave away a penalty and things began to look very bleak indeed.

It was left to Jack Hobbs to salvage a point with a very late equaliser, well into stoppage time.

With 17 matches to go, it is looking very ominous. It is difficult to see where the next point is going to come from.

February looks particularly bleak and I don’t mean the weather. We would be lucky to pick points up in those next five matches, if we were playing well.

I am not hopeful we can bring someone in the last two days of the transfer window who can make a significant difference.

I hope I’m wrong but generally you don’t find a Lionel Messi in the beg, steal or borrow market that we are in.

It’s not over yet but morale is hitting rock bottom amongst the fans. We need something to lift us.