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Serie B - Week 15 - November suits Reggina, draw with Torino leaves them three games undefeated and into third place

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By Richard Hall

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Reggina have been in good form of late and a 1-1 draw this weekend at home to Torino leaves them only five points off the top. With their next fixture taking them to league leaders Novara they will be looking to end the month in good shape.

Reggina are based in Reggio di Calabria which is right on the toe of the peninsula and only 15km across the strait of Messina to Sicily. Based along the Aspromonte mountain range the city is both the largest and oldest in the region. It is within this beautiful setting that Reggina Calcio were formed back in 1914 and, despite many name changes, there has still only been one club that the city has pinned all its hopes on. The Amaranto play their football in the Stadio Oreste Granillo which holds 27,763, the stadium was constructed in 1999 on the same site as the old Stadio Michele Bianchi.

Reggina have mainly plied their trade in Serie B although they managed to break into Serie A for the first time in 1999. This only lasted two years and they were soon back in Serie B before returning to the top flight again in 2002. During the next seven years Reggina fought bravely against relegation and even managed to survive the 2006/07 season despite being docked 11 points for financial irregularities in the Calciopoli scandal. In this period the team had fielded some big names including Shunsuke Nakamura, Mohamed Kallon, Martin Jiránek, Andrea Pirlo and Marco Borriello amongst many other household names. In 2009/10 they found themselves back in Serie B and despite a bright start could only finish a disappointing 13th, but this season has been quite different.

The first four games this season must have made the Reggina faithful feel that it was going to be the same story as last year. An opening-day draw with Crotone was followed by a defeat to Siena, three points were gained at Piacenza before they found themselves at the wrong end of a hammering away at Padova. It was after this however that Reggina stopped the rot, and in the eleven games that followed they recorded seven wins, three draws and only one defeat. Highlights of this run were the 4-0 demolition of Modena and Triestina and a nail biting 3-2 thriller at home to Vicenza.

Torino had come to the Stadio Oreste Granillo knowing that they would have to be at their best to beat the in-form Reggina, a 3-0 defeat away at Livorno was the only blot on an otherwise superb record for The Amaranto. The game could not have started any better for the home side when after only four minutes a deep, looping cross found the head of ex-Sampdoria front man Emiliano Bonazzoli, who directed his header perfectly over Davide Bassi for 1-0. Torino soon got themselves back into the game when ex-player Rolando Bianchi managed to react quickly and smash a deflected ball quickly past Christian Puggioni. Alessio Campagnacci came close for the home side just after but could not keep his shot down before, to the dismay of the Reggina fans, Emiliano Bonazzoli went off injured. Torino nearly came close when Danilo D`Ambrosio went on a mazy run only to find Christian Puggioni more than equal to the challenge. The Reggina custodian went on to make two more superb stops in what was a man of the match performance and this was enough to give the home side a point against a persistent Torino side.

Reggina will be pleased that they did not throw this game away and will be looking for a more attacking display against league leaders and in-form side Novara this weekend. The trip to the Stadio Silvio Piola will not be an easy one but Reggina are finding their feet, they will also be happy of how the defeat to Livorno was dealt with and the fact that they bounced back well. All these factors should give the Amaranto confidence that they have what it takes to maintain form throughout this very long season. A win at Novara may just be a catalyst to spark a very successful season that may soon see this club from Reggio di Calabria playing the likes of Inter and Juventus next season.

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