Goals from Hal Robson-Kanu, Garath McCleary and Jamie Mackie gave Reading a victory against Bradford City in a F.A Cup quarter-final replay.
Reading started the game very strong and were clinical with their shooting. Garath McCleary was the first to get a shot off for the Royals in the 2nd minute which was drilled just wide of the post.
The early pressure paid off as in the 6th minute a corner as a cross by McCleary was met by Hal Robson-Kanu. The midfielder headed the ball from the left side of the six yard area to the centre of the goal to make it 1-0.
Bradford almost achieved an instant comeback a few minutes later as Jon Stead managed to whip in a cross to James Hanson. He headed the ball towards the bottom right corner of the goal but, it was saved well by Adam Federici.
Reading made the game 2-0 in the 9th minute as McCleary was played in by Chris Gunter and got a lucky deflection, after a brilliant piece of skill, to loop the ball over the perplexed goalkeeper.
The game fell a bit scrappy then as James Hanson believed that Pavel Pogrebnyak went down to easily whilst on the ball. The Russian seemed to put himself between the defender and the ball and went to the floor with very little contact. Hanson had a talk with the referee but, no card came from this.
In the 19th minute, Daniel Willliams got that game back on track as he hit a right footed shot from outside the 18-yard box which the keeper outstretched his arm to keep the Bantams in the tie.
The game was delayed for a few minutes as Bradford’s midfielder James Meredith picked up a minor injury but it didn’t seem to harm him to much as he seemed eager to carry on.
Reading’s centre-backs had the Bradford attack covered for most of the first half and this was well displayed in the 27th minute as Steven Darby played the ball in from a cross and Michael Hector easily dealt with it and cleared the ball.
The 28th minute saw Bradford take a corner and two of their players went down in the area. The referee decided to give a free-kick to Reading as he saw the Bradford attackers grab hold of Reading’s defence. Billy Knott was booked for dissent on the referee and others were got warnings.
Bradford got another player in the book on the 32nd minute as Alan Sheehan leapt over Jamie Mackie and fell on top of him. The defenders legs hit the Reading striker on the way down and a booking was produced.
Moments later, Mackie was appealing for a penalty as he went down from another tackle by Sheehan but no-one else appealed for this call.
After a string of fouls tainted the game, McCleary challenged the League one sides defence again as he cut in from the right side, like his goal in the opening minutes, and the shot flew over and wide of the target.
Reading seemed to get back into their attacking stride in a late first half push as in the 42nd minute; Jamie Mackie was unlucky as he was caught just offside by a Robson-Kanu through ball.
The first piece of play in the second half was yet another offside for Reading as Michael Hector tried a through ball towards Mackie but, he was unable to hold his run.
James Meredith was the third Bradford player to be booked by Mike Jones in the game as had to stop McCleary on his attacking run but he mistimed his challenge and dropped the attacker.
Pogrebnyak took a left footed shot in the 55th minute from a difficult angle but, it was hit way too high and ended up being a poor effort.
Another injury delayed the game slightly as Michael Hector stopped the game as he was in a collision which he received a knock to the head.
The 62nd minute saw a rough tackle by Filipe Morais as he studded Nathaniel Chalobah in the ribs and got an instant red card. The referee first thought about getting his yellow card out but, it seemed like the Reading players that instantly chased him made him take out his red card.
The game fell quiet for a few minutes until Jamie Mackie touched down a lobbed pass from Chalobah and placed a right footed shot into the near post to make the game 3-0 in the 68th minute.
Reading stopped the flow of play as they controlled the speed of the game with great possessive play and took a few shots that didn’t really trouble the keeper.
Bradford tried a late push to get a handle on the game and try a comeback but Gary Liddle’s left footed shot from outside the area but it was off target.
Jamie Mackie tried to extend the lead with 10 minutes to as he took a header from the centre of the box and the keeper dived to the top left corner of the goal.
Bradford didn’t really come back from the early push from Reading. Reading did well to keep hold of the ball for most of the game and didn’t allow the Bantams to get many shots off.
Reading will be playing Arsenal in the semi-final at Wembley which will be taking place on either 18th April or 19th April. The other semi-final will be played between Aston Villa and Bolton/Liverpool.
|Reading (3)||Bradford City (1)|