Coca-Cola Cup 2nd Round, 2nd Leg
3 October 1995

(READING win 5-3 on aggregate)
Att: 8,000

Reading stormed through to the next round of the coca-cola cup with an emphatic first away win of the season. All those who rushed to the bookie to put their life savings on a draw will be rather miffed. Reading used this game to return to form, to get back to the passing game and to win using it effectively.

The Royals took the lead after just 11 minutes when a flick on by Sir Jimmy found Archie Lovell just inside the box. Archie took aim and volleyed the ball into the corner of the net with his right foot. Reading continued to add the pressure and it could have been two shortly afterwards when Sir Jimmys shot was cleared off the line. The first half continued with Reading knocking the ball around comfortably. West Brom's supporters began to get frustrated with the lack of contribution to the game by the home side. Reading controlled the game with Gilksey's crosses looked dangerous.

Then all of a sudden, and just before the half time break, West Brom drew the scores level. The ball came over from a corner, Shepp didn't get it and in came Burgess for West Brom to make it all square at half time.

About 10 minutes into the second half Reading made it 2-1. Some West Brom defender stuck his arm into the path of the ball inside the area, and up stepped Sir Jimmy to continue his impressive contribution to the game by comfortably smacking the ball into the net. Quinn wasn't content with helping with one goal and scoring another and made sure he was up for yet another. Lamberts cross came over, no-one cleared the thing, and there was Quinn to put the ball into the back of the net. 3-1 to the Royals and we're storming.

With about 15 minutes left West Brom pulled one back (4-3 to the Royals on agg), but Reading still deserved to win the game and sealed it one minute from time to go through 5-3. Lambert went on another of his little runs, for about 35 yards, and then chose his spot to tuck the ball away to settle the game, and a rather splendid Royals performance. Not only did we win away but we deserved to, played some great football, and looked rather sexy. The draw for round three is Thursday morning - I just hope we don't get York!

Heres Nick Beckett's report. Unlike me he went to the match! ;)

West Brom (1) 2 v Reading (1) 4 A tremendous result this and one that ought to be repeated on Saturday if Reading play with anything like the conviction they showed last night.

The defence, strengthened by the return of Adie, but still missing Macca, may have been at fault with the West Brom goals. The first, on the stroke of half time, came from a corner. Burgess was left unmarked about 10 yards out and directed a header into the bottom corner of the net past a diving Sheppard. This equalized an 11th minute goal from Archie who scored with a right foot shot from the edge of the box when a poor clearance by Albion defender Mardon fell kindly for him. West Brom started brightly enough although failed to create any clear cut chances. Before the first goal, Gilkes might have scored when he cut in from the left and his shot across goal went agonisingly wide of the upright.

Reading got their passing game together and began to dominate, although West Brom had a couple of good chances to equalize before they did. At the other end, Jimmy missed a couple of chances when Paul Agnew cleared off the line twice.

The equalizer seemed to inspire Reading. They regained the lead in the 49th minute when Mardon handled. From then on Reading controlled the game. Jamie Lambert seemed to think he could walk past defenders as though they weren't there and proceeded to do just that. In the 66th minute a Gilkes run out of defence was followed by a clever flick to Lambert. He beat what seemed like 4 or 5 players and crossed to an unmarked Quinn who was able to hammer home from 8 yards - Jimmy doesn't miss those. Casual defending let Donovan in to give West Brom hope at 2-3 with 18 minutes left. However, it was Reading who finished strongest. Holsgrove, who appeared to lack confidence and speed in the first half, made several advancing runs but it was Jamie Lambert who again picked up the ball in midfield, beat several West Brom defenders on his way into the box and shot past the keeper to seal Reading's first away win on the season.

A memorable victory then at 4-2. West Brom were a poor team on the night and left alot of space for Reading to exploit. However, there are plenty of worse teams than this in the division. IMHO, on his performance in the last few games Lambert is more than an adequate replacement for Scott Taylor and should easily qualify for "Man of the Match" in this game. We hope for a similar result on Saturday.

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