News and Views

FA Cup Embarrassment

08 January 2022
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading sunk to new low after Kidderminster pulled off a deserved victory to dump the Royals out of the FA Cup in the third round. Reading were second best to a side a massive 79 league places behind them, and there were no positives to take from the match which also saw Araruna pick up a serious knee injury shortly after coming on as a second half substitute. Alen Halilovic was also forced to leave the pitch with an injury leaving Paunovic with more problems as he attempts to keep out of the bottom three in the Championship. Paunovic opted for a mix of experience and youth but it was still a reasonably strong side that featured Rafael in goal and Holmes, Drinkwater, Dele-Bashiru, Halilovic and Puscas in the starting eleven. Despite the injury problems we are suffering and the recent issues with Covid at the club there was still no excuse for the manner of defeat against the National League North side, who are the lowest positioned side left in the competition and will now go on to face West Ham United at home.

At half time it looked like Reading might do enough to scrape through after taking the lead immediately before half time. Puscas scored his first goal of the season with a solid finish after narrowly staying on-side and neutrals would have expected Reading to see out the win in the second half. However Reading are not good at holding on to leads, regardless of the opposition, and Kidderminster were by far the better side in the second half. Reading's defence struggled to cope with the pace of the Harriers attack and they could have gone level after a great run down the right saw the Reading defence in chaos and the shot just wide of the post. The home side did draw level on 69 minutes when Rafael failed to hold a shot from the left inside of the box which he really should have saved with the ball squeezing through under his body. Bad turned to worse with eight minutes left on the clock when Reading failed to deal with a corner from the Kidderminster right which was somehow bundled over the line. The goal sparked jubilation in the home crowd but they had to wait for 12 minutes of stoppage time before they could celebrate their win - 12 minutes in which Reading did very little to threaten a late goal.

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