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22:55 11th August 2009

Report: Comprehensive cup win

Reading 5 (Mooney 6, 77, Bignall 7, 9, Sigurdsson 27)
Burton 1 (Phillips 59)

A youthful Reading side progressed to the next round of the Carling Cup in style as we thrashed League newcomers Burton Albion 5-1 at Madejski Stadium.

Reading were 3-0 up with only nine minutes gone, two of those goals going to Nicholas Bignall. David Mooney helped himself to two goals on the night, but the best was a stunning 35-yarder from Gylfi Sigurdsson.

All goalscorers were making their first starts in a Reading shirt, and there were also full debuts for goalkeeper Ben Hamer, who made a couple of cracking stops, and Matt Mills, who got a solid 90 minutes under his belt and looked comfortable defending and with the ball.

Nobody begrudged Burton their consolation on the hour, Jimmy Phillips' 20-yarder taking a massive deflection and wrong-footing Hamer into the net.

Overall it was a very satisfying evening for those supporters who showed their loyalty by turning out, and we progress into the next round with a spring in our step.

Reading (4-3-3): Hamer; Rosenior, Armstrong, Mills, Pearce (c); Harper, Matejovsky, Sigurdsson; Henry, Bignall (N Hunt 62), Mooney
Subs: Andersen, Cisse, Davies, Tabb, Kebe, Antonio

Burton (4-4-2): Poole; Corbett, Boertien, Branston (c), Austin; Penn, McGrath, Maghoma, Simpson; Walker (Phillips HT), Pearson
Subs: Stride; Knowles; James; Phillips; Redmond; Edworthy
Booked: Simpson (foul 65)

Attendance: 5,893

Ref: G Ward

First half
Burton began the game with a spring in their step and had a couple of half chances and shots on goal - but the visitors' optimism was shattered on six minutes when we took the lead with our first shot on goal.

Gylfi Sigurdsson played David Mooney into the box with a nice sidefoot pass, and even though the angle was not easy for our Irish striker, he worked himself some space and lashed high into the roof of the net with a good finish.

Within a minute it was 2-0 and another player making his full debut was on the scoresheet. Marek Matejovsky put Nicholas Bignall in on goal with a nice pass, and our striker, just turned 19, was simply too quick for the visiting defence and raced clear before slotting home nicely.

Incredibly, it was then 3-0 with only nine minutes on the clock. Another Matejovsky pass caused problems, and 46-year-old 'keeper Kevin Poole was unable to gather as he came out of his area. It ran free for Bignall, who calmly slotted home for his second of the night.

Reading supporters were looking for a cricket score at this point, but Burton's Greg Pearson still forced Ben Hamer into a brilliant low stop in the home goal.

Just before the half hour it was 4-0 thanks to the best goal of the night. Sigurdsson picked the ball up perhaps 35 yards out from goal, and smashed home a brilliant right-footed effort that went in off the post; Poole no chance. It was some strike and truly unstoppable.

Before half time Bignall was close to his hat-trick, Poole making a top drawer save down to his right to palm away his 20-yarder as it fizzed goalwards.

Second half
Reading began the second half with plenty of possession, as you would expect, and Sigurdsson was twice a little off target, once wide and once over.

Just shy of the hour our visitors had an unlikely consolation - and nobody could really begrudge them the stroke of luck that saw Jimmy Phillips' shot deflect in, possibly off teammate Guy Branston. No matter who it hit, Hamer had no chance as it nestled into the net.

Albion then enjoyed themselves for a few minutes and knocked a few passes about - but normal service was resumed on 77 minutes. Sigurdsson played in sub Noel Hunt over the top, and he got a good shot away that Poole could only parry. Mooney was in a poacher's position to turn it home from two yards and notch his second of the night, and the second of his Reading career.

James Henry was not too far away from adding a sixth, and it was a comfortable night in the end.

Credit must go to Burton for their second half performance, but we were far too strong and our supporters enjoyed a pleasant evening of incisive football.

    Data provided by Press Association