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18:30 27th February 2010

Report: Royals hit fabulous five

Reading 5 (Kebe 42, 71 Rasiak 45, 65 Church, 52)
Sheff Wed 0

Reading: Federici, Bertrand, Griffin, Ingimarsson, Khizanishvili, Kebe (Henry 73), Sigurdsson (Matejovsky 79), Tabb, Howard, Church (Robson Kanu 70), Rasiak
Subs: Hamer, Pearce, Matejovsky, Robson-Kanu, Henry, Bignall, Thorvaldsson

Sheff Wed: Grant, Spurr, Nolan, Hinds, Beevers , Gray (Clarke HT), Soares (Miller HT), O'Connor (McAllister 74), Potter, Tudgay, Varney
Subs: Miller, McAllister, Esajas, Clarke, Simek, O'Donnell, Boden

Attendance: 17, 573 (1,784)

Team News

Matt Mills missed out after failing to recover from a midweek blow at the Hawthorns, and was replaced by on-loan centre half Zurab Khizanishvili - who took his place alongside Ivar Ingimarsson. That was the first of two forced changes made by Brian McDermott, as Jobi McAnuff sat out the first of his three game suspension - with Grzegorz Rasiak stepping into a new-look 4-4-2 formation.

First Half

As expected after their midweek heroics the Royals started brightly, with Grzegorz Rasiak marking his return to the side with a brave header just over the crossbar from Gylfi Sigurdsson's early set-piece in-swinger.

Former Liverpool youngster Darren Potter did find space on the break to sting Federici's palms after a neat one-two on the edge of the box, as Wednesday showed some of the confidence that they had developed under new manager Alan Irvine.

It was Reading showing most of the intent however, as the same two combined again - this time Rasiak forcing Grant to tip over his bar after latching on to a looping left footer from Sigurdsson.

The action continued to come thick and fast in the opening fifteen as Michael Gray drove at goal to force Federici into a save low to his left, before Rasiak put in a defensive shift to clear away the rebound.

The Polish international seemed to be at the thick of everything, yet again forcing Grant into a close range reaction save after 22 minutes as he knocked goalwards from another pinpoint Sigurdsson corner.

Despite picking up a painful knock that required treatment from physio Luke Anthony Gylfi was a consistent creative spark, again centring from the corner flag for Simon Church to flick in on goal - though this time a Wednesday defender knocked wide of his own post.

That being the case it was another in-form midfield maestro that opened the scoring for McDermott's men - as Jimmy Kebe bagged his fourth goal in five appearances.

The Malian international skipped onto a dink from Jay Tabb before cutting back to his right foot and sending a shot towards goal from 25-yards. It took a hefty deflection of an Owls' boot which completely wrong footed Lee Grant, and rolled painfully slowly past the stopper's outstretched digits and into the net.

The first half action wasn't over and the Royals attacking force weren't done yet. Some more tricky from Sigurdsson allowed the Icelander to weave into the box before cutting back to the penalty spot, and although Church's first time effort was blocked by Grant Rasiak was alert and on hand to smash home a deserved goal.

Second Half

Sigurdsson picked up where he had left off at the beginning of the second period, curling a free-kick over the Owls wall to force Grant into yet another stop two minutes in.

At that stage if there was a spectacular goal to come, odds were it was going to come from Reading's resident Icelandic prodigy. However the fantastic third of the afternoon came from a young Welsh international - as Simon Church fired in his ninth of the season.

'Churchy' brought down an intricate Rasiak flick to race through on goal, and although at first he was forced to check back by the covering of Richard Hinds, Simon wasn't flustered as he spun on the edge of the box before swinging a spectacular 25-yard strike off the post and into the net.

Heads were down in the visiting camp, with Leon Carke's drag wide from an acute angle one of few efforts on goal from Alan Irvine's side.

Their spirits plunged further as the rampant Royals made it four with twenty five minutes remaining, Kebe once more showing blistering pace before squaring into the area - where Church's run through the Wednesday defenders off the sent enough for Rasiak to steal in and tap home for a brace.

There was no looking back. A comedy and calamitous error from the two Wednesday centre halves, who clattered into eachother 30 yards from goal, allowed Kebe to race through and calmly smash home his second of the day. Moments later he trotted off to a standing ovation from an appreciative Madejski Stadium, replaced by James Henry.

Darren Potter fizzed wide from distance in the 83rd minute as the Owls attempted to muster a consolation, but it was to no avail as the full time whistle signalled an end to a wonderful week for everyone involved with Reading Football Club.
    Data provided by Press Association