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21:41 23rd August 2011

Royals knocked out by unbeaten Addicks

Charlton 2 (Benson 25, Euell 63)
Reading 1 (Morrison 72)

A goal on debut for Sean Morrison wasn't enough to prevent the Royals bowing out of the Carling Cup tonight in a 2-1 defeat to unbeaten Charlton at The Valley.

Chris Powell's men took the lead when Paul Benson bundled home from six yards out midway through the first half.

And the hosts added a second just after the hour when Jason Euell headed past Alex McCarthy at his near post to make it 2-0.

New signing Joseph Mills tested Hamer with a wonderful free kick, which led to the corner from with Morrison pulled one back - a stabbed right-footed finish reigniting the tie.

And although substitute Robson-Kanu saw a late header cleared off the line, Reading's Carling Cup journey was to go no further this season.

Charlton: Hamer; Francis, Evina, Doherty (Morrison 72), Mambo; Pritchard, Hughes (c), Green, Bover Izquierdo (Solly 88), Euell, Benson (Wagstaff 50).
Subs: Sullivan, Davisson, Popo, Warren.

Reading: McCarthy; Cummings, Harte (Mills 62), Morrison, Khumalo; Tabb, Howard, McAnuff (c), Obita (Robson-Kanu 62); Church, Manset.
Subs: Andersen, Pearce, Gunnarsson, Karacan, Hunt.
Yellow: McAnuff (time-wasting), Robson-Kanu (dissent)

Referee: D Whitestone
Attendance: 6,668

Starting XI team news
Brian McDermott made a total of eight changes to his starting line-up, handing full debuts to Sean Morrison and Jordan Obita, while McCarthy, Cummings, Tabb, Howard and Church all got their first starts of the season. New signing Joseph Mills was named on the bench. For the visitors, former Royal Andy Hughes wore the captain's armband, while Ben Hamer kept goal.

First half
The game began at break neck speed with chances at both ends in the opening few minutes.

Jobi McAnuff's low near post cross almost saw Manset flick an effort on target, but in the opening minute the ball took a slight deflection and bobbled just wide of the bottom left corner of Ben Hamer's goal.

At the other end, Paul Benson combined with Danny Green for the latter to turn inside his man and leather a left-footed effort just wide of the top left corner.

In only the third minute, play switched to the other end - Church bursting down the left and cutting a cross back looking for Obita, but Doherty was there to sweept it behind for a Reading corner. Swung into the box, Manset connected with his head and a Charlton leg had to hack the ball off the line at the far post to ensure the visitors didn't take the lead.

Good defending from Morrison saw him get a sliding block in to prevent a golden opportunity for Benson in the middle, and McCarthy had to come off his line to save well in a one-on-one opportunity with Jason Euell soon after.

On the quarter horu mark, Tabb found Church in the middle but Hamer was out quick to deflect it away from Church's feet and Howard then tested Hamer with a well-struck left-footed effort capping off a mazy run - the former Royals stopper turned the strike around his left upright to concede a corner.

But the deadlock was broken by the hosts after 25 minutes. Paul Benson ghosted in behind the Royals' back line to latch onto a harmless downward header and an onrushing McCarthy could only race off his line and palm it against Benson's body, the ricochet unfortunately rolling into the Royals net.

A quite spectacular overhead kick from Shaun Cummings on his own goalline prevented Athletic from doubling their lead on the half hour mark. Bradley Pritchard cleverly lofted the loose ball from McCarthy's punch over the stranded stopper but Cummings produced acrobatics to hook it off his goalline.

As half-time approached, it took an outstanding save from Hamer to deny Reading an equaliser. The lively Howard powered a wonderful 22-yard effort that seemed destined for the top right corner until Hamer's hand somehow tipped it wide.

Second half
McDermott's men began the second half well, keeping possession well and almost carving out two opportunities in a matter of minutes - McAnuff twice crossing to Church, who couldn't get his head to the first at the far post, but who glanced a diving near post header just wide with the second.

Just before the hour, Manset powerd through two or three challenges to win a free kick on the edge of the area. Harte stepped up and curled a good effort over the wall but just over the crossbar too.

At the other end, Scott Wagstaff saw a good chance from the edge of the area headed over by Cummings and McCarthy had to make a excellent save from a swerving Ruben Bover effort.

He could do little to keep out Jason Euell's near post header however, which made it 2-0 on 63 minutes. The Addicks fans went wild and knew their Valley hero had given the hosts a valuable cushion in an open and entertaining Carling Cup tie.

But the Royals kept pressing and came inches away when substitute Joseph Mills swept a stunning left-footed free kick towards the top corner, only for Hamer to tip the new signing's fierce effort over the bar.

From the resulting corner, the Royals did have their goal - McAnuff's inswinging delivery fell loose inside the box and Sean Morrison acted quickest to stab home from eight yards out - the man on the line unable to to anything other than head it into the roof of his own net.

And McDermott's men came agonisingly close to a leveller soon after. McAnuff's deep corner was headed goalwards by Morrison. Half-headed clear, substitute Hal Robson-Kanu directed a good header towards the right side of the Addicks goal, only for a defender to alertly nod it off his own goalline.

At the other end, Bover came close to forcing home a tie-clincher from a tight angle, clipping the left post with a left-footed effort instead. But in the end, it wasn't needed and Charlton will host Preston North End in the Second Round.

    Data provided by Press Association