Scunthorpe United 0
Reading 1 (Taylor 85)
- Substitute Taylor stabs home 85th minute winner
- Federici makes top class save from Madden free-kick
- Cooper, Mackie, Tanner make full Royals debuts
- Long replaces Cummings at half-time to make his bow
Jake Taylor came off the bench to score his second goal of the season and earn the Royals a place in the Third Round of the Capital One Cup at Glanford Park this evening.
Nigel Adkins and Andy Crosby got a heroes' welcome from the Scunthorpe faithful upon their return to the club they served so well, but his substitute stabbed home a late winner to separate the sides in a scrappy affair.
Bobby Olejnik had been tested by Nick Blackman, Craig Tanner and Jamie Mackie, while Adam Federici had been forced into two smart saves from the lively Paddy Madden at the other end.
But it was Taylor's finish that earned a very young, inexperienced Royals their place in the hat and the draw for the next round will take place on Wednesday night.
Scunthorpe: Olejnik, Nolan, Addison, Canavan, Williams, Hawkridge, Bishop, McAllister, McSheffrey, Adelakun (Wootton 88), Madden.
Subs: Weaver, Dawson, Sparrow, Taylor, Featherstone, Llera.
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Cummings (Long HT), Cooper, Pearce, Akpan, Kuhl, Tanner (Edwards 74), Blackman, Cox, Mackie (Taylor 74).
Subs: Andersen, Griffin, Fosu, Stacey.
Referee: Mr K Wright
Attendance: 2,657 (219 away)
Any thoughts that either team were taking the Capital One Cup lightly were dispelled within the first ten seconds, when Gary McSheffrey went in late and high on Shaun Cummings as he cleared the ball from left-back. McSheffrey went into the book, Sean Long warmed up, but thankfully Cummings was fine to continue after a lengthy spell of treatment.
The front three combined well to earn the visitors their first shot on target - Cox bringing the ball down nicely, laying it off to Tanner, who fed Blackman in space, and the latter drove to the edge of the United box and saw his shot blocked out for a throw.
Akpan was the next to surge forward and create an opening, but Tanner's ball into Blackman took the forward away from goal. Moments later Adam Federici had to pull off a very smart save to deny a thunderous effort from Paddy Madden that looked to be sailing inside his left post.
Gasps from the home fans were heard as Nick Blackman unleashed a stinging 25 yard shot that whistled inches wide of the bottom right corner after a quarter of an hour. He tried his luck five minutes later from a similar position, but this time his effort flew high over the bar without concerning Scunthorpe keeper Bobby Olejnik.
The home side were growing in confidence though and Madden flashed an effort across the face of Federici's goal to win a corner. Madden rose at the far post to win the header from that corner, but couldn't direct it on target. McSheffrey had a better chance with a header from the opposite side of the penalty area minutes later, but placed his effort over the crossbar.
With a little more than minutes of the half remaining, the Royals almost broke the deadlock. Cummings beat his man down the left and delivered a lovely cross that Mackie met at the far post and Olejnik had to shovel around his post and behind for a corner.
Two minutes later though, Federici produced the save of the game to deny Madden from an exquisite set piece, the free kick curling over the wall and heading for the top right corner until our Aussie stopper pushed it wide at full stretch.
The towering presence of full debutant Jake Cooper was serving the visitors well at the back, with Russ Wilcox's men a constant aerial threat from corners and free kicks, and the teams went in level at the break.
Sean Long was introduced at the start of the second half, making his professional debut for the injured Cummings who adds his name to the long injury list.
And the home side almost made an ideal start when Terry Hawkbridge's free kick fell to the feet of Niall Canavan, who hooked an effort across the face of goal but just wide.
Tanner stung Olejnik's palms with a strike from distance that the United keeper managed to gather into his body well. The Scunthorpe stopper then had to hold onto a powerful right-footed drive from Blackman which threatened the United goal.
Adelakun then escaped Kuhl in midfield and sped forward, but his ball into Madden was tracked by Pearce who did enough to force the striker to shoot wide.
Tanner tried his luck from the edge of the area, but he snatched at the effort and it sailed high into the stands, while at the other end United's best opportunities continued to come from set pieces.
Gunter's overlapping run ended in a cross too close to Olejnik, Hawkridge arrowed an effort just over and all the time the prospect of extra time and penalties loomed nearer.
Jake Taylor and Ryan Edwards were introduced with a little more than a quarter of an hour of normal time remaining, but Neal Bishop came close to breaking the deadlock for the hosts only for his effort to deflect up off Alex Pearce and loop just over the bar.
Long's pull back from the byline was cut out just before it could reach Cox, then Gunter - now at left-back - cut inside and tried his luck from 25 yards out, but his effort flew too high.
Taylor then tested Olejnik's handling with a skidding effort that was gathered in. And Edwards weaved his way through a crowded box but couldn't get a shot away as the Royals pressed hard for a winner in the final ten minutes.
A wicked deflection almost caught Federici out at the other end, but the ball bobbled wide and the corner was wasted, but Reading were looking like the team most likely to nick a winner as time ticked away.
And so it proved. Ryan Edwards won a corner on the right and Blackman delivered it deep. Cooper came flying in at the far post and the ball bobbled loose in the six yard box for Jake Taylor
to stab home from close range.
Four minutes of injury time were signalled and despite Scunthorpe throwing bodies into the box, the Royals saw it out comfortably and progressed into the Third Round.