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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
20:00 16th March 2015

We are on our way to Wembley!


  • Robson-Kanu heads Royals into early lead
  • Deflected McCleary strike makes it 2-0
  • Morais sent off for high challenge on Chalobah
  • Mackie makes it 3-0 with low fizzing drive
  • Reading will take on Arsenal in historic Wembley semi-final

We're going to Wembley! Reading Football Club will take on Arsenal in the semi-final of the FA Cup after reaching the last four for only the second time in the club's history with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Bradford City.

Madejski Stadium was bouncing after two goals in the opening ten minutes handed the hosts the upper hand. Hal Robson-Kanu glanced home an inswinging corner from the left to break the deadlock between the sides and when Garath McCleary's deflected strike looped over Ben Williams it looked like the replay was going the hosts' way.

Adam Federici had little to do in the opposite goal and when Filipe Morais was sent off for a high challenge on Nathaniel Chalobah, Jamie Mackie hammered home the killer blow with a well-taken third.

The Royals are on their way to Wembley next month and a vocal Madejski Stadium celebrated seeing their side make a little bit of history. Our FA Cup adventure continues...



Reading: Federici, Gunter, Obita, Pearce, Hector, Williams, Chalobah, McCleary (Norwood 86), Robson-Kanu (Blackman 82), Mackie, Pogrebnyak (Yakubu 89). 
Subs: Andersen, Cooper, Karacan, Cox.
Yellow: Williams

Bradford City:
Williams, Darby, McArdle, Sheehan, Meredith, Liddle, Morais, Halliday (Yeates 58), Knott (Dolan 73), Hanson, Stead (Clarke 58)
Subs:
Urwin, Zoko, MacKenzie, Routis
Yellow: Knott, Sheehan, Meredith.
Red: Morais

Att: 22,908 (3,348 away)



First Half

The early exchanges suggested that both teams were in store for another high octane physical affair and after Hal Robson-Kanu's burst down the left had been delivered into the box but not found a way to Pogrebnyak in the middle, Mackie won a corner on the same side with another good break.

And from that set piece, Reading opened the scoring. An inswinging delivery found the head of Robson-Kanu and the ball skidded past Ben Williams and into the back of the net to set Madejski Stadium alive.

Bradford reminded the home crowd of their aerial threat moments later when Stead crossed a good ball into Hanson who directed a header back across Federici's goal but the Aussie stopper gathered it with ease.

And after ten minutes, the home side had a second. McLeary cut in from the right and let rip with his left foot, and taking a deflection off a Bradford City leg it looped up and over Williams and it was 2-0!

With 20 minutes on the clock, Williams was forced into action by his namesake - Danny pulling the trigger from 25 yards out and the Bantams stopper doing well to palm a swerving effort away from goal.

A feisty occasion got more so with both Billy Knott and Danny Williams receiving yellow cards for dissent and Pavel was pushed by a disgruntled Gary Liddle after one of countless aerial scuffles.

Alan Sheehan then went into the book for clattering into Mackie, something he did moments after getting the yellow card inside the Bradford area but no foul was awarded.

With five minutes of the first half remaining, Robson-Kanu raced forward down the middle and looked to weight a ball into the path of Mackie, but Williams was off his line quick to gather the ball in before Mackie could get a toe to it.

McCleary then beat his man after collecting a recycled corner that he had taken but arrowed over the bar from the edge of the area with a powerful but rising left-footed drive.

Before the first period could finish, Adam Federici had to cut out a low cross from Knott on the byline, doing well to cling onto the ball with Stead loitering.

Second half

McCleary was proving hot to handle and Meredith's name was taken when he brought the wing wizard down early in the second half. And Pogrebnyak tried a speculative effort from wide out on the right as the Royals looked to add to their advantage.

Mackie won a free kick which Chalobah arrowed high over from long range, while Phil Parkinson made a double change, bringing Billy Clarke and Mark Yeates on with half an hour remaining.

But Bradford's hopes of a comeback took a turn for the worse when Filipe Morais was sent off for a high foot on Nathaniel Chalobah.

And it didn't take Steve Clarke's rampant Royals long to capitalise, scoring a third which all but secured the Royals' path into an FA Cup semi-final! Chalobah brilliantly won the ball and skipped past two men before sliding into the feet of Mackie who drilled low right-footed past Williams to make it 3-0.

Reading began to pass the ball about nicely, Mackie heading close to a fourth only for Williams to pluck the ball from the air on his line. Bradford had little in reply and the final whistle sounded to a raucous reception.