Goals from Lucas Piazon, Alex Fernmandez and a hat-trick from striker Matej Vydra earned the Royals a Fourth Round tie against Walsall with a comprehensive win over ten man Huddersfield Town on Tuesday evening.
An explosive start to the tie saw Huddersfield take total control with a high left-footed opener from Jamie Paterson and then a low drilled effort from Tommy Smith putting David Wagner's men 2-0 up in the first 15 minutes. But Jonathan Hogg dragged an escaping Matej Vydra over and after the defender was dismissed Lucas Piazon pulled one back by nestling a crafted free kick inside the left upright.
Before the hour, Reading had levelled thanks to a counter attack started and finished by Matej Vydra and, minutes after equaliser, Vydra had a second when he turned home Ola John's low cross from close range. Vydra completed his hat-trick to put the tie to bed late on and Alex Fernandez capped off what ended a great evening at Madejski Stadium with a wonderful 25 yard finish for five!
Royals boss Brian McDermott named an unchanged eighteen, starting with the same side that narrowly lost at MK Dons last weekend and opting for the same set of substitutes to boot.
But the first half got off to a bad start when the visitors took an early lead. Wells in space laid the ball off for JamiePaterson
, who had broken the deadlock in the first tie up in West Yorkshire ten days previously. He took a touch forward and rifled a left-footed effort high inside Al Habsi's near post to give the Terriers the lead.
Town were very much on top and the crossbar came to Reading's rescue a quarter of an hour in when Huws' glancing header beat Al Habsi and bounced off the crossbar. It was punched clear of danger by Al Habsi but Tommy Smith
got the ball to feet moments later, 20 yards out and drilled a low effort inside the bottom left corner of the goal to double the visitors' advantage.
It could have been three when Wells was played in behind Ferdinand, but Al Habsi was off his line to smother well as Wells tried to touch it past him and go through on an open goal.
Al Habsi was keeping Reading's FA Cup campaign alive, saving low at his left upright from Paterson and then Dempsey as David Wagner's men chased an harried their hosts off the ball the moment it arrived at at a Reading boot.
But with 25 minutes gone, Reading were handed something of a route back into the tie. A lovely neat piece of skill from Vydra took him away from one man and in behind the Town defence. As he scurried towards the box, Jonathan Hogg seemed to drag the frontman back and he was shown an immediate red card for denying Vydra a clear goalscoring opportunity.
And Reading pulled one back from the resultant free kick to take full advantage of Hogg's error. Lucas Piazon
stepped up and curled a beautiful set piece over the all and into the top left corner with Joe Murphy rooted to the spot.
The Royals pressed hard for an equaliser, stretching the play by attacking from one wing then the other, but a couple of McCleary crosses were well defended before the winger had to hobble off and be replaced by Ola John.
Huddersfield weathered that storm and after Williams had arrowed high over the bar in the last of three minutes of injury time the teams went into the dressing room to recompose themselves.
Half-time: Reading 1 Huddersfield Town 2
Less than two minutes into the second half and a quite brilliant save from Murphy denied Reading a leveller. Taylor crossed from the left after Ola John had been stopped in his tracks as he squirmed into the area had been cleared to the left-back and Hal Robson-Kanu got above his man to power a good header on target from six yards out - but somehow a one-handed stop from Murphy kept Town ahead.
Williams had a shot charged down, John fired over from range and Vydra raced onto a Norwood ball but tried a first time lob from a very difficult angle that sailed over the target.
But the Royals were not to be held at bay for much longer and found their equaliser before the hour. Breaking from their own half, Vydra flicked the ball into John who raced 40 yards deep into Town territory and he found Robson-Kanu to his right. HRK too a touch then pulled the trigger and although Murphy punched his shot away from goal it dropped kindly for Vydra
who had continued his run from the back to hook home from six yards out.
And soon after the hosts had the lead. Hal Robson-Kanu had a shot blocked but John raced onto it and cut the ball inside from the byline where Vydra
was on hand to turn home from yards out and make it 3-2.
Huddersfield almost responded immediately. Wells found space between defenders to run in behind the back line once more and this time Al Habsi couldn't get there to smother his effort. Wells dinked it over the onrushing keeper and watched as it cannoned into the left upright to Reading's relief.
Murphy thwarted a Vydra hat-trick when the Czech striker brought down a nice ball forward but saw his hooked effort sharply palmed away by the Town stopper, then the lively striker was almost threaded through by Piazon and Reading looked to put the tie to bed.
Wagner made a double substitution, bringing Miller and Cranie on in an attempt to turn the tide, while McDermott introduced Alex Fernandez for the final ten minutes.
Robson-Kanu took aim from the left but his effort deflected wide, then Williams drilled just wide from the subsequent corner. And Gunter tried his luck when space opened up in front of him on the right, only to fizz an effort over.
A low save to his left saw Murphy prevent Robson-Kanu adding a fourth with three minutes left on the clock, but with Reading in cruise control Vydra completed his treble to make it 4-2 when he was threaded in from midfield, turned inside the last man and swept the ball past Murphy.
Given a song and an ovation as he left the field as an injury time substitute, Vydra had helped the Royals set up a home tie against Walsall to be played on Saturday 30th January...but there was still time for Fernandez
to drive home a fifth from 25 yards out, bulleting the ball into the bottom left corner.
Full-time: Reading 5 Huddersfield Town 2
Reading: Al Habsi, Gunter, Taylor, Ferdinand, Cooper, Norwood (c), Williams, McCleary (John 43), Robson-Kanu, Piazon (Fernandez 79), Vydra (Sa 90).
Subs: Bond, Keown, Quinn, Cox.
Huddersfield Town: Murphy, Smith, Lynch, Davidson, Hudson (c), Hogg, Dempsey (Cranie 76), Huws, Paterson, Lolley (Whitehead 29) (Miller 76) , Wells.
Subs: Allinson, Husband, Holmes, Bojaj.
Referee: Mr Oliver Langford
Att: 8,119 (635 away)