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22 January 2020 Venue The City Ground Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - Championship

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Match Previews

🏆 Ahead of the game | Bluebirds back in town for FA Cup

Royals get ready for cup action this weekend

24 January 2020

Reading's seventh match in January so far will see attention turn back to the Emirates FA Cup, with familiar opposition heading to Madejski Stadium on Saturday...

Interviews

🗣️ Bowen | “We want to progress – and it’s important to our fans”

24 January 2020

Reading vs Cardiff City
Emirates FA Cup, Fourth Round
Saturday 25th January 2020, 3pm
Madejski Stadium

Reading's Emirates FA Cup run continues against a Cardiff City side that were also taken to a replay by lower-league opposition in the Third Round, eventually overcoming Carlisle United of League Two in a 4-3 thriller at Brunton Park.

This will be the Bluebirds' second visit to the Madejski this season, and they will be hoping for a happier return than their first.

A brilliant brace from George Pușcaș was supplemented by a strike from John Swift in the Sky Bet Championship back in August, with the Royals running out as 3-0 winners in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

With a hectic schedule in league and cup, both managers may choose to rotate their squads as the teams go in search of a place in the last 16 of the world's oldest cup competition.

Both sides will be battling to be ball number 9 in Monday's Fifth Round draw, with Reading buoyed by a late Sam Baldock equaliser at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night.

With excellent ticket prices and a place in round five at stake, we would love to see you here to back the boys on Saturday afternoon.

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Tickets

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We are offering superb ticket prices for Saturday's Emirates FA Cup tie, with Adult tickets costing just £10 before 12noon on matchday. 

Prices will rise from midday on Saturday, so make sure you contact our Ticket Office and buy your tickets soon to get the best value for the weekend's cup tie.

For full ticket information, including prices and how you can buy online, head here.

You can also visit our Ticket Office during their opening hours or ring 0118 968 1313.

A reminder to all supporters that seating will be reserved for this fixture.

Pre-match chat

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Travel

Parking paid on site on arrival on a first-come first-served basis at the cost of £10. There are also other options off site for our fans including buses and Park & Ride.

Please note that contactless payments are now being accepted for matchday parking at Madejski Stadium and the Old Greyhound Stadium.

For details on your full range of travel options, head here.

Match officials

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Marc Edwards will be the man in the middle on Saturday afternoon, as he takes charge of Championship teams for the first time this season.

The official is currently in his first season of EFL appointments too, predominantly overseeing matches in League One and League Two after progressing from two seasons in the National League.

Mr Edwards officiated an all League One encounter in the Third Round of the FA Cup a few weeks ago, as Portsmouth progress with a 2-1 win away at Fleetwood Town.

He will be flanked on the touchlines by Nigel Lugg and Craig Taylor, with Ollie Yates on hand as fourth official at Madejski Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Weather

READING MADEJSKI STADIUM

Food & Drink

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Make sure you follow @bluecollarfood on Twitter to find out their latest news, where they’ll be announcing what fantastic food outlets will be located where for the first fixture.

Also, please note that for the 2019-20 season, we are prioritising contactless card payments on kiosks within the concourses at Madejski Stadium - meaning quicker service for all. There will be only one cash till per kiosk so please ensure you have card payment if possible.

EFL clubs united in tackling discrimination

The EFL and EFL Clubs are united in tackling discrimination and prejudiced behaviour in all its forms and are reminding supporters that no forms of abuse will be tolerated ahead of this weekend’s fixtures.

Everyone attending or taking part in a football match has the right to feel safe, valued and included and supporters are therefore being reminded of the positive steps that can be taken on matchdays.

The EFL have suggested a protocol for supporters to follow if you ever find yourself needing to report discrimination of any form at a match, which you can find by clicking here.

Matchday itinerary and opening times

Fanstore - 9am - 5.45pm (approx.)
Ticket Office - 
9am - half-time
Hospitality - 
12.30pm - 6.15pm
Jazz Café - 
12pm - 6pm

Fan Zone and Fun Zone open - 
1pm onwards
Gates open - 
1.30pm
Teams announced - 
2pm
Kick-off - 
3pm
Full-time - 
4.45pm (approx.)

Final F1 bus to Reading Station - 5.41pm

Reminder

We wish to politely remind supporters that the football club is responsible for their conduct at all matches (home or away) and any person committing a football-related offence or involved in serious misconduct at any match will result in a club ban. Examples of serious misconduct include discriminatory, offensive or abusive chanting, entering the pitch, persistent standing and throwing a missile. Supporters witnessing any incidents of serious misconduct are encouraged to report this to the football club by texting 80800, beginning your message with the word SAFE.

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Match Reports

📰 Baldock fires in merited leveller against Forest

Report from the City Gro

22 January 2020

Sam Baldock came off the bench to earn the Royals a point in our long-awaited rearranged game at Nottingham Forest.

In circumstances similar to our recent meeting with the Reds at Madejski Stadium, it was Forest who went ahead first at the City Ground as former Royal Lewis Grabban poked the hosts ahead late on.

But resilient Reading stuck to their mettle and rescued a point when Baldock’s control and finish earned the Royals a share of the spoils – a point being a well-merited reward for another strong showing under Mark Bowen's stewardship.

After the weekend’s fixture at Millwall, there were fresh legs amongst the Royals’ XI – George Pușcaș and Jordan Obita were each handed starts, as was Michael Olise for the first time in the Championship this season.

Baldock and Charlie Adam each took seats on the bench, as did the returning Lucas Boyé, while Yakou Méïté was absent due to a family bereavement.

Just 11 days after the sides met at Madejski Stadium, it was Forest who got the ball rolling on a mild evening at the City Ground. But it was Reading who threatened first, as a free-kick from deep by John Swift had to be desperately taken off the head of Michael Morrison on the far side.

And then Swift was afforded space to shoot himself; after some strong forward play by Pușcaș and link-up by left-sided duo Tyler Blackett and Obita, Pelé found his midfield teammate in space but the shot flew over.

The Royals were the side on the front-foot and quietened the home crowd; Olise’s dogged play turned over possession in the Forest half, and this time Swift was able to find the target; goalkeeper Brice Samba read the flight well.

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Olise was offering a positive input on the ball – his dissecting pass found Ejaria upfield, and then sprinted onto the return. He rounded one challenge with a shimmy but had his shot blocked; so close to a fabulous first goal as a pro.

It wasn’t until the 20th minute that Forest mounted their first meaningful attack, and Rafael had to be equal to it as Matty Cash fed Joe Lolley inside – a howitzer towards the near post needed palming behind for a corner.

That effort lifted the home crowd, and the Reds kept the pressure on. Soon they had a free-kick just outside the area, and a cross-shot from the free-kick by Lolley curled just past the far post.

Reading had had the better of the opening 20 minutes, but suddenly Forest were looking likelier. Pelé had his name taken as he pulled down Ben Watson; Lolley’s effort from the free-kick struck the wall and Tiago Silva’s follow-up – a dipping, rocketed half-volley – wasn’t far over.

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The momentum was swinging to and fro, even though the scoresheet remained blank. Ejaria’s strength and balance allowed him to ride a challenge and set Obita away on the left, who flashed an effort across goal and marginally wide of target.

The fourth official’s board went up to show an added minute – and a bizarre minute it was indeed. First, Lolley’s effort from a central area was sliced so wildly that it turned into a completed pass for Watson – and his attempt was equally awry as he swiped at thin air.

That allowed Reading to counter; Ejaria darted half the length of the pitch, and Obita eventually picked up from Swift – a low, swirling effort was kept at bay by Samba in a rather unorthodox manner. Goalless at the interval.

Half-time: Nottingham Forest 0-0 Reading

Both sides were unchanged after the interval - and less than two minutes after the restart, there was a worry as Cash arrived late into a challenge with Obita. Inexplicably the referee didn't even award a free-kick, but mercifully the Royals wide-man was okay to continue.

Much like the first half, the Royals began the second in good knick - using the ball intelligently and working the Forest defence.

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And a loose pass from a red shirt gifted Reading a great opportunity - deep in his own half, Olise spotted Obita pulling wide and raked a 50-yard pass into his path. Obita took it in his stride, but under pressure he could only find the gloves of Samba.

Then Olise had a chance of his own from a set-piece. It was Swift's driving run which drew a foul - and a yellow for Yuri Ribeiro - but a curling shot didn't have the dip to trouble the goalkeeper.

The home supporters were appealing for a penalty for a spot-kick midway through the second period, as Lewis Grabban flopped to the ground with former teammate Liam Moore in close proximity. No interest shown by the officiating team.

With the clock ticking into the final quarter of an hour, the game was becoming increasingly stretched as both sides targetted what could be a match-winning goal. Pușcaș was withdrawn in a straight swap for Baldock.

Once again Reading had been matching their automatic-chasing opponents every step of the way - so it felt like a real stomach-punch when it went in. Ribeiro's low cross was scuffed across goal by Sammy Ameobi - that turned into an inadvertant pass for Grabban who gladly turned in at the far post.

But that resolve that Reading have shown in recent months shone through again. Obita temporarily found himself on the right flank and drilled in a cross, which Baldock controlled at his midriff, spun towards the byline and smashed in through Samba. A desperate clearance wasn't in time to prevent the ball crossing the line.

Not a great deal of action at either end in the closing stages; both teams defending well and preventing their opponents from getting anything more.

For the Royals, the least that was deserved. The ovation from the travelling hordes a reflection of the effort and desire that was put in over 90 minutes against a promotion-chasing side.

Full-time: Nottingham Forest 1-1 Reading

Nottingham Forest: Samba, Ribeiro, Worrall, Grabban, Watson, Cash, Ameobi, Dawson (c), Sow (Carvalho 61), Lolley (Adomah 89), Silva.
Unused subs: Smith, Jenkinson, Semedo, Yates, Chema.
Goal: Grabban (80).
Yellow: Ribeiro.

Reading: Rafael, Gunter, Blackett, Moore (c), Morrison, Pelé, Swift, Ejaria, Obita, Olise (Loader 90), Pușcaș (Baldock 77).
Unused subs: Walker, Miazga, Rinomhota, Boyé, Adam.
Goal: Baldock (84).
Yellow: Pelé, Ejaria.

Attendance: 27,840 (808 away).

Referee: Mr D Webb

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