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Match Previews

FA Youth Cup Preview

12 February 2014

Royals U18s v Accrington Stanley U18s

Reading U18s vs Accrington Stanley U18s
FA Youth Cup Fifth Round
Madejski Stadium

Simply arrive on the night - it's just £3 for adults to watch, £1 for concessions with parking at the stadium completely free of charge. Supporters can enter the ground via West Lower Gate 4 turnstile for the fixture, though fans must purchase their tickets from the main ticket office beforehand. Tickets can be bought from 6pm, up until 7.30pm for any late arrivals. The Royals Megastore will also be open on the evening.

All parking is completely FREE of charge to all supporters.

Team News
The Royals are in good health for tonight's fixture. Liam Kelly, Jack Stacey, Aaron Kuhl, and Tariqe Fosu were all rested for the under-18s' 2-0 league win over West Brom on Saturday. Front man Harry Cardwell, who missed the fourth round victory over Crewe, has recovered from injury and played against the Baggies. Sammi Fridjonsson, who was set off in the same game, is now available once again after serving his three-game suspension.

How we got there

THIRD ROUND: The Royals kicked off their 2013/14 Cup campaign in superb fashion, as they cruised past a talented Leeds United side to book a fourth round place.

Harry Cardwell gave the Academy the lead after 16 minutes, finishing coolly after a well worked team move involving Sammi Fridjonsson and Liam Kelly. United grabbed an equaliser as the impressive Eoghan Stokes drove to the edge of the box before sending an unstoppable daisy cutter past Lewis Ward. Leeds did come out of the blocks quickly after the interval, but found themselves behind again, as Reading's latest Icelander Fridjonsson unleashed his secret weapon!

The technically gifted midfielder hurled a huge, Rory Delap-esque throw into the centre of the box which the home side couldn't deal with, allowing Fosu top bundle home. Kelly made it three by capitalising on some uncertainty from the Leeds backline, and the Royals never looked likely to relinquish their lead - as Cardwell fired wide, before Fosu also missed out on a brace as his long ranger pummelled the crossbar. 3-1 it finished – and certainly a performance to warm the cockles on a freezing cold Yorkshire evening.

FOURTH ROUND: Reading's youngsters came through a dramatic Fourth Round tie victorious, winning 4-2 on penalties after Crewe came from behind three times during an entertaining encounter at Madejski Stadium.

Nana Owusu scored a stunning opener, but Callum Saunders scrambled home to level just after the hour. Liam Kelly looked to have earned the under-18s a place in the Fifth Round when he hammered home another wonderful effort after great work from Jack Stacey on the right, but in the 89th minute Alexandra took it to extra time when Ward saved from Jones only for it to fall for Saunders who converted from close range.

Stacey put Reading into an extra time lead only a minute into the second 15 minute period, coolly sliding a third into the bottom left corner but Sammi Fridjonsson was shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident with five minutes remaining and Fraser Murdoch headed home in the dying embers of extra time to take the game to penalties.

But Reading didn't miss from the spot, scoring all four of their spotkicks to allow Lewis Ward the match-winning save, pushing Louis Johnson's low strike wide of the right post. The Royals will now host either Accrington Stanley or Bristol City in the next round of the FA Youth Cup after an enthralling night at Madejski Stadium.

The opposition - Accrington Stanley

Accrington Stanely will provide a tough test for our youngsters after overcoming Bristol City in the last round and seeing off Carlisle United, Ilkeston and West Ham United in the earlier stages.

The 4-1 triumph over Bristol City last week saw Max Hazeldine hit a sublime hat-trick to continue his immense form this season. Captain Liam Goulding also found himself on the score sheet to round off a fantastic fourth round tie.

Stanley are unbeaten in their last six league games and have suffered only one defeat in their last 11 games which was their first game back in the New Year against Blackpool FC. The Red’s are currently 10th in the Youth Alliance table.

Journey to the Fifth Round
First Round: 3-1 vs Carlisle United (H)
Second Round 1-0 vs Ilkeston (A)
Third Round: 2-1 vs West Ham (H)
Fourth Round: 4-1 vs Bristol City (H)

One to watch: Striker Max Hazeldine

EPPP Status: Category 3 (provisional)

Previous Champions

Manchester United can claim to be the tournament’s most successful club, having lifted the trophy on ten occasions. Names to have graced the final include George Best, John Barnes, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Frank Lampard, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, and Gareth Bale. The current holders are Norwich City, who defeated Chelsea 4-2 in last year’s two legged final. The Royals thrashed Brentford 5-1 away from home to progress to the fourth round, only to succumb in somewhat unfortunate fashion to a 2-0 home defeat to Bolton at the next stage.

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