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Match Previews

Liverpool 1/4 Final: Preview

12 March 2014

Info for tonight's Youth Cup clash

Reading U18s vs Liverpool U18s
FA Youth Cup Quarter-Final
Wednesday 12th March, 7pm
Madejski Stadium

Adults: £3
Concessions: £1

As per FA regulations there will be a small charge for entry to this fixture. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 0844 249 1871, visiting Reading FC Direct or coming to the ticket office in person. Seats can also be purchased on the night for no extra charge. Gates open at 6pm - with turnstiles entry at the East Stand gates 7 and 8.

All parking is completely FREE of charge to all supporters.

Reading Buses -  F1 bus from the Old Bus Station at Garrard Street, Reading Station to Madejski Stadium - first bus at 5.45pm, the last bus will leave the Old Bus Station at 6.45pm. The match is due to finish at 8.45pm, the bus will run a shuttle service until 9.25pm. However, as this is a cup match, there may be extra time and/or a penalty shootout. If this happens the bus will run for 40 minutes after the match finishes.  Adult single £3.50, Child single £2.00, Adult return £4.00, Child return £2.50.

Greenwave Service - The frequent service  leaving Station Road Stop EF (outside Nationwide), last bus to make kick-off departs at 6.44pm. A returning Greenwave Service (50e via Kennet Island) will also be running a short walk away, departing from Costco (not Madejski Stadium) after the match at 9.07pm, 9.37pm and 10.09pm.  Adult single £1.90, Child single £1.00, Adult return £3.00, Child return £1.50.

Team News
From the Royals U18s side that beat Norwich 4-1 in the league on Saturday, midfielder Sammi Fridjonsson was the only absentee from what would have been the same XI that defeated Accrington Stanley in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup.

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.

FIFTH ROUND: Our under-18s breezed into the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup, comprehensively beating Accrington Stanley to set up a mouth-watering last eight tie with Liverpool.

The Royals were dominant from start to finish and Jack Stacey handed the home side a deserved lead on the stroke of half-time when he swept home after a deep Aaron Kuhl cross had caused confusion in the Stanley box.

Nana Owusu doubled the hosts' advantage midway through the second half, drilling a thundering right-footed effort towards the bottom right corner from 25 yards out and goalkeeper Kieran Wolland unable to keep it out.

Harry Cardwell added a third when he glanced Stacey's cross inside the left upright with his chest - and it could have been more. Liam Kelly and Aaron Kuhl struck the crossbar, Cardwell forced a fine first half save from Wolland, Stacey saw a shot cleared off the line and Fosu had a number of penalty appeals waved away.

In front of the watching Nigel Adkins, Andy Crosby, Sal Bibbo and Dean Wilkins, our under-18s were in total command and with that win have equalled the club's best ever run in the FA Youth Cup to date.

The opposition - Liverpool

EPPP Status: Category 1

One to watch: 16-year-old strike Harry Wilson - the youngest ever player to make a senior appearance for the Welsh national team.

Fifth Round: 2-0 vs Watford (A)
Fourth Round: 3-1 vs Aston Villa (H)
Third Round: 3-3 (4-3 on pens) vs Blackpool (A)
Reds' journey to the quarter-finals

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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