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Flashback: The last time the Royals met Colchester

16 June 2015

Turn the clock back to January 2002

Reading will take on Colchester United in the first round of the Capital One Cup in August, in what will be the first competitive meeting between the two sides in over 13 years.

They last met at Madejski Stadium in January 2002 where a rampant Royals side comfortably dispensed of their Essex counterparts by three goals to nil.

Alan Pardew’s side came into the clash having won six Division Two matches in a row, all without conceding a goal, and they made that seven with a performance of real dominance.

Prolific striker Nicky Forster found the net twice, with midfielder Andy Hughes also on target, as the Royals extended their lead at the summit of Division Two to nine points.

Four days earlier, the club picked up a 2-0 win at Wigan Athletic and Reading would go on to secure promotion to the Championship with the famous 1-1 draw at Brentford on the final day of the season.

Pardew reintroduced captain Phil Parkinson into his midfield for the visit of Colchester and they almost grabbed an early lead with Ady Williams going close with two headers.

A low cross from Forster found Tony Rougier, who couldn’t get his shot away and Hughes was then denied by a smart stop from visiting goalkeeper Simon Brown.

Reading went ahead on 38 minutes, and in controversial circumstances. Hughes swung in a cross from the left, which was blocked by the arm of a Colchester defender. A penalty was awarded and up stepped John Salako on his Royals debut.

His tame spot-kick was saved by Brown but, after consulting with his linesman, the referee ordered a re-take for encroachment. Forster took over responsibility and drove home from 12 yards. 

Williams nodded against the post from a Salako cross moments into the second half and on 48 minutes the Royals doubled their lead.

Hughes whipped in a deep cross from the right. It deceived Brown and a combination of the keeper’s hands and the crossbar resulted in the ball dropping into the net. 

Reading made it three with an excellent flowing move 20 minutes from time. Graeme Murty stormed down the right wing and crossed for Forster, who struck home his seventh goal in just four matches.

Reading: Roberts, Murty, Williams, Mackie, Shorey, Igoe, Hughes, Parkinson (Jones 72), Salako, Rougier (Cureton 60), Forster (Henderson 74).
Not used: Ashdown, Gamble.

Colchester: Brown, Halls, White, Fitzgerald, Duguid, Keith (Johnson 55), Stockwell, Izzet, Bowry (Pinault 77), McGleish, Barrett.
Not used: Morgan, Williamson, Coote.

Attendance: 12,743

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