Royals strike double dutch to dismiss ArgyleReading coasted into the next round of the EFL Cup this evening with a comfortable 2-0 win over Plymouth Argyle coming courtesy of first half goals from Joey van den Berg and Roy Beerens.
The Royals broke the deadlock when Van den Berg glanced home John Swift's free kick with a well-placed header, then fellow Dutchman Beerens also opened his account with a left-footed drive past Vincent Dorel.
Argyle couldn't muster any sort of response as Reading were simply too good for their League Two visitors, and Reading's name will be in the hat when the draw is made tomorrow evening.
Manager Jaap Stam made five changes to the side that started against Preston at the weekend. Anssi Jaakkola made his Royals debut between the posts, while Jake Cooper and Tennai Watson came in at the back. Yann Kermorgant was handed a start up front, while Callum Harriott made his full debut in Reading colours out wide.
Ten minutes played and John Swift collected a throw from Tennai Watson, turned and scurried into the box only to be crowded out eventually just before he could pull the trigger.
Five minutes later, the Royals had the lead! Harriott was dragged back out on the left to win a free kick and Swift delivered a delightful set piece into the box. Joey van den Berg rose high to glance the ball past Vincent Dorel and into the net with ease. His first goal in Reading colours and the opener on the night.
Reading were comfortable in their lead and looking for a second. A lovely ball through the middle found Beerens breaking in behind the back line, springing the offside trap. He teed up Harriott for a shot but Dorel was equal to it, diving to his left to parry the full debutant's drive.
Before the half hour mark, Reading had their two-goal cushion. Gunter got in down the left, turned his man and shot right-footed, but Dorel palmed it away well. It only fell as far as Beerens though, who arrowed a sweetly struck effort through a crowd and past a helpless Dorel for 2-0.
It could have been 3-0 moments after the restart. Watson delivered a nice cross from the right flank and Kermorgant leapt to get his head on it, but nodding it back across goal the ball floated just wide of the right post.
It was Williams' turn next. Swift scuttled from left to right across the edge of the penalty area and threaded a ball into the run of Williams, who shot first time with the outside of his boot. But Sonny Bradley did enough to block the shot to take the sting out of it for his keeper.
Half-time:Reading 2-0 Plymouth Argyle
The same pattern followed at the start of the second half with a ruthless Reading side retaining possession very well. The first glimpse of goal fell to Harriott who cut onto his right boot and drilled an effort at goal, only for Dorel to get down well to save low to his left.
At the other end, Argyle were struggling to register a shot but an outswinging corner was met by the sidefoot of Sonny Bradley, the ball flying high over the bar without troubling Anssi Jaakkola.
Yakou Meite was brought off the bench to make his Royals bow, but it was David Goodwillie who nearly pulled a goal back when a free kick found its way to him at the far post and he fizzed an effort into the side netting on the hour.
His first touch won a free kick, then his second involvement saw him bring a crossfield pass from Cooper under control and then pass a low cross into the box that deflected towards goal off an Argyle leg. Dorel tipped the ball around the base of his let upright.
Meite wasn't afraid to pull the trigger. He forced Dorel into a neat save after he was played in by Swift with little over 20 minutes remaining.
Then Swift skipped in between two players and into the box, before rifling low at goal from a narrow angle - the ball was charged down and flew behind for a corner.
Anssi Jaakkola enjoyed a very quiet debut between the posts and Tennai Watson produced a fine defensive header in the final throes to deny Argyle any late route back into the cup tie.
Swift tried his luck from distance, but his 25 yard effort whistled just over - then Kermorgant had the ball in the net with a delightful chip, but only after the offside flag had gone up to signal a free-kick for the Pilgrims.
Argyle came closest in injury time when a well-struck Bradley effort darted just wide of the right post. The two first half goals always looked like they would suffice though, and so it proved.
Full-time: Reading 2-0 Plymouth Argyle
Reading: Jaakkola, Watson, Gunter (c), Cooper, Van den Berg, Evans, Williams, Swift, Beerens, Harriott (Meite 57), Kermorgant.
Unused subs: Bond, Jules, Gravenberch, Kelly, Tanner, Rakels.
Goals: Van den Berg (16), Beerens (28)
Plymouth Argyle: Dorel, Miller, Sawyer (c), Songo'o, Threlkeld, Fox (Donaldson 80), Goodwillie (Spencer 72), Slew (Smith 72), Bradley, Carey, Jervis.
Unused sub: Donaldson, Purrington, Rooney, Ijaha, McCormick.
Referee: Mr S Hooper
Att: 6,979 (741 away)