A look back at four, fourth round victories
Ahead of our FA Cup tie with Walsall this weekend, we take a look back at four of our most recent Fourth Round victories.
Over the past six seasons, the Royals have successfully navigated their way beyond this round on four of those occasions, including most recently on the way to an historic FA Cup Semi-final against Arsenal – the clubs first in 88 years. Here are those four victories…
Cardiff City 1-2 Reading, FA Cup Fourth Round, 24th January 2015
Despite hiccups in the league, the Royals achieved some historic results during last year’s FA Cup run, as victory over Cardiff took them one step closer to the hallowed turf of Wembley. However 25 minutes in, the prospects of Reading progressing were looking bleak when Kenwyne Jones latched on to a corner and thundered a header past Adam Federici to give the Bluebirds a deserved lead. Reading looked a changed side in the second half and Oliver Norwood sparked life back into the Reading attack when his 20 yard free-kick nestled into the bottom left corner. Then with the possibility of a replay looming, substitute Hal Robson-Kanu was found by Obita’s centre and the Welsh international’s guided lob drifted over Simon Moore. The finish brought the 2000 traveling fans to their feet, securing a trip to Derby in the next Round.
Reading 4-0 Sheffield United, FA Cup Fourth Round, 26th January 2013
At this stage of the competition in 2013, Brian McDermott’s Premier League outfit coasted to a 4-0 home win against a Sheffield United side that fielded former Royal and Madejski Stadium top scorer Dave Kitson. The scoring was opened inside six minutes when Noel Hunt showed his prowess in the air by converting Hal Robson-Kanu’s inch perfect cross. The Royals were granted a second through their stand-in captain Mikele Leigertwood – the former Blades midfielder unleashed what was commonly known as the ‘Ledge hammer’, a powerful strike that flew into the top right corner. Hunt then grabbed his brace from a Garath McCleary cross before the winger himself got in on the act just four minutes later, slotting home through a crowd of bodies putting the final nail in the Blades coffin.
Stevenage 1-2 Reading, FA Cup Fourth Round, 29th January 2011
On their way to a second FA Cup Quarter Final in as many years, the Royals first had to overcome Stevenage at the Lamex Stadium if they wanted to match the previous year’s exploits. With Brian McDermott at the helm, Mikele Leigertwood gave Reading the perfect start when he gathered possession in the middle of the park and tricked his way past several onrushing defenders before calmly firing home from inside the area. Boro’s Darius Charles then produced something similar to level the scores with 20 minutes to go, but in true Brian McDermott fashion, a late winner was on the cards when Shane Long got his boot on the end of McAnuff’s cross to seal the win and a visit to Goodison Park in the Fifth Round.
Reading 1-0 Burnley, FA Cup Fourth Round, 23rd January 2010
Having staked a claim for a place to the FA Cup upsets’ Hall of Fame just 10 days earlier, Reading’s progression in the tournament meant they now faced more Premier League opposition, this time in the shape of Owen Coyle’s Burnley. After a cautious first half to the game, the Royals gradually began to take control in the second and found themselves unfortunate when Jobi McAnuff was hauled down inside the area, but the referee seemed to have other ideas. With just three minutes of normal time left, Griffin’s precise pass found Gylfi Sigurdsson in space and the Icelandic Academy graduate steered the ball past Brian Jensen to wrap proceedings up. That year Brian McDermott’s men went on to reach the quarter-final stage for the first time since 1927.