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Match Reports

Swans end Royals' cup run

Mawson and Ayew edge Swansea into the Fourth Round

19 September 2017

Apologies, this video is unvailable.

Alfie Mawson's opener was followed by a Jordan Ayew second as Swansea did enough to earn a place in the Fourth Round at Madejski Staduium tonight as a spirited Royals performance couldn't unpick Premier League opposi

  • Swift and Obita return from injury to complete an hour of action.
  • Jaakkola saves with his legs to deny Narsingh a first half opener
  • Mawson breaks deadlock with near post connection on a corner.
  • Ayew scores second after referee dispossesses Royals in midfield

John Swift returned from injury to start while Jordan Obita also earned his place in the first eleven names on the teamsheet as one of nine changes made by Royals boss Jaap Stam. The Swans also made changes but named Wilfied Bony and Renato Sanches in a very strong starting line-up.

The home side began the brighter and twice opened Swansea up in the opening five minutes. Evans' ball over the top found a speeding Adrian Popa who got a touch before the onrushing Nordfeldt to round the Swans stopper. The angle was too narrow for the Romanian to try to angle a shot at the open goal and in laying it off the Swift, the midfielder's low centre was met by a swinging Swansea leg.

Moments later, Roy Beerens produced a lovely touch to turn inside from the left, but he arced an effort harnmlessly over from 25 yards out. And Popa was causing problems on the right, crossing early and dangerously into the middle but just in front of Clement arriving in the box alongside a Swans defender.

Twelve minutes on the clock and Swift's throughball was threaded into the feet of Popa who brilliantly turned Mawson to open up the space to shoot. But he hurried his effort at goal and swept the ball over the bar with his left foot from the edge of the Swans box.

Nordfeldt had his palms stung at the end of a lovely flowing move that was started by Gunter who brilliantly beat his man down the right to deliver a low pass to the edge of the area. A nice exchange between Clement and Swift allowed the latter to shoot left-footed, but it was straight at the Swansea keeper.

The Premier League side began to assert more authority as the half wore on and Wayne Routledge was almost through one on one with Jaakkola only for the referee to pull play back for a tug on Moore's shirt that had allowed him to get in behind.

And City had the ball in the back of the net through Luciano Narsingh moments later, but again the Swansea celebrations were cut short by a flag awarding the home side a free kick for a push on Obita in the build up.

Paul Clement's men were getting closer to a breakthrough and it took a very good save from the legs of Jaakkola to deny Narsingh whose piercing run found a pass that dissected the Reading defence.

At the other end, Bacuna found Clement in space down the left and the Dutchman edged into the box and crossed to the near post where Mawson met it first to concede the corner. Bacuna himself won a corner soon after which was delivered deep to Beerens, and he arrowed a sweetly struck effort inches over the bar.

Half time | Reading 0-0 Swansea City

Reading began the second half as they had the first, in the ascendancy. But the first good opportunity of the second period came when Bony dispossessed Ilori at the back and raced into the Royals box only to be denied by a timely Moore block.

The Swans had the lead moments later though, A corner from the right was delivered into the box where Alfie Mawson met it and directed it through a crowd and into the back of the Reading net from eight yards out.

And the pace of Ilori was needed to prevent Routledge adding a second, the pacy winger breaking at pace and scuttling into the Reading area only for the Royals centre half to muscle him off the ball before he could take aim.

Reading kept pressing for a route back into the game and were bossing possession as the Swans sat back seemingly happy to protect their slender lead. Gunter crossed just too high for Beerens, before Beerens nearly dinked a cross onto the head of Clement only for Mawson to nod it off the Dutch forward's forehead.

Kelly fizzed a tantalising low cross into the Swansea box and across the six yard box without a Royals body getting a touch as we entered the final 20 minutes of the tie.

But Bony could have made it 2-0 when Ayew drilled a low shot at goal from the right, Jaakkola got a fingertip to it but Bony followed it in and bundled it wide without knowing too much about it.

Still Reading patiently looked for an opening and Kelly crossed from the byline once again, but it floated agonisingly across the Swans box once more.

But the tie was killed off by by substitute Ayew in farcical circumstances. A simple pass from Evans struck referee Andy Davies in the centre circle, handed the possession back to Swansea who broke at pace through Ayew. He made no mistake, slotting wide of Jaakkola's dive and inside the bottom right corner for 2-0.

The home fans aggrieved at the nature of the second goal, but the players kept trying to find a goal, Bacuna swerving a 25-yard effort just wide with five minutes left.

Nordfeldt gathered in a Blackett header underneath his crossbar and saved a curling Clement effort in injury time, before catching a last gasp Beerens effort from distance. But it will be Swansea City who progress in the cup competition.

Full time | Reading 0-2 Swansea City

Reading: Jaakkola, Gunter (c), Moore, Ilori, Obita (Blackett 62), Bacuna, Swift (Kelly 54), Evans, Beerens, Popa (Bodvarsson 74), Clement.
Subs: Legg, Van den Berg, Rinomhota, Smith.
Yellow: Bacuna

Swansea City: Nordfeldt, Rangel (c), Mesa, Olsson, Van der Hoorn, Mawson, Routledge (Ayew 62), Fer, Sanches, Narsingh (Fernandez 70), Bony (Abraham 82).
Subs: Mulder, Naughton, Britton, Fulton.
Yellow: Fer, Olsson
Goals: Mawson 52, Ayew 82

Att: 8,729 (968 away)

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