Twice behind, the Royals prospered 4-2 at Home Park to eliminate Plymouth Argyle and to march on to the Third Round of the Carabao Cup.
Two stunning Josh Barrett goals, and a further brace for Yakou Méïté earned passage to the next stage. It was a young-look squad which showed tenacity, quality and ultimately a winning spirit.
“It was a tough game,” reflected boss José Gomes. “These games are not easy, but we passed this cup test. My players were serious, professional, and they followed the advice and they fought until the end.
“We made some mistakes, yes. But it is not easy to change 11 players from one game to another. We took this risk.
“And our fans again, fantastic. It was important for us.
“A different formation, different players, but we never gave up. We always believed that it was possible to turn the game. We were losing, but at 2-1 down we did really well. I am happy for them.”
There were plenty of sub-plots to the evening’s proceedings – Barrett’s first two goals as a senior Reading player, both fantastic hits, were one of those.
It was all part of a team performance which merited a place in the draw for the next round.
“Josh played well and scored two fantastic goals at important moments,” continued José.
“He is the kind of player who can show different things when you don’t expect it. He is a talented player.
“It was a good result and the team played well. These players did a great job. I am happy with all of them. We showed that we are able to go on growing and to be stronger tactically, because it was a tactical game today.”