Another Royal night on Merseyside

Another Royal night on Merseyside

Reading qualified for the FA Cup quarter-finals with another famous Merseyside victory when Matt Mills delivered a knock-out blow to Everton at Goodison Park on Tuesday night. Mills volleyed the Championship side into a first half lead and the Royals held out manfully to earn a quarter-final meeting away to the winners of Wednesday’s delayed fifth-round tie between Manchester City and Aston Villa.

Brian McDermott took over at the Madejski in January 2010 and has now led Reading to consecutive FA Cup quarter-finals with the win coming as no surprise to the former Arsenal player: "We thought we deserved it. We had a couple of other opportunities to score - Jay Tabb, Jimmy Kebe had a one-on-one... We had a game plan to come here and do what we had to do. And I thought we carried that through," he said.

David Moyes side were put on the back foot after 26 minutes when the Everton defence failed to clear Ian Harte’s corner and left Mills the room to crash home through the crowded box. While the Premier League outfit enjoyed the majority of possession, the better chances were created by the away side who could have gone in at half-time with a two-nil lead but for Tim Howard’s smart stop from Kebe soon after Mills’ strike. The Mali international found himself with a clear run on goal after a mistake from Sylvain Distain but Howard stood firm to block Kebe’s shot. The Toffees were let off again in the second half when Tabb saw his goal bound shot deflected behind for a corner 15 minutes from time.

For all their pressure, Everton rarely troubled Alex McCarthy but the Royals keeper pulled off a stunning late stop when he palmed away Leon Osman’s point blank volley to secure another FA Cup win on Merseyside. Reading had not reached the FA Cup quarter-finals for 83 years before last season’s exploits which began with a third round tie against Liverpool. The match ended 1-1 at the Madejski Stadium before Reading won the replay 2-1 thanks to Shane Long’s goal in extra time.

McDermott and his players must wait for the outcome of the fifth round tie between Manchester City and Aston Villa before learning the next Premier League club they will visit. The winners have a home draw for the quarter-final which is scheduled for Sunday 13 March.


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