Date:Tuesday January 30 2007
Dave Kitson made a sensational comeback from a lengthy injury lay-off with a goal inside just three minutes as Reading saw off Birmingham City to book a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup, and an away tie at Old Trafford.
The Royals` leading scorer for the past two seasons was making his first start since the opening day of the campaign when he suffered a knee injury at the hands of Middlesbrough`s Chris Riggott.
But he looked as though he had never been away after coolly firing home the opener in Saturday`s 3-2 victory at St Andrews.
Fellow striker Leroy Lita took his tally for the season to 10 goals with a brace, while Blues skipper Martin Taylor and Sebastian Larsson, who netted a stoppage-time free-kick, were on target for the home side.
Kitson admitted, "It was a good comeback and nice to get a goal.
"Seol played it in along the ground. I was quite close to Taylor, but I nipped in front of him. The ball was kind of going behind me so I had to control it and then I was just hoping Matthew Upson wasn`t behind me to be able to put a tackle in, which fortunately he wasn`t.
"I didn`t know what to do after I had scored. I`m not known for my celebrations, so I just went running off with Sam Sodje. It wasn`t the greatest celebration ever, but it wasn`t the greatest goal ever.
"Thankfully I don`t often miss from six yards and it was a great start and a great platform for us, but Adam Federici made two fantastic saves."
Kitson is hoping his horrendous run of injuries is now over. The 27-year-old striker declared: "It`s great to win and hopefully it will give me another chance to play in this competition and hopefully score another goal.
"It`s been a nightmare. I said at the start of the season last year didn`t count for a thing.
"It was about what we did in the Premiership, but then I went and got injured and have had no involvement since. It`s been a blow so it`s just been nice to be back involved."
The Reading striker added, "It`s been the longest I have been out. I`m sure I will get back in the team. There`s nothing holding me back now except my fitness and when I get that back I`ll be sharp again.
"Goalscorers score goals, I always have and I always will, but it is up to the manager who plays.
"We also have Leroy, Kevin Doyle and Shane Long, who is fast improving and will be a great player for the club.
"There are four strikers and you need four and I`m sure everyone will get a fair crack."
Reading are oozing confidence in front of goal having now bagged 20 goals in their last seven matches.
It is only the second time in 72 years that Royals have made it this far in the FA Cup.
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