Date:Thursday February 22 2007
Alan Bennett was handed his first match in the Royal colours as Reading Reserves lost for only the second time all season in a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea at the Madejski Stadium.
Reading fielded a much changed side to the one that drubbed Spurs 4-0 presumably as most will be involved in the Man Utd replay next Tuesday.
The victory for Chelsea meant the London team have closed the gap in the Reserve league table on leaders Reading and now sit on equal points with the Berkshire outfit - but Reading have one game in hand to extend their lead.
Kevin Doyle also made a full start alongside Sam Sodje and transfer window signing Greg Halford. Michael Duberry was not named in at all in the squad which is likely to signal his first professional start will be against Middlesbrough in the league game on Saturday.
The goal that was the difference between the two teams proved to be a lucky one, a save by Federici from a Miroslav Stoch drive was deflected back into the back of the net by Chelsea`s Ben Sahar.
Otherwise it seemed it was mainly one-way traffic at the Madejski Stadium, as Doyle, Simon Church, Simon Cox, Jem Karacan and substitute Nick Bignall tried in vain to penetrate the Chelsea goal.
Reading were unlucky to not come away with anything from the match but Steve Coppell will be happy that his reserve team, mainly consisting of youngster gave a good account of themselves and that leading league scorer Kevin Doyle came through 90minutes unscathed.
Reading team: Federici, Halford, Sodje, Bennett, Kelly, Henry, Davies, Karacan, Church, Cox, Doyle.
Subs: Andersen, Bygrave, Hateley Bozanic Bignall (HT for Henry)
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