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Royals suffer last-minute cup heartbreak

Reading
1 - 2
Barnsley

Madejski Stadium

25/08/2009

Attendance: 5,576

Referee:

There`s always 'rotten luck`, there`s always 'next year`. Such are the comforting words that one might offer to players responsible for last-minute cup exits. But don`t expect Alex Pearce to be receptive to consolation this week, should he elicit any sympathy from Royals supporters.

Reading`s skipper will certainly feel culpable, having given Barnsley a place in the third round of the Carling Cup by upending Kayode Odejayi in the 95th minute of this encounter at the Madejski Stadium, which sent Reading bowing out of this year`s League Cup.

Bogdanovic had given Barnsley a second-half lead that strangely appeared to please everyone in the ground: he collected a brilliant threaded pass and rounded Ben Hamer to tuck away the opening goal that, despite the groans from the meagre home support, finally provided a incident of note for the chattering Berkshire onlookers to discuss.

The tie had been Yorkshire-bound ever since the opening goal yet, following a breakdown in communication between centre-back Robert Kozluk and keeper Luke Steele in the 91st minute, the former Sheffield United defender nodded past his keeper to gift Reading a route back into the game.

Pearce had a mistake of his own to make, however, and followed up Kozluck`s error when he chopped Odejayi with seconds remaining. The scattering of Barnsley fans who dared make the trip down south brought the evening`s biggest cheer (a relative concept, given the measly attendance) when Bogdanovic sent them back up the M1 with a third-round tie in the bag.

While Adam Federici may be cutting a lonely figure this week, following his horrendous error against Sheffield United that cost his side at least a point, captain Alex Pearce will be feeling equally guilty for instigating Reading`s second successive home reverse.

Star Player

Noel Hunt - were it not for the uncompromising influence of Barnsley's keeper Luke Steele, Hunt would have opened his account for the season. Finding space with greater ease than he did on Saturday and appearing to patrol with freedom between the Tykes' centre-backs, the Irish forward provided the Royals' most likely goal source

Player Ratings


Ben Hamer - 6

Will be extremely miffed that his two major tasks were to be lose a one-on-one and concede a penalty to the same player. The away fans' celebrations from behind that goal will still be ringing in his ears.

Julian Kelly - 6

Alex Pearce - 5

Brynjar Gunnarsson - 6

Ryan Bertrand - 6

Marek Matejovsky - 6

James Harper - 4

Scott Davies - 6

Nicholas Bignall - 6

James Henry - 7

David Mooney - 6

Michel Antonio (Bignall) - 6


Writer:Steve Guscott
Date:Thursday August 27 2009
Time: 9:23PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Newcastle 46 29 7 10 94 45
P Brighton 46 28 9 9 93 34
3 Reading 46 26 7 13 85 4
4 Sheff Wed 46 24 9 13 81 15
5 Huddersfield 46 25 6 15 81 -2
6 Fulham 46 22 14 10 80 28
7 Leeds Utd 46 22 9 15 75 14
8 Norwich 46 20 10 16 70 16
9 Derby County 46 18 13 15 67 4
10 Brentford 46 18 10 18 64 10
11 Preston 46 16 14 16 62 1
12 Cardiff 46 17 11 18 62 -1
13 Aston Villa 46 16 14 16 62 -1
14 Barnsley 46 15 13 18 58 -3
15 Wolves 46 16 10 20 58 -4
16 Ipswich 46 13 16 17 55 -10
17 Bristol City 46 15 9 22 54 -6
18 Q.P.R. 46 15 8 23 53 -14
19 Birmingham 46 13 14 19 53 -19
20 Burton 46 13 13 20 52 -14
21 Forest 46 14 9 23 51 -10
R Blackburn 46 12 15 19 51 -12
R Wigan 46 10 12 24 42 -17
R Rotherham 46 5 8 33 23 -58
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