Long sent off in cup classic
13th February 2010
Jimmy Kebe scored after just 9 seconds, the fastest goal in the clubs history, but Shane Long was sent off as well as the Baggies Youssef Mulumbu, and both sides reluctantly settled for a draw in a fantastic FA Cup 5th round tie.
Brian McDermott opted to revert back the side that beat Doncaster last weekend, in a 4-2-3-1 formation, so Simon Church dropped to the bench in place of Jimmy Kebe. Zurab Kishanishvili was cup tied so Matt Mills also returned to the starting 11 after his 1 game ban, whilst the Baggies included former Royal Simon Cox on his return to the Madejski Stadium.
You couldn`t have dreamed of a better start and after just 9 seconds Jimmy Kebe punished poor West Brom defending, from their own kick off, and slotted past keeper Scott Carson with ease. It was the quickest ever goal in a professional Reading FC match!
Kebe was involved heavily in the opening stages and headed into the side netting after just 10 minutes from a deep Brian Howard free kick. The Malian winger and McAnuff combined to create another chance before we had even played 15 minutes but at the other end not long after the visitors equalised against the run of play.
Cox delivered an excellent cross towards the far post and Robert Koren, a late replacement in the starting 11, tapped into the empty net. No one had tracked the midfielder`s run into the box and the excellent work in the opening stages was all undone from a simple ball into the box.
Shane Long, with 4 goals in his last 3 games, led the line well and he forced Carson into a decent save at the second attempt. The half ended though with West Brom on the front foot and Roman Bednar forced Adam Federici into a wonderful save and the Aussie stopped went one better moments later turning Koren`s effort onto the post.
The second half started slowly but it quickly livened up when Long was sent off for a high tackle on Abdullah Meite, his second red card of the season. It was slightly harsh but in today`s game you run the risk if you leave the ground when making a tackle and Long did just that. Straight away Simon Church came on for the unlucky Howard, who was consoled by the McDermott as he made way.
Bednar and Chris Brunt went close as the Baggies tried to capitalise on their man advantage but it wasn`t long before it was 10 men each. Half time sub Youssef Mulumbu who had only been on the field for 15 minutes, was dismissed for a second yellow card after pulling down Brynjar Gunnarsson.
The Royals looked far more comfortable when the numbers were even again and McAnuff went close before second half sub`s combined to create the third goal of the game. Grzegorz Rasiak hooked the ball over the top for Church to chase on to, his first effort was saved well by Carson but he Welsh striker tapped in at the second attempt.
Church had a great run and shot that Carson turned away soon after but it looked like we would hang on for a place in the quarter finals, but Joe Mattock had other ideas. Old boy Cox played an excellent ball into the West Brom left back who got forward and drilled a low effort into the far corner beyond Federici and into the net to the delight of the 4000 travelling fans.
There was to be no winner in the closing stages and both sides had to settle for a replay that neither would really have wanted but will be pleased to take their place in the draw for the next round.