Writer: Steve Guscott
Date:Wednesday February 24 2010
24th February 2010
An extra time goal from Gylfi Sigurdsson sent the Royals into the quarter finals of the FA cup for the first time in 83 years! Jimmy Kebe and Brian Howard also scored on a dramatic night at the Hawthorns, and set up a meeting with Aston Villa.
Brian McDermott was forced into three changes to his starting 11, Zurab Kizhanishvili was cup tied whilst Brynjar Gunnarsson and Jem Karacan were injured. In came Ivar Ingimarsson, Jay Tabb and Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Simon Church had recovered from a knock picked up at Blackpool to lead the line.
The game got off to the worst possible start for the Royals when West Brom scored after just six minutes when Robert Koren tapped into an empty net, Adam Federici made a good save in the build up to the goal but Luke Moore`s cut back was too good for the defence. The Baggies had come out flying and deserved to take the lead so early.
It didn`t take long for the equaliser though and following good work from Jobi McAnuff and Church, Sigurdsson saw an effort saved but Jimmy Kebe arrived to score yet another goal. The Malian winger continued his impressive run of form, and excellent goal scoring run after he bagged in the first game between the sides as well as the second goal at Palace last week.
Unfortunately the rest of the half didn`t live up to the standard`s set in the first ten minutes and at the break the sides went in level, with not a lot to talk about other than the goals.
If you thought the first period started badly, it was nothing compared to the second half and the Baggies took the lead thanks to a howler from Federici. Koren took a hopeful effort from the corner of the area but it looked a simple save for the Australian keeper, however he let the ball slip through his legs and the weak effort went in.
Moments later it looked like Sigurdsson would mirror the first half and the Royals equalise straight away, but the youngster`s effort smashed against the bar. He also had the best chance to grab the equaliser of the remaining 40 odd minutes of play when Carson saved his effort.
In stoppage time though, Brian Howard saved the Royals with a strike following good work from Kebe. The winger did nothing apart from score and lay on a dramatic equaliser and Howard finished really well to send the game to extra time.
The Magic of the FA Cup continued five minutes into extra time when Sigurdsson picked up the ball about 25 yards from goal and curled a wonderful effort into the back of the net.
Despite plenty of the ball, it was the Royals who had the best chance in the rest of extra time when Kebe should have scored but despite late pressure from the Baggies, we held onto make the quarter finals!
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Date:Wednesday February 24 2010
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