Match Report: 2009/2010 Season

23 January 2010: FA Cup Round 4
Reading: Sigurdsson (87 mins).
Burnley: -
Half Time: 0-0
Attendance: 12,910

Pos Team P Pts GD
21 Scunthorpe 25 27 -16
22 READING 25 23 -14
23 Plymouth 24 21 -14
Reading: Federici, Mills, Griffin, Ingimarsson, Bertrand, McAnuff, Karacan, Sigurdsson, Gunnarsson (Kebe, 75), Rasiak (Thorvaldsson, 83), Church (Long, 64) Subs not used: Howard, Hamer, Cisse, Pearce.
Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Duff, Alexander, Edgar, Eagles, McCann, Elliott, Gudjonsson (Blake, 85), McDonald, Thompson (Paterson, 46. Subs not used: Carlisle, Penny, Rodriguez, Easton, Guerrero.
Reading: Ingimarsson, Mills.
Burnley: Eagles, McCann.
Ref: A P D'Urso (Essex)
After an extremely dull first half Reading gradually took control of the game in the second half and with only three minutes of normal time remaining scored the winning goal their enterprising approach deserved through Gylfi Sigurdsson. The game started very slowly with both sides looking cautious. Reading soon realised their opponents were either unwilling or incapable of taking the initiative and grew in confidence. There were few chances and neither 'keeper had a save to make before the interval. Rasiak had a couple of chances as Reading managed to get behind the Burnley defence but on both occasions his strike lacked power. He also claimed to have been impeded as he went for a cross but the irritating Andy D'Urso, who went on to have an absolute shocker of a performance, waved play on. Burnley seemed almost disinterested and content to contain Reading relying heavily on the lenience of the referee continuously perpetrating cynical fouls. McAnuff for example was clattered from behind the first time he received the ball.

The second half in contrast was lively affair. Church drew the first real save from Jensen just after the re-start with a smart turn and powerful strike from the edge of the box. Burnley also began to show some spark although they seemed over reliant on Eagles to create openings. For a brief spell they fed the ball out wide to him on the right and he worked some neat passing exchanges to deliver dangerous balls into the box but the Royals back four looked solid. Mills now looks the player he was expected to be winning the ball and making good use of it, and Griffin was a steadying influence at right back. As the game wore on both sides seemed eager to go for a victory.

Momentum gathered when McAnuff burst into the box and clearly brought down from behind. Ingimarsson was so incensed by the decision he talked himself into the book. The home fans proceeded to evaluate Mr D'Urso's performance fairly accurately. Fired up with injustice of it all Bertrand whipped in a superb cross and Sigurdsson somehow managed to head wide from close range when it seemed easier to score. On seventy-five minutes Federici had to dive low to his right to save from Paterson. He followed up with an even better save from a header from the resulting corner. At the other end Mills was denied when his header was well saved by Jensen. Ingimarsson spun and hit a shot over the bar as he fell backwards. Burnley were hanging on desperately, but when they did break Reading's energy in getting back behind the ball kept them at bay. Bold substitions by Brian Mc Dermott paid off in the end. Kebe, Thorvaldson and Long freshened up the attack and Burnley struggled to keep Reading out. The breakthrough came when Griifin found Sigurdsson with a typically precise pass an the young midfielder steered the ball calmly past Jensen. The last decisive action of the game was a perfectly timed challenge in the box by Ingimarsson as Eagles shaped to fire in what would have been a cruel and unjust equaliser.

Another fine performance puts Reading into the last sixteen and leaves everyone wondering why they have found it so difficult to pick up points in the league. Everything about the team looked good today, except the finishing, and that will have to improve if relegation is to be avoided.

Fantastic performance by the lads. They got stuck in a produced a great performance. All the players were on top form today, however I am baffled as to why McDermott took off Church, rather than Raisak. Sigurdsson and Church are great talents. They are players we must keep regardless of the money. From my seat in the North Stand, it was clear to see that we should of had a stone-wall penalty for the foul on McAnuff.
Loyal Royal Fan

The most organised I've seen our back four for a long time. Griffin was excellent and Mills and Ingi have now got the basis of an understsanding. That created the base for a strong performance all around the pitch. Thought Burnley were poor and lacking in ambition. They look like a side that has peaked and are now coming down the slippery slope. Can fully understand why Owen Coyle made the move to Bolton.
Ollie Kearns

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Reading, who beat Liverpool in the third round, were the better side for much of the contest, but saw Grzegorz Rasiak spurn three early chances. Goalkeeper Adam Federici held off Burnley with two fine saves from Kevin McDonald and David Edgar's header. And on 87 minutes, Sigurdsson met Andy Griffin's cross to seal victory...
Reading caretaker manager Brian McDermott:
"Gylfi had a couple of other chances before he scored, but his finish for the goal was from the top drawer. That is what he has in his locker. We were waiting for him to grow while he was in the Academy. He came over here when he was about 13. He is getting bigger and has a real aura around him, especially since he scored that goal against Liverpool, but he is a real down-to-earth lad."

BBC Sport