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Comfortable Win As Reading Make FA Cup Semi-Finals

16 March 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading are through to the FA Cup Semi-finals, for the first time since 1927, after a very comfortable 3-0 victory over Bradford City at the Madejski. The Royals were off to a blistering start in front of a packed and loud home crowd, and raced into a two goal lead in the opening ten minutes with goals from Robson-Kanu and McCleary. There was immediately no way back for Bradford. No one was sure what to expect before the game, but after that start Reading were in control thoughout. The visitors managed only a brief period of pressure in the first half but rarely troubled Reading.

After resting the entire squad for the trip to Watford on Saturday, Clarke was able to pick a fresh first eleven as he entirely changed the starting line-up. Right from the off, Reading looked determined and well organised and really up for the game. The Royals were immediately on the attack. After six minutes Reading won a corner on the left, McCleary played the ball in and Hal Robson-Kanu headed home to set Reading on their way. McCleary was twisting and turning the defence every direction on the right, and the warning signs were there for Bradford before his ninth minute goal. A series of step overs followed with a chipped shot that appeared to go off a Bradford player and over the keeper in the back of the net.

Federici needed to make one straight forward save from a weak Bradford header, when he might have done better, but the chances were all at the other end. We had a couple of decent efforts and Robson-Kanu nearly played a couple of excellent balls through the middle that were just slightly too long to run onto.

The second half was disjointed as the referee kept stopping play until Bradford were reduced to ten men after a bad hight challenge on Chalobah. That allowed Reading to entirely dominate possession, stroke the ball around, and add a quality deserved third goal for Jamie Mackie who had worked hard all night. Chalobah played a lovely ball into the box for Mackie who made no mistake with another quality finish. The last twenty minutes Bradford hardly got a touch of the ball and Reading easily played the time out. There were no nervous moments, which made it a relaxing end to a game, and a tame pitch invasion followed.

Reading will meet Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on either April 18th or April 19th in the semi-finals. Ticket details will follow, but the club expect an initial allocation of 31,500 tickets which will initially go on sale to season ticket holders only.

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