News and Views

Two More From Vydra As Reading Advance

30 January 2016
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading made it through to the fifth round of the FA Cup with what was, in the end, a very comfortable victory over their League One opposition. However, early on in the match there was little sign on the goals to come as both sides cancelled each other out and Reading continually squandered possession. Walsall probably had hopes before the match of pulling off a minor shock but it was Reading's cup form that eventually shone through and Walsall never looked like they could get back in the game after falling behind.

Reading were without all of their new signings from the past couple of weeks but fielded a strong side, and welcomed Tshibola back into the starting eleven. Tshibola had a decent long range attempt just over the crossbar before being forced to leave the field after just 10 minutes to be replaced by Hector. Chances were limited and had little to do apart from sheild the goal from one effort that rolled just past his post. The early change may have put Reading out of their stride and the next 25 mintues were spent watching Reading play a series of misplaced passes all over the pitch as they struggled to piece any moves together. Hector and Norwood both produced long diagonal balls into precisely nowhere.

And that was how Reading's first goal eventually arrived - from nowhere with 37 minutes played. A throw on from the right found Hal Robson-Kanu inside the Walsall area. Robson-Kanu looked to have an impossible angle - however he passed the defender, took a step inwards and fired the ball into the roof of the net for an well taken goal that underlines his excellent recent form for Reading.

Reading were 2-0 up just three minutes later. The second goal certainly didn't come from nowhere and was a really well worked effort that deserved the goal. Williams did all the hard work on the edge of the area before putting the ball in front of an advancing Stephen Quinn. Quinn's low cross found two players in the middle and Vydra had the simple task by sliding it home for his fifth FA Cup goal of the season.

The game felt won at half time and that was how it was to pan out. Walsall nearly crept back into the game with a shot that grazed the top of Al Habsi's crossbar. An Oliver Norwood free-kick hit the crossbar at the other end. On 75 minutes the tie was settled with a great solo goal from Danny Williams. Williams picked up the ball on the half way line before going on a blazing run past the visitors defence and calming putting the ball past the goalkeeper to make it 3-0. The Walsall keeper was flattened by his own defender and the Saddlers were forced to substitute their goalkeeper before the game could continue.

The icing on the cake game with 89 minutes on the clock when Matej Vydra made up for a shocking miss earlier when he put the ball wide with just the goalkeeper to beat. However, this time his header into the back of the net from Robson-Kanu's cross from the right was emphatic. Both Vydra and Reading are finding their form in the FA Cup. Vydra made it six cup goal and Reading made it yet another fifth round appearance. Walsall had provided decent opposition but a much tougher test is likely to await in round five.


Discussion On This Story:


» 30 Jan 2016 18:40

Really enjoyed the banter today, small crowd but Y26/Y25 top drawer.

Walsall fan in white will not sleep tonight.

The game was shocking for 30 minutes, as bad as I've seen but well taken goals.

All that for a tenner.

 John Madejski's Wallet

» 30 Jan 2016 18:53

£15 for me

Boring 25min after Tish went off, but professional enough job after that
Hector's passing is just appalling (mind you, Norwood was rubbish in that bad 25 min)
HRK... I'm a huge critic, but he can stay on the right now. 2 very good performances on the wing

Everyone did ok.


» 30 Jan 2016 19:00

Same old dreadfully slow start to a game, really need to get that fixed like urgently.

One of the most tedious performances/games for the first 40 minutes or so then a couple of quick goals meant we could cruise as Walsall's heads went down and aside from their best player (Sawyers) hitting the bar they offered nothing at all

All did ok, Williams and Vydra were everywhere, Hector just cannot pass.

Hoping now to avoid a PL team in the next round.


» 30 Jan 2016 19:06

Nervous first 25 mins (certainly for the spectators). Walsall had a lot of possession and seemed well organised in the first half. Losing Tish was a pain, and Hector didn't look all that great. Great goals - HRK smash at a tight angle, would like to see more of those. Vydra goals were exactly what we would expect from a player like him. Thought Williams was going to fluff it but managed to nutmeg the goalie. We could have had 6/7 today.

Cooper and Hector the worst two on the pitch for me - but still 6/7's, everyone else 7/8+

Great confidence booster. Walsall looked better than some we've had this season and are clearly no pushover.


» 30 Jan 2016 19:11

Reading very professional and Walsall offered very little.

HRK was excellent on the right. Vydra seems to like the FA Cup and Williams did very well in the number 10 role and took his goal well. Everyone did a job today. But for me Cooper was stand out at the back and my MOTM.

I thought Tshibola looked really good and such a shame he got injured again.

I just hope we get another home draw - we are due a few.

 Ian Royal

» 30 Jan 2016 19:12

Was sat at the top of Y23 today. Great view, awful atmosphere. The only people who opened their mouths first half were me and some moany old goat full of bile.

Walsall were tidy and first half mostly stifled and frustrated us, but whilst we're always open to a soft one, they never really threatened to beat us. Powerful finish from Hal and a poacher's goal for Vydra as our quality told.

Vydra looks shot mentally. He's a great player and if he doesn't have time to think it shows, but as with that first half miss, give him time and he gets lost in his own head before fouling up. Relax Matej!

Bizarre really. I came away thinking both that 4-0 flattered us and that we could have easily had 7. They could easily have had two off as well, though they'd have been soft reds, by the book they could definitely be given.

Al-Habsi 7 not much to do, good kicking
Gunter 7 still too cautious and dithery with his first touch for me, but good game and unthreatened
Obita 7 good game
Ferdinand 7 mostly untroubled
Cooper 7 same
Norwood 7 radar off a lot today but always quality.
Tish 7 real shame about the injury he looked class in his few minutes
Williams 8 struggled with his position first half but found his feet later on
Hal 8 MotM found his form and position
Quinn 7 solid as always and good to have him in
Vydra 7 confidence shot, not having his runs found much - still got 2.

Hector 7 casual and languid, not his best game by any stretch but good enough.
McShane 7 straight back in please
John 7 usual impact performance.

5th round again then!


» 30 Jan 2016 20:15

How can you say and how do you know vydra is mentally shot? That's such a lazy throwaway comment.

Oh and a tshibola 7 for a few minutes is worth the same as a vydra or a Norwood - good one!! :lol:

 Jack Celliers

» 30 Jan 2016 20:27

I thought the few minutes of Tish were going to be the highlight of the day as halftime approached. Maybe he is as good as some of you think!

Other than that it was just a good win. Vydra worked tirelessly for his two goals, HRK was brilliant a Williams played well in a more advanced role.

I think we are due a giant-killing so would like Arsenal at home next.


» 30 Jan 2016 20:31

Didn't work tirelessly. He is mentally shot!!

 Royal Ginger

» 30 Jan 2016 20:36

Expected more of Walsall, midfield stifled them excellently.

HRK's goal was excellent, showed real strength and accuracy

Norwood man of the match, Obita, Williams and Vydra also stood out for me.

Sad to see the Walsall GK injured like that, you could tell from his reaction it was very bad.

Hector showed 'oooh' moments and then utter dross. Frustrating player.

That Vydra chap looks worth every penny eh? :wink: 6 in 4 is it now?


» 30 Jan 2016 20:36

Only reading fans can accuse a striker who has 5 goals in 3 as having his confidence shot, sheesh!


» 30 Jan 2016 20:43

A very satisfactory result but not a very inspiring performance! Walsall looked tidy and were the better team and bossed possession until we scored. Luckily they lacked sharpness up front although Sawyers, who caused us problems throughout the first half, hit our bar with a thunderous shot from distance.

Amazingly, having just recently scored from a corner, we now scored from a throw-in!! Gunter to HRK who rolled the defender, took a touch and slammed the ball into the top of the net. That was against the run of play but a few minutes later it was 2 - 0 as Williams made a defence-splitting pass to Quinn on the left and his pass into the box was tapped in by Vydra (with HRK there had he missed it). Vydra had a golden chance to rap it up in the last minute of the first half but, with only the keeper to beat, he made a terrible hash of it and missed the goal by a considerable margin!

I'm not convinced by Vydra. He was not as busy today as usual and made little or no effort to win headers against his marker. He may not have won those headers but by at least contesting them he makes it harder for the opposition.

We owned the second half without playing brilliantly. Williams was first to a loose ball and ran half the length of the pitch to slide it expertly past the keeper (Matej take note!). However, Vydra scored his second (and 5th in two cup ties!) to head in a superb cross from Gunter. That made it two assists for Gunter although it was his mistake that gave Walsall their best chance in the first half when Cooper managed to divert their shot inches past the post.

Negatives were the injury, after 10 minutes, to Tish who had looked class in those 10 minutes; the many (less in the 2nd half) misplaced passes and schoolboy errors; the amount of 'head tennis' and hoofed clearances that dragged us down to League 1 level at times.

Williams and HRK tie for MOTM for me. Good to see McShane on for the final 20 minutes although he looked short of match fitness unsurprisingly! Cooper was reasonably solid although guilty of some of those errors mentioned earlier; Ferdinand also solid although he picked up an unnecessary yellow card for kicking the ball away; AAH was solid with no 'although's! Norwood was not at his best with several passes going astray. I didn't notice Quinn as much as usual but he did little wrong. Ola John replaced him for the last 10 minutes and did well. He and Obita seemed to form a good understanding and the two of them could make an excellent pairing. Hector replaced Tish and was composed although he sometimes tried to be too clever when the simple option was the safest!

Still - a clean sheet, a confidence-booster and into the 5th round! I'd have settled for that before the match!

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