Match Report: 2010/2011 Season

1 March 2011: FA CUP ROUND 5
Reading: Mills (26 mins).
Everton: -
Half Time: 0-1.

Attendance: 29,976

Pos Team P Pts GD
9 Hull 34 49 +3
10 READING 34 48 +12
11 Millwall 34 47 +7
Reading: A. McCarthy, M. Mills, I. Harte, Z. Khizanishvili, J. McAnuff (H. Robson-Kanu, 79), M. Leigertwood yellow card, J. Tabb, J. Kebe, B. Gunnarsson, N. Hunt (S. Church, 86), S. Long. Subs not used: B. Howard, M. Andersen, C. Armstrong, M. Antonio, J. Karacan.
Everton: T. Howard, L. Baines, P. Neville (J. Baxter, 88), S. Coleman (V. Anichebe, 46), S. Distin, P. Jagielka, D. Bilyaletdinov (J. Beckford, 46), J. Rodwell, L. Osman, M. Arteta, L. Saha. Subs not used: S. Duffy, J. Heitinga, J. Mucha, T. Hibbert
Reading: Leigertwood, Khizanishvili.
Everton: Rodwell, Neville, Baines.
Ref: A Marriner

I cant believe what i just witnessed. Mills and Kishi were just immense. Mills blocked tackle at the end summed up his performance tonight and his best ever in a Reading shirt. Leigertwood excellent as ever and Long again winning everything. Great to see Tabb getting into goalscoring opportunities too. Whole of the back 4 were excellent but i have to say at one point going mad at the amount of headers that go over Harte's head when he mis judges his jump. McCarthy, after 3 games he finally makes a save of note, and what a save it was. Fantastic night to be a reading fan.

Epic game. Epic support from us with the Toffee supporters meek and mild, sat down all night and only stirring briefly from their slumber in the last 20 minutes when Everton finally tried a concerted approach on our goal. I never saw the goal go in due to the post being in the way of my view but what a goal celebration from us supporters. I love it that Mills scored. Funny how things turn out eh!! The Saha chants were funny as hell. Finally a match that stirred me up and made me come away with a sore throat. As McDermott said, the lads stuck to their game plan, didn't sit back and absorb the pressure and went looking for the game. McCarthy played with total conviction tonight, stood tall and had an excellent game tonight. What a save too.

Magnificent performance. "Thoroughly deserved and should have been more," according to the chairman of the Middle East Toffees. I quivered when I saw our back four. As quick as Douglas Bader with the turning circle of the Titanic. How wrong. Mills and Kish won everything - except the Osman header from a corner - Boris chugged along all night and Harte was calm professionalism. Long and Hunt worked their nuts off but Legs totally owned midfield. Superb performance from him. Jobi a bit anonymous first half but caused problems in the second and Kebe was .... well, Kebe. Pace and a little trickery but little end product. Tabb had a nosebleed a couple of times when two of our best chances fell to him in the second half. And what a save from McCarthy. Hardly anything to do all match and then to pull that off in the last ten minutes. Legs man of the match for me and good to hear the 'Bank in full voice.
Dick Habbin's Hairdo

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If Louis Saha and Jermaine Beckford will forgive me, this was always a car crash waiting to happen for Everton. The fact they were out-fought by magnificent Reading was as painfully predictable as a Premier League footballer wiping out his luxury sports car as Saha did on Sunday. To be outplayed in this manner though, was not only a tribute to the Championship side, but a humiliation of the worst kind. Beckford missed the kick off and was relegated to the bench, because he was trapped when a crash in front of him forced the motorway to be closed. Somehow, that summed up Everton?s night. It seems almost cruel to deflect from the visitors incredible FA Cup success on Merseyside for the second successive season, particularly after they so thoroughly deserved their Matt Mills-inspired victory with a courageous performance of incredible verve that gives them a quarter final tie with either Manchester City or Aston Villa. ... Not that we should take anything away from their conquerors Reading. They have a vibrant threat and pedigree in this competition. The victory given to them by the inspirational captain Mills was no more than he or they deserved, and no surprise given their triumph at Liverpool last season in this competition. Indeed, Reading probably should have won by more than the solitary goal that came midway through the first half, when Mills was criminally allowed to convert his own knockdown from Ian Harte's telling corner. It left their manager Brian McDermott understandably ecstatic at the end of another triumphant night on Merseyside. "It's a pity we can't have Tranmere in the next round, because we obviously love coming here," he said. "They are great people on Merseyside even if we keep winning here - to get clapped off by the Everton fans was a tremendous tribute. To come to a place like this and play the way we've played was phenomenal, and to get to the quarter final for the second year running - after waiting 80 years to do it - shows what an achievement it was."

The Reading fans were quick to denigrate this part of Merseyside but perhaps they should relocate. Last year it was Liverpool in the third round at Anfield, and tonight they humiliated Everton in the FA Cup to secure a deserved place in the quarter-finals against either Manchester City or Aston Villa. Neither Premier League scalp amounted to a fluke. Brian McDermott's side were the more composed, resilient and threatening throughout this fifth-round tie. David Moyes's side, by contrast, undid all the perseverance and effort that took them past the holders, Chelsea, in the previous round with a pitiful display that is likely to have lasting repercussions for many at Goodison Park. The home side created the first opportunities of the night but it was Reading who carried the greater threat on the counterattack and should have led by more than captain Matt Mills's 26th-minute strike. Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, one of many Everton midfielders to endure a woeful night, chipped Leon Osman into space inside the visitors' area and though Seamus Coleman met his cross with a textbook header, it beat the goalkeeper, Alex McCarthy, but bounced over the crossbar. Reading were stronger in the tackle than Everton and were also superior to their Premier League hosts on the flanks through the enterprising Jimmy Kébé and Jobi McAnuff. They took the lead with their first attack after Mikele Leigertwood's shot was deflected wide by Phil Jagielka and presented Ian Harte with the chance to demonstrate that time has not diminished his abilities with a dead ball. Mills won the former Leeds defender's corner in the air and, when Osman sliced a weak clearance back into his path, the Reading centre-half controlled and fired low beyond Tim Howard. McDermott's side should have doubled their lead seconds later when Sylvain Distin miscontrolled into the path of Kébé. The Reading right-winger was clean through on goal, steadied himself, but shot too close to Howard who saved with his legs. An hour of the game remained yet Everton became increasingly desperate. Bilyaletdinov and Coleman, who was nursing an injury before the game, were hauled off at the break as Moyes went for broke by introducing the strikers Beckford and Victor Anichebe alongside Louis Saha, another Everton forward who should stick to public transport having written off a Ł170,000 Ferrari on Sunday night. Reading responded by taking the game to Everton once again, and Harte drove a 30-yard free-kick towards the top corner only to miss by inches. Jay Tabb thought he had secured the underdogs' passage into the quarter-finals following good play by Shane Long and Noel Hunt but his goalbound shot was deflected wide off Phil Neville.