Reading FC Match Report: 2015/2016 Season - FA Cup


Reading: L Piazon (29), M Vydra (57), M Vydra (61), M Vydra (90), A Fernandez (90)
Huddersfield: J Paterson (8), T Smith (15)

Reading romped to a five goal win with a second half four goal demolition of ten man Huddersfield which included a Matej Vydra hat trick. Reading fell two goals behind in the opening fifteen minutes and but for some outstanding goalkeeping from Al Habsi could have been three goals down early in the game. The Royals remarkable recovery was sparked by the sending off of Huddersfield’s Hogg after twenty-eight minutes for upending Vydra as he spun past him just outside the box. Piazon had a long wait for Hogg to amble towards the tunnel before stepping up to curl a superb free-kick into the top corner to reduce the visitors lead.

From the kick-off, the Terriers had threatened to overrun Reading. They pressed harder, passed with greater purpose, and finished well. Paterson opened the scoring on eight minutes when Cooper lost his bearings and mistimed his attempted headed clearance. Wells pounced on his error and the ball fell to Paterson surging through from midfield who lashed the ball past Al Habsi. With Reading unable to clear their heads Town swarmed all over their defence. Hughes headed against the bar and Al Habsi pushed away Smith’s shot from the rebound. The ball was immediately picked up by Town and Smith found space inside the box and made no mistake with his second attempt drilling a low shot inside the far post to give the visitors a two goal lead. Huddersfield were exploiting the lack of pace in the centre of the Royals defence and looked certain to increase their lead as Wells bore down on unchallenged on goal. Al Habsi was smartly off his line to take the ball at his feet for a save which arguably was the turning point in the game. Reading came back into the game courtesy of Vydra’s sharp turn and Hogg’s resulting dismissal. Piazon gave ‘keeper Murphy no chance with the free kick curling the ball over the wall and into the top corner. With the advantage of an extra man Reading took control of the game.

Reading had a more purposeful look about them in the second half. One of the significant improvements under Brian McDermott is the use of width in attack to stretch defences. With McCleary limping off just before half time, Robson-Kanu was switched to the right wing to accommodate John and Huddersfield simply could not deal with them. Robson-Kanu forced a full stretch save from Murphy virtually straight form the re-start and the equaliser was not long in arriving. Reading broke up a Town attack and swept forward with John running through midfield before slipping a clever pass to Robson-Kanu on the edge of the box and although Murphy got a strong hand to his shot, Vydra was there to volley home the rebound. Four minutes later Vydra gave Reading the lead turning in John’s accurate cross from close range. Nahki Wells reminded Reading that a one goal lead is never sufficient clipping a ball over Al Habsi and against the post. Fernandez came on to allow Williams to push forward and in his brief time on the pitch impressed with the quality of his passing. With time running out Vydra secured the win and completed his hat trick. Norwood slid a perfectly weighted pass through the centre of the Town defence and Vydra, now brimming with confidence, side-stepped the centre back and lifted the ball over Murphy into the net. Vydra was substituted in the final minute to allow the home fans to acknowledge his achievement. Fernandez provided the final flourish with an excellent strike form long range low into the corner.

So Reading progress into the fourth round and with a home tie against opposition form a lower division the prospect of another cup run begins to emerge. We will never know what might have happened had Huddersfield not been reduced to ten men so early in the game, but nobody can say Reading did not take full advantage of the situation, and that can never be taken for granted. Now what was Tim Dellor saying about Vydra last week?
John Wells

This FA Cup game took place 1395 days ago in the 2015/2016 season.