MATCH REPORT: 2005/2006 Season

25 October 2005: LEAGUE CUP ROUND 3
Reading: Kitson (54 mins, 75 mins).
Sheff Utd: -
Half Time: 0-0
Attendance: 11,607

Pos Team P Pts GD
1 Sheff Utd 15 37 +18
2 READING 15 34 +17
3 Luton 15 28 +8
Reading: Stack, Murty, Shorey, Sonko, Ingimarsson, Oster, Sidwell, Baradji, Hunt (Little 85), Obinna, Kitson (Cox 78). Subs Not Used: Hahnemann, Gunnarsson, Doyle. Booked: Kitson.
Sheff Utd: Barnes, Geary, Wright, Bromby, Francis (Horwood 82), Stephen Quinn, Tonge, Webber (Nix 81), Marrison (Law 58), Forte, Ross. Subs Not Used: Annerson, Short.
Reading: -
Sheff Utd: -

Dave Kitson hit two second half goals as Reading progressed to the fourth round of the league cup at the expense of Championship leaders Sheffield United. The victory extended Reading's run to a massive seventeen games without defeat. Both sides made a large number of changes to their usual starting eleven, with Reading making seven alterations to the side that won at Stoke at the weekend. As a result the first half was a largely forgetable episode, with both sides failing to get into a steady pattern of play. Reading got off to the better start with United struggling to get out of their own half, before the visitors had a better spell of play.

Stack replaced Hahnemann in goal and Murty was back in place of Makin, but Reading's back four was probably a first choice. As a result there was no way through for United who managed, from memory, just a single effort on target that required a save. United continually resorted to long range efforts that were hugely wide or high - and most of the time both of those. Stack had very little to do and it was obvious that a single Reading goal would be enough to win the fixture. Ten minutes into the second half Reading took the lead when Shorey crossed from the left, Ingimarsson flicked the ball on and Kitson buried it with an excellent volley in the middle of the area.

The goal ended any remote possibility of United moving into the next round as Reading started to play some good football despite the reserve line-up. Obinna impressed up front and showed a few class touches before he eventually set up the winner when he cut the ball back from a tight angle on the right. The Sheffield keeper only watched as it came across to Kitson who put it away from close range for his second of the game. Kitson had another good chance to make it three as Reading finished the game well on top with the United clearly ready to accept defeat. The fourth round draw takes place on Saturday.

Following report by John Wells:
Reading eased into the last sixteen of the Carling Cup as their unbeaten run extended to a record- equalling seventeen games. The Royals fielded a stronger side than their opponents by virtue of having some key players using the fixture to regain match fitness and hopefully regain their place in the starting line up for the next crucial league game at home to Leeds on Saturday. Kitson had a mixed evening, scoring two goals, getting booked for a rash challenge on the half way line, and giving the ball away with alarming regularity with careless passing.

The first half was fairly uneventful. Reading started looking more assured in their passing than United. As the game wore on however, it was the visitors who dominated possession for long spells. Neither goalkeeper was really troubled. Obinna looked impressive in patches. On one occasion he wriggled past his man on the left wing and cut inside, but when the better option was to pull the ball back to the edge of the area, he went for glory from a very tight angle and his effort was saved. There were half hearted appeals from Reading for penalty when Sidwell went down as he burst into the area. He appeared to be waiting for the challenge instead of getting his shot away and referee Styles waved his appeals aside. Reading produced a little flurry towards the end of the half. Sidwell headed over from close range as did Kitson after he had wrong-footed the United defence with a dummy which released Obinna to provide him with a cross.

Forte for United made a great run early in the second half which left Murty and Sonko trailing in his wake before shooting wide. Obinna produced the first effort on target in the fifty second minute! His header was comfortably saved by Barnes. The deadlock was broken when Hunt whipped in a good ball which Sidwell flicked on and Kitson swept into the net at the end of a well timed run. United made a half-hearted attempt to get back into it, but by now even Warnock had slunk back onto the bench. Apart from one tantrum in the first half we were deprived of the usual touchline cabaret act. On seventy-two minutes United wasted their best chance of the game when a United forward scuffed his shot and the ball dribbled harmlessly wide of Stack's right hand post. A minute later Hunt provided another useful cross which Obinna headed back across goal for Kitson to prod into the net. That just about wrapped it up for Reading.

Sidwell, Kitson, and Shorey looked ready to be recalled to the starting line up. Muty still looked a little slow at times. Baradji was very confident and strong on the ball and showed some nice touches, although he gave the ball away needlessly in dangerous areas on a couple of occasions. Once a again the squad looks strong. The next big test will be on Saturday against a Leeds side coming into top form and pressing for a promotion spot. It promises to be a lively fixture!


This was another comfortable performance and win. The players that came in performed well (with Hunt standing out in particular for me) and it's good to see Kitson's touch in front of goal is still very much there (especially good finish for his first). Let's hope we get a good draw in the next round to make old moany-guts Warnock wish he'd taken it a bit more seriously.
Caversham Royal

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