READING 4 YEOVIL TOWN 2 Attendance: 8,032
Scorers: Bernal, Caskey [pen], Hunter, Williams Date: 30 October 1999
Team: Whitehead, Casper, Bernal (Murty), Hunter, Primus, Gurney, Parkinson (Grant), Evers, Caskey, Williams, Scott (McIntyre).
Audio: Nope / Not yet Match Hero: Primus

Reading achieved a much deserved third victory in a row to progress to the second round of the FA Cup. But it wasn't without a fighting first half performance from Conference side Yeovil Town who after equalising to make it 1-1 looked well in the game. Yeovil fans were probably a little annoyed with the patronising "Well Played Yeovil" message displayed on the scoreboard after the final whistle but it was probably a fair comment. Yeovil put in a decent performance and were well in the game at times, but overall Reading looked the higher division club and it turned into a confortable victory considering Yeovil were considered likely giant-killers before the game kicked off.

There were a couple of reasons to be cheerful before kick-off with the return of Evers starting in midfield, and the lesser spotted Murty named on the bench. With Forster due back possibly this week Pardew is spoilt for choice when putting out his first eleven. Evers looked a little rusty and even Parky having a below average game outshone him. A little more match practice is needed before we can see what Evers can really do this time around. With Bernal, Hunter, Primus and Casper all in the defence Casper played wide and looked a little more comfortable with Primus again having an outstanding game at the back, exlcuding the odd moment. As said before with Hunter and Primus in the middle the defence is starting to look steadier and steadier. Against Yeovil the solid defending limited Yeovil to just three shots on goal all game, two of which they scored, and the lack of shots wasn't due to lack of trying. Having said that the defence collapsed spectacually to allow Yeovil to score their first.

The first half wasn't that great but it was a reasonable game of football. Yeovil's tactics were similar to Reading's with the ball being played around on the ground a fair bit. Where Yeovil were winning was physically with loads of heavy challenges flying in - all ignored by the referee. Keith Scott picked up a yellow card to challenging the keeper in a 50-50 situation but plenty of other more serious challenges were ignored. After a blatant hand ball inside the Yeovil box it was clear that the referee really didn't have much of an idea as to what was going on.

Reading had the best of the opening half hour winning a few corners and keeping the play mostly inside the opposition half. Yeovil failed to win a corner while Reading created a couple of chances from corners but failed to get the shots in. Caskey had a decent effort from just outside the area fired just over the bar.

Reading took the lead on half an hour. After a bit of Reading pressure the ball was pumped into the area. The keeper punched the ball well clear of the area to Andy Bernal on the left. Skippy had had a better chance earlier to give the Royals the lead but mis-hit his shot just outside the six-yard box. This was different. He got it under control and powered the ball home into the left corner of the net, from way out, with an amazing drive. The keeper got a touch but it wasn't enough and there was Skippy in front of the East Stand with his shirt on his head Dylan Kerr style. Excellent.

Five minutes later and Yeovil were level. The ball was played in diagonally from the right. Foster nipped in between Hunter and another Reading defender for Yeovil and the ball was past Whitehead's left and into the right side of the net. Yeovil started to look more and more controlled without really taking the advantage and as half time approached it looked possible they might get something out of the game. However they never really got the time or the space to threaten.

The second half was much more like it from the home fans' point of view as Reading made their increased number of chances count. However that was only after the usual shite start to the second half. Do they have a half time nap or something? Fired up definately isn't the phrase. Eventually we got back into the pace of the game, and just after an hour of play re-gained the lead. The ball was played into the right of the Yeovil box between a defender and the keeper. Way off was Martin Williams. Then all of a sudden Williams is going like an express train towards the ball on the corner, but inside, of the box, the keeper paniced Williams went over him and the ref gave the penalty. Up stepped Caskey, did his usual pause in his run up, before firing a decent penalty to the right of the keeper. 2-1 to the Royals.

Reading started to look a lot more confident after taking the lead again and we pushed people forward looking for more goals. With ten minutes left Barry Hunter got a rare goal after a corner on the right, sliding home through a couple of players six yards out. Cue a dramatic goal celebration like he'd just scored the FA Cup final winner. Five minutes later Reading got a deserved fourth goal. Williams was looking determined but wasn't able to beat the last defender until the last few minutes of the game. And it was right that Williams got it for all of his running around. He ran straight across from the right all the way along the edge of the area, legging it past two defenders and then letting rip before the third could get a challenge in to shoot from the middle of the edge of the box past the keeper. 4-1 to Reading, and Reading in the draw for round two.

Yeovil got a last minute consolation goal when a shot from the right, just inside the box, was lashed onto not far out to send it the wrong side of Whitehead in the Reading goal. 4-2.

So a decent, but not amazing performance from Reading. Plenty of bright signs with some decent goals. Yeovil may have been non-league but didn't look all that different than some of the Division Two sides we've played this season. With that in mind lets hope we repeat this performance against Brentford on Tuesday.

Post Match Opinions

The Royals turned in a very workman like performance and we got what we deserved against a side who I thought would cause us more problems than they eventually did. Linvoy Primus was I believe outstanding. But I still believe we need someone to punish teams who want to defend ninety minutes. -- Pete Turner

The display against Yeovil was pretty good I thought, lots of effort especially from Martin Williams and Hunter & Primus even Andy Bernal had a good game (mostly) - and a great goal. I agreed with the view of Stewart Barnes (Yeovil) about the dodgy penalty until I saw it on Match of the Day - it was a pen. We still need to improve but encouraging signs. -- Steve Pardoe.

Now that primus is really back to his old form the defence is beginning to look a bit more secure. With Williams rushing around the pitch like a startled rabbit things are definitely looking up. He just needs to stop giving away silly free kicks and then he and Forster coukld be a very useful pair provided that we have the skill to feed them the right kind of service. Evers looked OK given his lack of practice but what was wrong with Parky? Not his usual self at all. It should have been a stroll after the early goal, but it turned into a better match with there only ever being one winner!! -- Ken Chennells

As a Yeovil supporter,I would like to congratulate your club in having a super stadium and wish you luck in the future. However,as I sat and listened to some of your fans comments yesterday,it reminded of so many I hear at Yeovil seemingly most of the players were useless until the rather fortunate penalty which gifted you the match(even John Gorman agreed that was the turning point) You are indeed lucky to have the best ground built for many years-but please do not waste it by not investing in better players-those on view yesterday will not advance the club higher,where it must go,perhaps as high as the Premier League-after all you have the potential Tell the chairman to get his big cheque book out! -- Stewart Barnes

All I can say is, we're getting there! The Yeovil fan who spoke above - is he perhaps just a little bit predictable in his comments about our team? How many times have we played supposedly better teams, raised our game whilst at the same time dragging the opposition down to our level? Yeovil had nothing to lose, but it was also their big day out for the season, Reading on the other hand were on a hiding to nothing, it was the F.A. Cup (which creates surprises every year), plus of course the team is in the process of rebuilding team morale after a shakey period under Tommy Burns. At the end of the day, we won 4-2, and had the ref blown the whistle a minute earlier into injury time, it would have been a very comprehensive 4-1. That's good enough for me! Had the Royals just lost 4-2 at Liverpool, no doubt some similar Reading fan would have e-mailed the Liverpool web site and said 'nice ground, fantastic history, top supporters, but your team is a let-down'. But 4-2 is 4-2, pretty emphatic, and good enough for anybody! Point taken Yeovil? -- Callum MacKechnie

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