News and Views

Reading Hope For Cup Run As Walsall Visit

29 January 2016
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading are back in FA Cup action this weekend as they look to put together another cup run after last season's visit to Wembley in the Semi-Final. In Reading's way of a place in round five are League One Walsall who put out Championship Brentford in the last round with a 1-0 away victory. Reading needed a replay to eventually overcome ten man Huddersfield at home, coming from 0-2 down to win 5-2. Reading are mid-table, and out of form, and the visitors are flying high in League One - they are in third place and just a point outside the automatic promotion places. Both teams will fancy their chances, and an away win would hardly register as a shock. However this a great opportunity to make it count and progress in the competition.

Reading and Walsall fixtures are traditionally dull. The last five meetings of the two sides have returned just five goals. That average of a single goal in each match is probably a fair reflection of the entertainment served up in those matches. Out of those five games there have been four draws, which has included two games without a goal, and one single goal victory for Walsall. Two of those draws were in the FA Cup third round, and one was really a defeat after Walsall dumped the Royals out of the cup after a penalty shoot out at the Madejski.

The last time the two sides met was over 12 years ago in Division One - a 1-1 away draw. The home game that season was the 0-1 reverse, where the majority of the 11,225 fans had to be woken up at full time to leave the Madejski Stadium. Both sets of fans will be hoping for a fixture that goes against the trend tomorrow afternoon, as Reading hope to build a cup run to distract from what has been a disappointing league campaign. There may have been high hopes at the start of the season but now Reading fans are resigned to mid-table, with the FA Cup the only chance of generating any excitement this term.

Brian McDermott should have options in defence with both Paul McShane and Michael Hector expected to be available for selection. George Evans, who started for the Royals last weekend, has already appeared for Walsall in the FA Cup this season and will be unavilable for selection. McDermott is expected to field a strong first choice side in an attempt to win at the first attempt.


Discussion On This Story:


» 20 Jan 2016 11:00

Now we're through we concentrate more fully on this one. Awful tie for both sides though both will see it as winnable.

I always recall games with Walsall as being awkward, dour, non spectacular and about as much worth watching as a crack in the pavement.

The last time we played them in the FA Cup back in 2003 was a dreadfully dull awful replay and we got beaten on penalties, all after a particularly dull awful 0-0 at their place, (that defeat was followed by an equally dull awful 0-0 in the league with them on the Saturday after)

Since we moved to the Mad Stad we've played 11 games in total against them and won only 2, both at the Bescot and drawn another 5 (so we've obviously lost 4).

Still waiting for our first victory against them at the Mad Stad (pld 5 W0 D3 L2 F3 A5)

Think we all know what to expect on the day; a turgid game that sees us really struggle badly and either jam our way through or be otherwise embarrassed).

Last win at home against them was by 2-1 at Elm Park in September 1985 and even then they scored more goals than us....

Stick your memories and thoughts on Walsall below.

 Winchester Royal

» 20 Jan 2016 11:07

I remember going up to the Bescot, quite early in a Division 2 season, when they were top and we were second. We had a perfectly good goal ruled out, apparently because Martin Butler was climbing on somebody's back. They then scored two goals and Jimmy Mcintyre got a 90th minute consolation. We then lost to them in the playoff final. Somebody crocked Tony Rougier and Howard Webb did nothing about it. I recall him having only reffed a handful of league games at that pint.

A couple of years later, we'd lost three consecutive games 3-0, to Palace, Stoke and Wimbledon. The next game was away at Walsall and we had no confidence at all. Nicky Shorey got a late free kick to equalise for us.


» 20 Jan 2016 11:34

There was an entertaining home 2-2 in the run up to that play-off defeat. They were quite handy that season.

Can't quite believe this all happened 15 years ago.


» 20 Jan 2016 11:54

I'm looking forward to seeing

Ray Graydon
Zigor Aranalde
Jimmy Walker
Jorge Leitão
Darren Byfield
Don Goodman
Colin Lee
Paul Merson
Simon Osborn


» 20 Jan 2016 11:58

Wouldn't mind a draw in the home tie and then an away fixture


» 20 Jan 2016 12:00

OK, all from memory. First or second home game 1976-77 season. Old division 3, just having gone up from the fourth tier. We won 2-1, after Alan Buckley had given them the lead in front of me on the Tilehurst end terrace. We lost the away match 6-1 at Fellows Park- I did not go to that one, but bought the programme at the following home match.

We got relegated.

Happy days.


» 20 Jan 2016 12:04

You can see one of their stands really clearly from the M6.

That's about all I can comment on Walsall.


» 20 Jan 2016 12:05

I was at this game and remember the fun and games at the train station afterwards. Walsall one side, Reading the other. Them shouting "rich farmers" at us was a definite highlight.

 Brum Royal

» 20 Jan 2016 12:36

"Jimmy Walker's 4 foot 6, 4 foot 6, 4 foot 6, Jimmy Walker's 4 foot 6, in his high heels"


» 20 Jan 2016 12:46

On my least likeable clubs list, and they talk funny!


» 20 Jan 2016 12:52

'Where's your caravan?' being chanted at Zigor Aranalde for the majority of an away game at the Bescot, and also giving Jimmy Walker some stick for being short. I seem to recall Walker being pretty cool about it, clapping the fans after the game and laughing along with it all. I think the game was a shit 0-0.

I also remember Vinny Samways scoring a free-kick in one of Coppell's early games, and us looking like complete dogshit throughout.


» 20 Jan 2016 13:08

Don't get me wrong I'd love to be there but the Black Country accent is so abhorent to me that I become a homicidal maniac if I ever hear it.

So I'll just stay at home, listen to it on the radio and make msyelf a Kipper Tie.

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