Wednesday, February 08, 2006

UP THE BRUM Birmingham City 2-1 Reading

Distracted Reading bowed out of the FA Cup live on SKY television in frankly who gives a toss style last night, ensuring that there will be no fixture backlog for Coppell's championship chasers. Once again, the B team was given a chance to shine as 8 changes were made to the side which won at Gresty Road on Saturday. Floyd on Football begs the question - was Shane Long in Peter Pan? He certainly looked like one of the Lost Boys last night in an otherwise relatively competent Reading performance.

Reading should have taken the lead early on when Dave Kitson wasted a clear-cut chance when put through by Gunnarsson, he put the ball the wrong side of Taylor's far post. Reading dominated territory and possession but wingers Oster and Hunt were disappointing in providing a lack of quality ball into the box. Birmingham led just before the half hour against the run of play when FORSSELL weaved past Sonko into the box and shot at Stack, who was unfortunate to see the subsequent ricochet fall to the Finn to provide the finish. Reading could and should ahve levelled a moment later; Sidwell's snap shot was parried onto the post by Taylor and Kitson was denied by the Blues 'keeper from the rebound.

Reading got the equaliser they deserved against injury-hit and unimpressive Premiership opposition early in the second period when HUNT cut accross Alex Bruce to smash home via the underside of the cross bar. The good work was undone midway through the half though by lazy marking from the rusty-looking John Halls to allow Jarosik to pick out the head of Julian GRAY with simplicity. Reading looked frankly disinterested and unconvincing in their attempts to get back into the game after this setback and Floyd on Football was pleased to have saved time and money travelling to St Andrews as our intent was shown by selecting a young and inexperienced substitutes bench. Birmingham clung on to clinch a barely deserved and unglamorous looking 5th round date at Stoke City to leave Reading to concentrate on replacing the Blues in the Premiership next season.

Reading: Stack, Halls, Makin, Ingimarsson, Sonko, Oster, Sidwell, Gunnarsson, Hunt, Kitson, Long (Cox, 68). Subs not used: Federici, Golbourne, Osano, Sinnott.

Floyd's Favourite: Sidwell. Finding some good form.


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