MATCH REPORT: 2004/2005 Season

8 January 2005: FA CUP ROUND THREE
Reading: Ingimarsson (88 mins).
Swansea City:
Connor (32 mins).
Half Time: 0-1
Attendance: 13,642

Reading: Hahnemann, Hughes, Shorey, Sonko, Ingimarsson, Little, Sidwell, Harper (Morgan, 77 mins), Convey, Forster, Ferdinand (Owusu, 59 mins). Subs not used: Young, Brooker, Newman.
Swansea City: Gueret, Ricketts, Austin, Monk, Iriekpen, Forbes, Gurney, Britton, Robinson, Trundle, Connor (Anderson, 62 mins) Subs not used: Murphy, Nugent, Maylett, Fisken.
Reading: Sidwell.
Swansea City:
Referee: C Penton.

A late strike from Ivar Ingimarsson rescued Reading from an early exit from the FA Cup as the Royals came from a goal behind to force a replay against Swansea in the third round. Reading had most of the possession throughout the game, and again created a whole series of chances, but struggled to find the target. The Royals went behind just after half an hour when the visitors put in a scrappy goal inside the area that sneaked into the bottom corner. Les Ferdinand made his Reading debut and played alongside Forster but both players missed a series of chances as both Little and Convey fired in a number of crosses. Convey played the full ninety minutes and although he appeared a bit lightweight on a number of occassions will probably be pleased with his performance. The best effort of the first half saw a dipping volley from Convey narrowly go over the bar. After going in 0-1 down at half time the second half belonged to Reading with Swansea happy to defend. Swansea's defence looked like it was going to hold strong despite a Reading effort that looked to have crossed the line and a potential penalty that was waved away as the ball was clearly handled in the area. The breakthrough didn't look like coming and when it did it was from the foot of our central defender who drove home an excellent shot from outside the area that hit the left hand post before ending up in the opposite side of the net.

Following report by John Wells:
For the second game in succession Reading were nearly made to pay for not converting pressure into goals and wasting numerous chances. Swansea almost got away with a win which they clearly didn't deserve. Fortunately Ingimarsson kept the Royals in the Cup with a strike which illustrated the superiority of his technique compared to many of his team mates in more attacking roles. It was a frustrating afternoon again at the Madejski Stadium. Boosted by the arrival of Les Ferdinand, facing lower division opponents at home, and relieved of the pressure of competing from Championship points we were entitled to expect a performance to lift the spirits and rattle in a couple of goals. It was not to be.

Forster had another disappointing game. He lost possession with his first touch, wasted several chances by either snatching at them or delaying too long, and was constantly caught offside. He did come close to ending his barren spell with a lob near the end which drifted over the bar but he some way off the sharpness he was showing earlier in the season. Although past his best Ferdinand brought a touch of class to Reading's forward play with some well timed headers and well directed flicks and passes. He is still strong, has good touch, and spots good passing options almost instinctively. It was pity he tweaked his hamstring and had to go off!

Swansea had looked unlikely to score and were mainly restricted to speculative long range efforts which did not trouble Hahnemann. Them Trundle slid an innocuous looking ball into the box and Connor reacted quicker than everyone else and was able to prod the ball into the corner of the net to give the visitors an unexpected lead. There was glimmer of a reaction from Reading but Swansea made it comfortably to half time with their lead intact.

The second half was one way traffic. Swansea left Trundle up on his own and got everyone else behind the ball to frustrate Reading. Up to a point it was successful, except Trundle proved to be more of a nuisance than a threat, and they ultimately did concede an equaliser, which is often what you get and deserve when you sit back and defend. They did survive several scares. A clear penalty for handball not given, a header which was cleared of the line (or from behind it?), a Sonko header which was only just wide, and Sidwell shot straight at the 'keeper. Reading's cause was not helped by some poor crossing after good passing and individual skill from Little. Shorey and Convey had produced some promising situations on both wings. Swansea packed the penalty area and defended with high levels of discipline and concentration. Coppell tried to liven things up by giving a free role to Morgan for the closing stages of the game but by then desperation was setting in.

I can't see Swansea getting the better of Reading in the replay. It will be a tricky fixture, but the Royals clearly have better players all over the field, and only need to keep their composure to reach the next round. I just hope it doesn't go to penalties!


A match in which Reading never gave up and eventually got their reward, a scorching drive from Ingimarrson that went in off the post. However for all the inventiveness of Convey and Little on the wings, Ferdinand up front and useful Sonko distribution, Reading were still finding it difficult to find the back of the net. Its not as though chance aren't being created. In both the Derby game and this one Reading created a multitude of clear cut opportunities but again a combination of nervy finishing and downright bad luck meant that we face a Sky rematch on Monday.
Reading again started brightly and it was only the confusion between Sonko and Ferdinand that prevented them have a free header at goal. Convey (who played well and more some of those over who have been concerned about the low return from his hefty pricetag)went close with a volley and Ferdinand proved the doubters wrong with an excellent demonstration of forward linking play. He looks like being a valuable addition in our race for the Championship.
The Swansea goal was typical of Readings recent defending an innocuous build up sees a cross swung in, only for the defence to freeze, the ball is poked in and the substantial welsh contingent to start some raucous singing
The second half was more of the same - Reading domination with Little as the conductor for most of the Royals best chances, but still that elusive goal remained out of reach. Owusu replaced Ferdinand and looked ineffectual, Forster played the full 90 minutes but still does not look match fit. A goal is needed for him, but Ferdinand could prove to be the perfect foil. The equaliser, when it came from ingimarrson, was classy and from the boot of someone who is not known for their attacking capabilities other than coming up for corner kicks. More is needed however as goals do look hard to come by - which is particularly concerning given the number of crosses being provided. More build up in the centre of midfield in the shape of Sidwell and Forster would be welcome. Reading will go to Vetch Field more in hope than expectation after recent results (not least cup results) but if they put in a similar performance then hopefully there will be more luck on their side.
Only one Trevor Morley

A less than convincing performance really & Reading can count themselves lucky to still be in the draw for the next round. The team looked more than a bit lethargic & jaded whilst Swansea looked very motivated & up for the game. Positives though were Convey's performance & also Ferdinand showed touches of class & hopefully will get better the more he plays, especially as our attack is still looking rather toothless at the moment (Forster especially continues to look worryingly below his best, or even half of it!). At the moment, the team's dip in form still isn't proving too costly (we're still in touch at the top & still in the cup), but things need to improve before it does start to affect the league position in particular.
Caversham Royal

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