Reading FC Match Report: 2023/2024 Season - FL Trophy


Reading: H Knibbs (19), H Knibbs (45), H Knibbs (49), P Mukairu (90), H Dean (90)
Swindon: --

A Harvey Knibbs hat-trick laid the foundations for a comfortable victory to send The Royals through to the next stage of the EFL Trophy. Reading took control of the game from the kick-off and were rarely troubled by the visitors. Knibbs gave Reading an early lead when allowed an extraordinary amount of time in the box to tee up his shot before rifling the ball past Town's ex Reading 'keeper Lewis Ward. Rushesha and Craig were busy in midfield and dictated play as Town struggled to retain possession rarely able to escape their own half.

Reading moved the ball around well but for all their dominance lacked the composure in the box to add to their lead. Attempts from outside the box were mainly high or wide of the target. Vickers was looking very lively, always looking likely to go past a defender or find a penetrating short pass. He found Yiadom inside the box forcing a save from Ward. The intensity of the game began to subside and it looked as if Reading would not extend their lead before the interval until Guinness-Walker pinged a ball in to the near post in stoppage time. Knibbs used the pace of the cross to direct the ball past a startled looking Ward to double the lead

The tie was settled immediately after the re-start, not that there was ever any doubt about the outcome, when Mola slid a ball through to Mukaira who was felled with a clumsy lunge providing the chance for Knibbs to complete his hat-trick from the penalty spot. Selles decided Knibbs had done enough for the evening and replaced him with Azeez. Vickers continued to catch the eye with his energy and creativity. The home fans particularly enjoyed a spectacular nutmeg to take him past the centre back. Reading added a fourth goal in stoppage time. Nobody deserved a goal than Vickers, showing more desire to score than anyone else. He hit the bar with a well struck free-kick, and could console himself with the pleasure of seeing his free kick come back off the bar for Mukairu nod past the seated Ward having just managed to get a touch on the shot.

By now most of the Swindon fans had made their way out of the stadium and their demoralised team gifted Reading possession carelessly to concede a fifth goal. Dean, almost apologetically, beat Ward unchallenged at the far lost with a downward header. It was an entertaining match, attended by a fairly decent crowd and a good atmosphere, only slightly marred by unruly visiting fans before and after the game.

John Wells

This FL Trophy game took place 142 days ago in the 2023/2024 season.