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Played
January 26, 2013 3:00 PM GMT
Madejski Stadium — Reading, Berkshire
Referee:‬ C. Foy‎
Attendance:‬ 14715‎
 
6′ Noel Hunt
 
 
50′ Noel Hunt
 
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Reading 4-0 Sheffield United

The Royals ran riot against the Blades, with two goals from Noel Hunt and a brilliant solo performance from Garath McCleary securing their progression to the next round

By Ewan Roberts at the Madejski Stadium

  • Adam Federici
    1
    0
    3.00

    Adam Federici

    Wasn't overly worked, though came to the rescue when needed. Made a good low stop to deny Murphy, rushing from his line and spreading his body, and excuded confidence.

  • Adrian Mariappa
    1
    0
    2.50

    Adrian Mariappa

    Looked vulnerable against the height of Sheffield United's physical strike duo, and was perhaps a little too relaxed on the ball, but made up for it with his pace and reading of the game.

  • Nicky Shorey
    0
    0
    2.50

    Nicky Shorey

    Struggled to contain the pace and quick feet of Blackman, and needed to enlist the help of Robson-Kanu to contain the winger-cum-striker. As ever, Shorey's set-pieces were consistently dangerous.

  • Stephen Kelly
    0
    0
    3.00

    Stephen Kelly

    Linked well with McCleary down the right and was competent defensively, giving Murphy little opportunity to make an impact on the game. Did brilliantly to clear a goal-bound shot after the line.

  • Sean Morrison
    0
    0
    3.00

    Sean Morrison

    Enjoyed the physical tussles with Sheffield United's tall, burly centre-forwards, though often came off second best against Porter. Organised and rallied his defence.

  • Garath McCleary
    3
    0
    4.00

    Garath McCleary Top of the Match

    Was a constant threat down the right flank, and fully deserved his second half goal. Worried Westlake throughout, turning the full-back inside out and shimmying towards the byline with pace and verve. Took his goal with supreme composure. An excellent display.

  • Hal Robson-Kanu
    1
    0
    3.50

    Hal Robson-Kanu

    Started the match well, bursting down the left before floating a cross towards the back post, which was headed in by Hunt. Became more peripheral as the game wore on, though was tasked with helping Shorey contain the dangerous Blackman.

  • Jem Karacan
    0
    1
    2.50

    Jem Karacan

    Covered a lot of ground in midfield, hussling alongside Leigertwood, and was the more progressive of the two players. Struggled to really affect Reading's play though.

  • Mikele Leigertwood
    0
    0
    3.00

    Mikele Leigertwood

    Looked laboured and slow on the ball, frequently conceding possession, but scored a brilliant goal. The Reading captain took a touch before powering a thunderous strike into the top corner from the edge of the box.

  • Adam Le Fondre
    0
    0
    2.50

    Adam Le Fondre

    Had a quiet game, perhaps highlighting why he isn't often picked to start, and struggled against the physicality of Sheffield United's defence. Worked hard though, and his movement and ingenuity worried the Blades.

  • Noel Hunt
    1
    0
    3.50

    Noel Hunt

    Worked hard up front, running the channels and dropping deep, and deservedly claimed two goals. Rose highest at the back post to head the home side into the lead before scoring a poacher's finish after the break.

Substitutions

  • Danny Guthrie
    0
    0

    Danny Guthrie

    Came on for Leigertwood with five minutes of normal time remaining.

  • George Long
    0
    1
    2.00

    George Long

    It would be harsh to lay too much blame on the young goalkeeper's shoulders, given the awful performance of the defence ahead of him. Was flat-footed for the opening goal and could only get a fingertip on Leigertwood's powerful long-range effort.

  •  Anthony McMahon
    0
    0
    2.50

    Anthony McMahon

    Frequently troubled by Robson-Kanu, though made several excellent recovery challenges on the winger and grew into the game. Less vulnerable than the rest of his defence. Used the ball well.

  • Danny Higginbotham
    0
    0
    2.00

    Danny Higginbotham

    Won a large number of headers but was clearly worried by the pace and movement of Reading's frontline, affording them far too much time and space. Totally lost Hunt for the second goal and was tricked by McCleary for the fourth.

  • Darryl Westlake
    0
    1
    1.50

    Darryl Westlake Flop of the Match

    Gave a horrendous performance and was totally unable to get to grips with McCleary. The Reading winger beat him for fun, while the full-back was too static at the back post as Hunt rose high above him to head the Royals into the lead. His misery was ended when he was withdrawn with 15 minutes remaining.

  • Harry Maguire
    0
    0
    2.00

    Harry Maguire

    Faired little better in the heart of the defence than any of his team-mates. Like Higginbotham, he looked solid in the air, but struggled hugely on the deck against the movement and sharpness of Reading's attack.

  • Kevin McDonald
    0
    0
    2.00

    Kevin McDonald

    Struggled to compete against Reading's midfield, Leigertwood especially. Looks slow off the ball and cumbersome on it, and conceded the midfield battle to the Royals. Substituted with 20 minutes remaining.

  • Michael Doyle
    0
    0
    2.50

    Michael Doyle

    The Blades' captain worked very hard, hussling and harrying Reading, pressing aggresively and showing a lot of heart, but the Premier League side had too much class in the middle. Lost Leigertwood for the Reading captain's goal.

  • Chris Porter
    0
    0
    2.50

    Chris Porter

    Spurned a number of good chances, including one from very close-range, but was a nuisance up front, regularly beating Morrison in the air and feeding his team-mates. Was substituted after an hour.

  • Dave Kitson
    0
    1
    2.00

    Dave Kitson

    The ex-Reading player received little service or supply and was a peripheral figure in the match. Didn't offer much of an out-ball and never even fired a shot in anger. An unhappy return.

  • Jamie Murphy
    0
    0
    2.50

    Jamie Murphy

    Had one of United's best chances of the first half, but was denied by Federici. Largely contained well by Kelly, and was never afforded the chance to stretch his legs and burst forward. A quiet game from the winger.

  • Nick Blackman
    3
    0
    3.00

    Nick Blackman

    The 23-year-old was deployed on the right flank and looked a threat when dribbling towards goal, winning several free-kicks for his side. Perhaps the only bright spark for the Blades, though his threat waned in the second half.

Substitutions

  • Neill Collins
    0
    0
    2.50

    Neill Collins

    Replaced the woeful Westlake with 15 minutes remaining. Would have been difficult to play any worse than the player he replaced.

  • Eliott Whitehouse
    0
    0
    2.50

    Eliott Whitehouse

    Replaced McDonald with 20 minutes remaining and worked hard in the middle of the park, closing down aggressively.

  • Ryan Flynn
    0
    0
    2.00

    Ryan Flynn

    Came on in place of Porter with half an hour remaining and lined up the flank, but was ineffective and wasteful in possession.

Results
First Round Matches
Times In GMT
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Britt Assombalonga Britt Assombalonga
Midfielder
Peterborough United
5 1
Joe Garner Joe Garner
Striker
Preston
5 0
Sam Clucas Sam Clucas
Midfielder
Mansfield Town
5 0
Chris Porter Chris Porter
Striker
Sheffield United
4 2
Reuben Reid Reuben Reid
Striker
Plymouth Argyle
4 1