Reading comeback stuns Baggies
By Patrick Whyte
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Reading took the honours in a pulsating cup tie as they beat West Brom 3-2.
Reading took the honours in a pulsating cup tie as they came from behind to beat West Brom 3-2 at the Madejski Stadium.
Richard Chaplow had scored twice for the visiters to put them two goals up, but a superb Leroy Lita hat-trick won the game.
Lita had the game's the first opportunity after being threaded through by Steve Sidwell. However, the former Bristol City player could only shoot wide from a difficult angle.
West Brom picked up a surprise victory away at Wigan on Sunday, and they continued their good form by taking the lead.
A seemingly innocuous clearance from the Reading defence, fell to Ronnie Wallwork who knocked a ball over the top for Chaplow to run onto and drill a shot into the bottom corner.
After going a goal behind Reading upped the tempo, and almost forced an equaliser after 20 minutes.
John Oster always looked a threat and it was his right wing cross which was headed back across the six yard box by Stephen Hunt.
The ball then fell to Shane Long, but he fluffed his opportunity directly in front of goal.
After being under pressure West Brom's Premiership class told as they raced up the other end to score against the run of play on 31 minutes.
Nathan Ellington latched onto a beautiful Darren Carter cross, but his volley was blocked by Reading keeper Graham Stack.
However, Chaplow was on hand again to bury rebound to score his second goal of the game and his second ever for The Baggies.
Reading's quick attack continued to cause problems on the West Brom flanks.
Youngster Jared Hodgkiss was given a torrid time by Hunt on the left and Oster continued to deliver good crosses but the home side were unable to scratch out any clear cut chances before the break.
Reading continued to put the pressure on the away side, and got what they deserved when the pulled a goal back through Lita.
Oster again caused problems on the right hand side, his ball in found Lita who spun well and fired his chance into the back of the net.
The Royals' dominance continued and they were unlucky not to equalise when the lively Sidwell fizzed a shot just wide from 25 yards.
Steve Coppell had obviously fired his side up at half-time and they completed their comeback on 65 minutes with a fantastic team goal.
A series of passes on the right found there way to James Harper who fed the ball to Lita on the edge of the area.
Lita swivelled and curled in a sublime dipping effort which Kirkland had no chance with.
After being two up The Baggies found themselves level, and tried desperately to reassert their authority.
Nathan Ellington drifted in from the right and easily shrugged off Chris Makin but could only strike the ball straight at Stack who saved well.
On 75 minutes Robert Earnshaw had another chance, but blazed over the bar from the edge of the area.
Despite crafting a number of decent chances West Brom could not cope with Lita. Late on the burly forward won himself a free-kick, which he took, but his shot was straight at Kirkland.
Extra time looked to have taken its toll on the West Brom players, who were shown up by Reading's fresh legs and it was the Championship side's attacking play that was once again highlighted as they took the lead three minutes into extra time.
The influential Oster fed Harper, and his miss kick fell kindly to Lita who pounced to give his side the lead.
Reading's dominance almost reaped a handful of goals in extra time as Hunt and Lita both went close and with a few minutes to go Curtis Osano almost wrapped things up but his effort was saved.
The Royals' reward for their efforts is a home tie at home to Birmingham in round four.
|Reading||Team Statistics||West Bromwich Albion|
|7||Shots on Target||3|
|5||Shots off Target||1|