Capital One Cup: Reading looking for cup run after first-round win over Newport
Last Updated: 14/08/14 12:00pm
Reading assistant boss Andy Crosby is hoping that an extended run in the Capital One Cup can help the squad gel for the Championship campaign.
Newport dominated much of a scrappy first-round tie on Tuesday but were undone midway through the first half when Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak scored with a delightfully flighted chip.
Nick Blackman added a solo effort near the end but Shaun Jeffers pulled one back for Newport with a header before Craig Tanner made it 3-1.
And after the nervy win, Crosby said: "Of course we'd like a long run in the competition.
"Winning breeds confidence and, with it being a new group of players, it's important that we try to get wins.
"To stay in this competition also means we're winning games. We weren't successful in it last season [they lost 6-0 at Peterborough in second round] so to win tonight was a good thing.
"It was also psychologically important to win, with three home matches in a row and now Ipswich and Huddersfield to come.
"We're delighted to get through to the second round. We knew Newport would make it difficult for us and they got on the front foot early on.
"That was not in our script but our first goal calmed us down a bit."
Reading had earned a commendable 2-2 Championship draw at Wigan Athletic on Saturday but were fortunate to survive an early onslaught from Newport.
Yan Klukowski drove wide and home goalkeeper Alex McCarthy was forced to make decent saves from Mark Byrne and Aaron O'Connor.
Reading weathered the storm and went ahead in the 20th minute, when Pogrebnyak raced on to a Simon Cox pass.
Blackman should have done better on two occasions when cutting in from the right flank. Each time, though, he blazed his effort wide.
He finally got it right in the 87th minute, racing in from the same wing and beating Lenny Pidgeley with a precise finish.
Newport were offered hope when substitute Jeffers nodded in a Robbie Willmott cross in the third minute of stoppage time.
But, one minute later, home substitute Tanner drove in a low shot to settle a scrappy tie in Reading's favour.
After the poor 2-0 home defeat against Wycombe on Saturday, Newport boss Justin Edinburgh was more satisfied with his side's display.
"I was extremely pleased," he said. "We needed a reaction after such a low performance on Saturday and we got that tonight.
"We ran Reading hard and we were very much in the game throughout. We had nothing to lose in the second half so we went for it.
"It was a disappointing scoreline but we deserved a goal and it was good to see us get it.
"It was a bit of a free game for us tonight. Nothing was expected of us but we still didn't want to be taken apart by a good Championship side.
"We had more of a cutting edge in the final third tonight, much more than against Wycombe. Hopefully, we'll take that into the bread-and-butter of the league against Morecambe on Saturday."