Reading 4-0 Walsall: Matej Vydra scores twice in Royals win
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 30/01/16 6:24pm
Matej Vydra scored twice as Reading eased into the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 4-0 victory over Walsall at the Madejski Stadium.
Losing semi-finalists last season, the Championship side struck twice shortly before half-time against Walsall through Hal Robson-Kanu and Vydra.
Walsall offered little threat throughout and Reading emphasised their dominance by adding further goals in the second half through Danny Williams and Vydra,
Reading went into the tie sitting 15th in the Championship and on a run of only three wins in nine outings under new manager Brian McDermott, while Walsall started the day in third place in League One, just one point off an automatic promotion slot.
The visitors had lost only once in eight games since Sean O'Driscoll took over from Dean Smith in December but Reading created the first opening in the fifth minute when Aaron Tshibola tried his luck with an audacious volley from 30 yards, which landed on the top of the net.
Tshibola lasted only five more minutes, however, when he was taken off injured following an innocuous-looking fall and was replaced by Michael Hector.
Walsall offered scant threat, though but Tom Bradshaw went close with a 20-yard shot that deflected off Jake Cooper and flew narrowly wide.
Reading then struck twice in three minutes to give themselves a comfortable cushion at the break.
In the 37th minute, Robson-Kanu collected a Chris Gunter throw-in and wriggled his way through before unleashing a fierce shot into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
Five minutes before the interval, Stephen Quinn got free on the left and crossed for Vydra to stab in from close range.
Vydra should have made it 3-0 soon after, racing clear of the Walsall defence, but he dragged his effort well wide.
Reading continued to press in the second half, with Robson-Kanu sending in a weak shot that goalkeeper Neil Etheridge gathered easily.
Walsall gradually got their act together going forward and Romaine Sawyers was unlucky to see his 25-yard strike the crossbar, with home goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi well beaten while left-back Andrew Taylor let fly with a 30-yard free kick but that also narrowly missed the target.
Reading soon regained their momentum, with Etheridge tipping a long-range Oliver Norwood free-kick on to the bar and away to safety.
But they settled the outcome in the 75th minute when Williams latched on to an error by James O'Connor and ran through to beat Etheridge.
Completing Walsall's miserable afternoon, Etheridge was injured as Williams tucked the ball past him and had to be carried off on a stretcher before Vydra added Reading's fourth in the last minute, heading home a Gunter cross.