Royals shock Everton
Reading are through to the sixth round of the FA Cup after upsetting Everton 1-0 at Goodison Park.
Last Updated: 01/03/11 9:56pm
Reading are through to the sixth round of the FA Cup after upsetting Everton 1-0 at Goodison Park courtesy of Matthew Mills' first-half goal.
The Toffees were on a high after knocking out holders Chelsea in the last round, but it was the Championship side who emerged victorious on Merseyside.
Everton started brightly and had Reading on the back foot prior to Mills lashing home after David Moyes' side failed to deal with an Ian Harte corner.
Only a smart save from Tim Howard stopped Jimmy Kebe doubling their advantage soon after as Reading deservedly led at half-time.
Despite the introduction of Jermaine Beckford during the interval Everton rarely threatened until Royals keeper Alex McCarthy superbly denied Leon Osman late on.
However, Everton's pressure proved too little too late as Reading held on for the deserved win, setting up a sixth round clash with either Aston Villa or Man City.
Reading got behind the Everton defence in the first minute but Kebe's cross went behind Shane Long and the in-form Royals striker could only flick tamely at goal.
Everton soon began to assert themselves and won a free-kick which Leighton Baines swung into the box dangerously. Mikele Leigertwood headed behind for a corner under pressure from Jack Rodwell.
Baines and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov then combined well for Osman to send over a teasing cross to the far post for Seamus Coleman but the Irishman headed into the ground and the ball agonisingly bounced over.
Osman tested McCarthy with a powerful left-foot shot from the edge of the box but the goalkeeper, deputising for the injured Adam Federici, saved comfortably.
Long had another chance for Reading when he was picked out by a deep Harte cross but Howard easily claimed his header.
Reading, having been starved of possession for a spell, took encouragement from that and made what they had of the ball count as they claimed the lead from a 26th-minute corner.
Osman blocked as Mills met Harte's cross with a header towards goal but the Everton midfielder could only poke back to the Reading man as he attempted to clear.
Mills skilfully took the ball on his chest and then slammed a low shot past Howard.
Everton were shocked by the turn of events and should have gone another goal behind moments later.
A mistake by Sylvain Distin allowed Kebe a clear run on goal from 40 yards but Howard was alert and stood up well to block the Mali international's shot.
Osman went close to an equaliser just before the break when he headed over from a Baines corner.
Everton boss David Moyes felt the need to freshen up his attack at the interval and sent on Beckford and Victor Anichebe for Bilyaletdinov and Coleman.
The Toffees immediately looked more threatening and pieced together a move which led to Saha setting up Beckford but the former Leeds striker shot straight at McCarthy.
A shooting opportunity opened up for Mikel Arteta from distance as Everton came forward again but the Spaniard fired wide.
Yet just as Everton supporters might have started to sense a fightback, Reading served another warning of their potency as veteran Harte flashed a 30-yard free-kick narrowly wide.
The Toffees applied more pressure but Saha and Jack Rodwell both had efforts blocked as the hosts started to get frustrated.
Everton had another major let-off 15 minutes from time when Jay Tabb found space in the penalty area but had a firm shot deflected behind.
The Merseysiders' next opportunity came from a corner of their own as McCarthy failed to punch clear.
Saha pounced on the loose ball and turned to shoot but Beckford inadvertently blocked and the Royals survived.
McCarthy proved his ability moments later, however, with a stunning save from Osman.
Osman looked certain to score as he met a Beckford nod-down with a sweet volley but McCarthy somehow palmed the ball over from point-blank range.
Everton appealed for a penalty when the ball appeared to brush Harte's arm but referee Andre Marriner was unconvinced.Everton pressed on throughout five minutes of injury time but Reading held on.
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