The FA Cup - Fourth Round
ReadingReading4WalsallWalsall0

Reading 4-0 Walsall

Reading are in the fifth round of the FA Cup for the fifth time in seven years after easily beating Walsall.

The Championship side led when Hal Robson-Kanu rolled his marker to fire a powerful shot into the roof of the net.

The lead was doubled within four minutes, Matej Vydra bundling in Stephen Quinn's cross from close range.

Romaine Sawyers and Oliver Norwood hit the bar for each side after the break before Danny Williams ran clear to finish and Vydra headed a fourth.

Reading - beaten by winners Arsenal at the semi-final stage last season - survived an early scare when Tom Bradshaw had a shot deflected just wide for the visitors.

But their superior quality told against their League One opponents, with Williams impressively crafting space for Quinn to create the second four minutes before the break.

Brian McDermott's side - 15th in the Championship - have just two league wins from 11 matches and will take a welcome boost in confidence ahead of Tuesday's trip to Ipswich.

Walsall kept an unchanged side for the trip to the Madejski despite being third in their division and with a trip to Doncaster on Tuesday.

Sawyers' strike against the bar was a moment where they could have kept the tie alive, but while they had much of the possession, it was the home side who created the more telling openings and they deserved their place in Sunday's draw.

Meanwhile, Saddlers goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was stretchered off on 78 minutes, with what appeared at first to be a serious knee injury, to be replaced by his deputy Craig MacGillivray.

But Walsall head coach Sean O'Driscoll's initial post-match assessment was that the injury is a cut knee, and although he is now a doubt for Tuesday night's trip to Doncaster, it is not as bad as first feared.

Walsall head coach Sean O'Driscoll told BBC WM 95.6:

"We said before the game that this would be our most difficult game just because they're really functional. They put pressure on our back line and it was just a case of when to play and when not to play.

"We got caught a couple of times and as the game progressed we realised we couldn't overplay in the middle of the park, and when we got the ball forward we were a threat.

"As for Neil Etheridge, I don't think it's anything structural."

Line-ups

Reading

Formation 4-3-3

  • 26Al Habsi
  • 2Gunter
  • 35Cooper
  • 15FerdinandBooked at 58minsSubstituted forMcShaneat 68'minutes
  • 11Obita
  • 6Norwood
  • 18TshibolaSubstituted forHectorat 10'minutes
  • 23Williams
  • 21QuinnSubstituted forJohnat 79'minutes
  • 9Robson-Kanu
  • 7Vydra

Substitutes

  • 1Bond
  • 3Taylor
  • 5McShane
  • 8Hector
  • 17Piazon
  • 20John
  • 31Cox

Walsall

Formation 3-5-1-1

  • 1EtheridgeSubstituted forMacGillivrayat 78'minutes
  • 3Taylor
  • 4O'Connor
  • 6Downing
  • 2DemetriouBooked at 35mins
  • 7ChambersBooked at 59minsSubstituted forCookat 64'minutes
  • 8Mantom
  • 12Forde
  • 14Henry
  • 10Sawyers
  • 9Bradshaw

Substitutes

  • 13MacGillivray
  • 15Lalkovic
  • 16Preston
  • 17Flanagan
  • 18Morris
  • 21Cook
  • 22Kinsella
Referee:
Peter Bankes
Attendance:
13,367

Match Stats

Home TeamReadingAway TeamWalsall
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home13
Away5
Shots on Target
Home9
Away1
Corners
Home2
Away4
Fouls
Home10
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Reading 4, Walsall 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Reading 4, Walsall 0.

  3. Post update

    Paul Downing (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Ola John (Reading).

  5. Post update

    Corner, Reading. Conceded by Paul Downing.

  6. Post update

    Attempt saved. Oliver Norwood (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  7. Post update

    Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Andy Taylor (Walsall).

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Danny Williams (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  10. Goal!

    Goal! Reading 4, Walsall 0. Matej Vydra (Reading) header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Hal Robson-Kanu.

  11. Post update

    Ola John (Reading) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Anthony Forde (Walsall).

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Paul Downing (Walsall) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Jordan Obita.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Danny Williams (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  16. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Reading. Ola John replaces Stephen Quinn.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Walsall. Craig MacGillivray replaces Neil Etheridge because of an injury.

  19. Post update

    Delay in match Neil Etheridge (Walsall) because of an injury.

  20. Goal!

    Goal! Reading 3, Walsall 0. Danny Williams (Reading) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.