Reading (Away)
FA Cup Third Round replay

Tuesday 15th January 2008


Having fielded a weakened side in the first game, the replay arrives at a time when the Royals are not flush with players, seeing as how three more will be absent playing in Africa.  You never know, Coppell might be forced into playing a strengthened team !!

Spurs will be putting out a more or less first eleven, minus injuries and an odd change here and there.  Robinson might find himself between the posts again, but hopefully not as near the line as in the original match, while Ledley should be rested with the semi final of the other cup next week. 

It should be quite an interesting game to see how Reading approach it, as this will be their first game facing us at home this season and you would have thought that they would come out at us.  However, I reckon they might sit in and try and hit Spurs on the break.  While Coppello reckons he wants out of the competition, I think with a trip to Old Trafford on the cards in the next round, he might try and nick it, as it will mean a money boost and also a return to his old club.  And almost certain elimination, so they will have nothing to lose apart from losing if they beat Spurs.

A tight game in prospect, but Berbatov might motivate himself to boost his price tag and create some sort of weird record of scoring lots of goals against the same team for the third week running.  It should be just enough for us to go North to meet our FA Cup exit ...

PREDICTION : -  Reading  1   Tottenham Hotspur   2

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.


READING :  -  Glen Little (ankle); John Oster (ankle); Emerse Fae, Andre Bikey and Ibrahima Sonko (international duty); - (-); 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Anthony Gardner (ankle); Gareth Bale (foot); Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee); Darren Bent (thigh);  Tom Huddlestone (suspended 3 of 3); Didier Zokora (international duty); - (suspension); - (-); - (-);


Match of the Day  (BBC 1) - Saturday 22.30 - 23.50 (highlights)
For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here.

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152
 (live coverage)
BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne) SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney)  Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa  SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean)  Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Reading   0   Tottenham Hotspur    1      (Half-time score : 0-1)

FA Cup Third Round replay
Venue : -  Madejski Stadium
Tuesday 15th January 2008
Kick Off :  8.00 p.m.
Crowd :   22,130
Referee :  Mike Riley (Leeds)
Weather :  -  Chilly, wet
Teams : - 
Reading :

32  Federici

  3  Shorey  (10  Hunt 66)
35  Pearce  (31 Cox 46)
16  Ingarmarsson
23  De La Cruz

  4  Cisse
17  Convey
19  Rosenior
15  Harper

  8  Lita     
24  Long     

Unused subs: 
  1  Hanhemann
  9  Doyle
34  Henry

Tottenham Hotspur :

12  Cerny

44  Gunter
20  Dawson
  5  Kaboul (
  7  Stalteri 82)
  2  Chimbonda

  8  Jenas
  6  Tainio(
24  O'Hara 75)
17  Boateng
15  Malbranque

18  Defoe (25  Lennon 61)
10  Keane (c)     

Unused subs: 
31  Forecast
19  Taarabt

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  


Tottenham Hotspur

Keane 13

Cards : -  

Lita (diving) 13 
Long (throwing ball away) 87 


Tottenham Hotspur 

Keane (dissent) 74   



Match Report : -  
After two games full of incident, perhaps this FA Cup Third Round replay was due to be a drab affair and the glut of goals had to dry up at some stage.

Leaving the ill Berbatov out meant that the match would not feature another goal from the Bulgarian forward.  But Defoe was included and he is always keen to get on the scoresheet, with the little line-up at the front completed by Robbie Keane and later when Defoe was replaced by Aaron Lennon.  It was a game which saw the woodwork hit three times and a performance from Spurs, which almost replicated the League Cup tie at Eastlands a few weeks back.

One goal was enough, but when Reading decided they should really try and play the game in the second half, they had the chances to pull level, but they went unclaimed, leaving them with exactly what their manager wanted out of the tie ... an FA Cup exit.

With King rested and Kaboul back in and Tainio in for O'Hara, the team took on an unusual look, but they started with energy and some good passing.  Early corners were exchanged at either end, but nothing came from them.  Jenas made a lung-busting run and tried to cross for Keane, but the ball was inches away from the Irishman.

Jermain Defoe did get on the end of Younes Kaboul's flick on from a cross, but could not keep his own header below the bar, but then as soon as the ball had got to the other end, Leroy Lita broke through the middle of the Tottenham defence and only Cerny's quick advance put the Reading forward off so much, that he not only failed to get the bouncing ball past the keeper, but he threw himself to the floor, looking for a penalty, but only got a yellow card.

With 14 minutes on the clock, Defoe went up to meet Jenas' cross at the far post, only to be denied as Ingarmarsson knocked it away for a corner.  Jermaine went across to take it and swung the ball into the six yard box, where Kaboul met it powerfully.  Federici did well to get something on the big Frenchman's header and tipped it up onto the bar, but it bounced out and dropped kindly in the goal-mouth, where Robbie Keane was stationed and his reaction to the chance saw him flick the ball forward into the net to give Tottenham the lead. 

Kaboul gained confidence with the header and his mastery of Lita, allowing him to go on a forward foray with the ball, as he rampaged up the left wing before crossing just beyond Keane.  Reading's best chance to date came just afterwards when Convey failed to show enough conviction to reach a ball in from Rosenior, as he made the most of the space on his side of the pitch. 

With Chimbonda looking les than interested in the whole affair and Boateng not getting into his game with the club yet, it left Spurs having a disjointed look about them.  A corner into the area was knocked down by Cerny, who was lucky that Lita could only blast over the crossbar from about 12 yards out, while a Tottenham passing move then brought a fine diving save out of Federici, as Boateng pulled a cross back to the penalty spot, where Defoe cracked a volley that the keeper did very well to push aside.

A few flutters went through Tottenham fans hearts just before the interval when Teemu Tainio miscued a clearance and the ball flew over his own bar, instead of in.  Just the other side of the break, Defoe tried to chip the Reading goalie, but got too much height on it and it sailed over the top.  Reading's response was a move that saw Shorey line up a shot on the edge of the area, but he could not execute it and put the ball about three yards wide with the inside of his foot.  Rosenior blasted a good chance too high when it looked as if he might threaten the Tottenham goal, as substitutions were made.

Spurs were trying to play keep-ball and Reading were at least making some effort to score.  The closest they came was from that little Hunt, who got the ball just on the right corner of the Spurs penalty box and hit a first time half-volley that bounced back out off the angle of crossbar and post.  The ball was played back in, but Cerny made a fairly comfortable dive to stop Cox's header.

Further turmoil in the Tottenham defence arose when Kaboul went off and Stalteri came on, requiring Chimbonda to adopt his laughable position in the middle of the back four and Stalts go to right back.

They did OK after a shaky start and in added time right at the end they were opened up, as Convey floated a cross to Cisse at the back stick and he headed it at goal, but straight at Cerny.  This had come just after a good move by Spurs saw O'Hara spread the ball wide to Keane, who took the ball down with some good chest control and his cross to Steed was volleyed fiercely at goal and once more, Federici did well to get a fingertip on the ball, which took it up onto the bar and away.

It was not much of a game and it was one in which Spurs did just enough, but came out of it with a clean sheet.  It was not all of their own making, as Reading failed to thoroughly test the back line, but Kaboul did well while he was on and Gunter showed promise and a fair turn of pace on his debut.  Jenas' presence in midfield was welcome and he showed some good runs and some good tracking back.

Missing Berbatov was a blow, but the others made up for it and perhaps his cold was a little convenient, with next week's semi approaching.

But before that, we have another tough battle ahead with Sunderland coming to the Lane.  We will need to be a bit sharper and a bit more ruthless to get the points from that one, but thoughts of Man U can be put on hold for the moment and the good points of this game need to be picked out and put into use more often.





Reaction : -



Well, as much as a clean sheet was welcome, it was less than impressive and only the woodwork helped us out.  I suppose that we haven't had too much luck in that respect, but even so, the midfield sloppily gave the ball away in the second half and Kevin-Prince Boateng looked a million miles away from the midfield enforcer we need.

Chris Gunter looked good.  Pacy and determined, but he has a way to go before he will stand up to the barrage of pressure some Premier League players will put him under.  Reading might just about stay up, but they showed little ambition and with a bit more might have taken this game, as we took the foot off the pedal as soon as we scored.

Good result, but we will need a huge step up in effort if we want to even try to get through the next round.








Other replays this round :
Barnet - Swindon Town - -day
Bury 2 Norwich City 1 Tuesday
Hereford United - Tranmere Rovers - -day
Bristol Rovers - Fulham - -day
Liverpool 5 Luton Town 0 Tuesday
Manchester City - West Ham United - -day
Millwall 2 Walsall 1 Tuesday
Newcastle United - Stoke City - -day
Havant and Waterlooville - Swansea City - -day
Sheffield Wednesday - Derby County - -day
West Bromwich Albion (won 4-3 on pens.; 2-2 at 90 mins) 2 Charlton Athletic 2 Tuesday


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