MATCH REPORT: Royals 3-1 County
Newport County AFC faced Reading FC on Tuesday evening in the First Round of the Capital One Cup at the Madejski Stadium. Goals from Pogrebnyak just twenty minutes in gave the Royals a 1-0 lead at half time. Reading doubled their advantage through Nick Blackman, before Shaun Jeffers pulled one back in stoppage time for County, only for Gregg Tanner to score almost instantly to make the full time score Reading 3-1 County.
County started strongly and had Reading on the back foot early on, Yan Klukowski's shot just three minutes in going wide of the target from the edge of the box. Just a minute later both Mark Byrne and Aaron O'Connor went close, Byrne's shot well saved by McCarthy whilst O'Connor's volley ended up safely finding its way into the hands of Alex McCarthy.
Despite the early pressure from County it was Reading who took the lead. Pavel Pogrebnyak found his way through on goal beating the offside trap to finish well and give Reading the lead. Reading continued the pressure as they headed over from a corner with ten minutes left in the half.
It was Klukowski who was next to go close as his headed went inches past the left hand post with the keeper stranded. Just before the break Kevin Feely picked up a booking as he brought down Pogrebnyak when through on goal.
As we entered the second half it was County who started the strongest as Aaron O'Connor went close following Adam Chapmans cross. Lenny Pidgeley was alert on 53 minutes as he tipped over a shot from Nick Blackman. Just before the hour mark Darren Jones conceded a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the box, but the County defence held strong as the ball ended up hitting the wall.
Christian Jolley and Lee Minshull came on for Aaron O'Connor and Yan Klukowski on 72 minutes. Just minutes later County had a number of chances with the ball eventually going over from Mark Byrne's shot. It was Shaun Jeffers who was next to enter the game as he replaced Rene Howe with ten minutes left. County were pushing for an equaliser but it was Reading who got the next goal, Nick Blackman found his way into the box to finish from close range and double Reading's advantage.
With the Fourth official adding an additional four minutes there was hope for County as Robbie Willmott's corner found Shaun Jeffers whose header nestled into the back of the Reading net to make it 2-1. As the referee blew for kick off just moments later it was Reading who extended their lead, Gregg Tanner scoring almost instantly to give Reading a flattering 3-1 lead and that's how it finished. As the Referee blew for full time the County fans applauded the players from the pitch.
After the game Justin Edinburgh commented "We run Reading hard tonight, we were disappointed to concede the goal I thought we changed the system slightly tonight and it served us well, we were very much in the game. There were times when Reading had long periods of possession but we were content for Reading to have that, but we had nothing to lose second half and I think the scoreline is disappointing but we got the goal we deserved in the end. I think it was pleasing in front of a magnificent support tonight"