Reading Earn Themselves A Trip To Wembley

Bradford enjoyed a fairy-tale run in the FA Cup beating Chelsea and Sunderland along the way but it was brought to an end as Reading sealed their first FA Cup semi-final appearance for 88 years.

Two goals in the first nine minutes from Hal Robson-Kanu and Garath McCleary set the Championship side on the way to a comfortable sixth-round replay win.

Bradford’s Filipe Morais got himself sent off after 63 minutes and Jamie Mackie scored Reading’s third shortly after with his fifth goal in six games.

Reading v Bradford

The Royals will face Cup holders Arsenal at Wembley on either April 18 or 19.

Reading took control straight from the first whistle, nine days after the sides battled out a 0-0 stalemate at Valley Parade.

Robson-Kanu gave them the ideal start, rising to score with a near-post header from McCleary’s sixth-minute corner.

The impressive McCleary doubled the lead three minutes later with Phil Parkinson’s side still attempting to regroup.

The winger cut in from the right to beat keeper Ben Williams from just inside the area with a looping shot that took a big deflection off Andy Halliday.

Home fans celebrated on the pitch after the final whistle, having had time to savour the success in a one-sided contest.

Bradford were left with the consolation of £180,000 prize money for reaching the last eight.

They will bid to end the season on a high by winning promotion to the Championship, with Reading still needing points to secure their safety.

Reading manager Steve Clarke told BBC Sport: “It’s a long time since we’ve been in the semi-finals as a club, but before that we’ve got some important games in the league. We need to get some points.

“It’s another big pay-day for a club that’s been struggling financially for a couple of years, and it’s a nice thing for the new owners who’ve just come in.

“Everyone connected with the club thought we’d be challenging to return to the Premier league. That’s not happened for whatever reason and we’ll hopefully be more competitive next season.

“The players are delighted to do their job. I don’t know if there’ll be too many celebrations at this stage.”

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson told BBC Sport: “We got off to a bad start and it was difficult to come back from that.

“We gave them a huge lift and they deservedly went through.

“Our players have to be immensely proud of what we’ve achieved this season. We have to take this through to the last 11 games in the league to see what we can achieve.

“We just couldn’t get going after that start we made, and the sending off didn’t help us. After that, it was damage limitation.”


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