Match Report: Reading give McDermott another collector's item

Reading 4 Sheffield United 0

Madejski Stadium

Brian McDermott, the Reading manager, is not a great collector of memorabilia but in his study at home, pride of place on a wall, is a photograph of Shane Long.

The Irishman is heading home Reading’s winner in their 2-1 victory over Liverpool, after extra time, in an FA Cup third-round replay at Anfield three years ago.

It explains McDermott’s fascination with the competition. Not long after, he was elevated from caretaker to full-time manager. He had arrived. Reading went on to lose to Aston Villa in the quarter-finals – and Manchester City at the same stage the following season – and that love affair with the Cup continued yesterday.

Reading, now in the Premier League, not fourth-bottom of the Championship as they were when winning at Anfield, sauntered by Sheffield United with an ease that illustrated how far they have come. They might be struggling in the Premier League but United, fifth in League One at the start of day, had neither the brain nor brawn to seriously threaten an upset.

“People say that the Cup is a distraction,” McDermott said. “No way. I love everything about it and everything it brings. Last season was a nightmare, when we lost to Stevenage in the third round. But we’re in the last 16 and if we win, we’re in the quarter-finals again. Wembley can come along very quickly. Just ask Bradford City.”

Reading went ahead when Noel Hunt, strangely unchallenged, nodded in a cross by Hal Robson‑ Kanu. Yet they subsequently sat back, allowing United a brief respite. Nick Blackman shot across the face of the home goal, with no one able to add the vital touch, and Chris Porter headed wide from a centre by Jamie Murphy. Murphy also forced a fine save from Adam Federici, the home goalkeeper. “We created quite a few chances,” Danny Wilson, the Blades manager, said. “Had we taken one of them, who knows?”

Once Mikele Leigertwood, the former United midfielder, had thundered home a piledriver from 30 yards shortly before half-time, the United effort fizzled out, and Reading soon stretched their lead when Gareth McCleary’s cross was turned in, with the aid of a blatant mis-hit, by Hunt.

McCleary ended the scoring in the 54th minute, when cutting in from the right to curl a delightful left-footed drive past George Long. Stephen Kelly did have to block a Murphy shot on the goalline and Ryan Flynn nodded wide a cross by Tony McMahon but United’s fate had long been sealed. Better now, after a recent lean spell, to concentrate on promotion.

Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Kelly, Morrison, Mariappa, Shorey; McCleary, Karacan, Leigertwood (Guthrie, 84), Robson-Kanu; Hunt, Le Fondre.

Sheffield United (4-4-2): Long; McMahon,  Maguire, Higginbotham, Westlake (Collins, 76); Blackman, McDonald (Whitehouse, 69), Doyle, Murphy; Porter (Flynn, 60), Kitson.

Referee: Chris Foy

Man of the match: Hunt (Reading)

Match rating: 5/10

Sport
premier leagueLive: All the latest news and scores from today's matches
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
News
Queen Elizabeth II sends the first royal tweet under her own name to declare the opening of the new Information Age Galleries at the Science Museum, South Kensington, London
media... and the BBC was there to document one of the worst reactions
News
politics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker