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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2007, 21:53 GMT
Reading 3-2 Burnley
By Jonathan Stevenson

Reading goalscorers Leroy Lita (left) and Sam Sodje celebrate
Lita (left) celebrates with Sodje after his first goal for the club
Reading progressed into the fourth round of the FA Cup after beating Burnley at the Madejski Stadium.

Bobby Convey slammed a shot against the post before Leroy Lita opened the scoring, rifling into the corner from 20 yards after Shane Long's flick-on.

Long took the ball around Brian Jensen and volleyed in for 2-0 before Sam Sodje headed in his first Royals' goal.

Ade Akinbiyi pulled one back with a neat lofted finish and Garreth O'Connor bundled in another in stoppage time.

The goals were just reward for Burnley for their endeavour, but Reading fully deserved their place in the next round against either Birmingham or Newcastle.

With several players keen to impress boss Steve Coppell and force their way into his thinking for the Premiership, Reading started at a lively tempo.

Convey, playing his first game since picking up a knee injury in October, sneaked into the box and rattled a shot against the post and then Lita had a goalbound shot blocked.

But twice in a minute, Burnley could have taken a shock lead.

First some hesitant defending let in Steve Jones, but Ulises de la Cruz got across brilliantly to clear the danger, before Wade Elliott and Gifton Noel-Williams both had efforts blocked.

606 DEBATE: Your reaction to Reading's win

Reading's young debutant Australian goalkeeper Adam Federici then made one of the saves of the FA Cup, somehow flying to his left and sticking out a hand to divert an astonished Akinbiyi's header past the post.

Just as Burnley were enjoying the better of it, Reading caught them on the counter-attack.

Long headed on a throw and Lita scampered on to the ball, barely breaking his stride to thrash the ball past Jensen into the bottom corner.

Just before the break it was 2-0. Long chased a through ball, clipped the ball past Jensen and wonderfully volleyed home from what looked like an impossible angle.

Reading made the game safe not long after the break, Sodje notching with a close-range header after a left-wing cross from Scott Goldbourne, who was making his first Royals start.

With the game over Coppell brought on Dave Kitson, who had been out of action since injuring his knee on the first day of the season.

But it was Burnley who fought back and Akinbiyi marked his second Clarets' debut with a goal, lobbing coolly over the advancing Federici from 20 yards.

O'Connor gave the scoreline a different complexion with almost the last touch of the game when he converted Jon Harley's cross, but there was no chance for the visitors to launch one final attack in pursuit of a replay.


Reading: Federici, De la Cruz, Sodje, Ingimarsson (Pearce 74), Golbourne, Ki-Hyeon, Oster, Bikey, Convey, Lita (Kitson 60), Long.
Subs Not Used: Hahnemann, Hunt, Harper.

Booked: Bikey.

Goals: Lita 27, Long 37, Sodje 55.

Burnley: Jensen, Thomas, McGreal, Foster, Harley, James O'Connor, Noel-Williams (Lafferty 70), McCann, Elliott (Garreth O'Connor 84), Jones (Mahon 70), Akinbiyi.
Subs Not Used: Branch, Spicer.

Booked: McGreal.

Goals: Akinbiyi 69, Garreth O'Connor 90.

Att: 11,514.

Ref: R Styles (Hampshire).

SEE ALSO
Tuesday's football photos
09 Jan 07 |  Football


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