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Stoke 2-2 Reading (aet)

Stoke win 4-3 on penalties

Steve Simonsen and Vincent Pericard
Simonsen proved a hero for Stoke as they knocked Reading out

Stoke made the Carling Cup fourth round after a tense penalty shoot-out at the Britannia Stadium with James Henry the hero-turned-villain for Reading.

Henry, 19, scored twice in normal time but missed in the shoot-out.

His penalty before half-time cancelled out Vincent Pericard's early headed opener and he equalised brilliantly after Mamady Sidibe lashed Stoke ahead.

Neither side could fashion a winning goal in extra time and Stoke won after Henry and Leroy Lita missed spot kicks.

Ricardo Fuller, Liam Lawrence, Glenn Whelan and Pericard all found the net for Stoke, whose only miss came from Lewis Buxton, to move in the last 16.

Reading boss Steve Coppell made clear where he places the competition on his list of priorities this season by fielding a team of fringe players, making 10 changes from the side that drew 2-2 in controversial fashion at Watford on Saturday.

Potters manager Tony Pulis also made sweeping changes, with eight alterations to the side that gained a creditable goalless draw against Liverpool on Saturday.

Stoke took control in the ninth minute when Lawrence swung in a dangerous corner from the left flank and Pericard showed desire to plant a firm header past Royals keeper Adam Federici.

Reading had created little but equalised out of the blue on the stroke of half-time when Bikey went down under a challenge from Higginbotham and Henry converted coolly from the spot.

Stoke needed only five minutes of the second half to regain their lead and Lawrence was again the architect, flighting in another dangerous delivery which the predatory Sidibe converted after Whelan's shot ricocheted into his path.

Yet Reading continued to probe as the game wore on and Shane Long's neat lay-off in the 75th minute allowed Henry to stride forward and hit a low left-foot shot into the back of the net from 20 yards.

Reading could have won it late on in normal time but Lita was guilty of a horrendous miss when he inexplicably headed Henry's right-wing cross wide from barely a yard out and the visitors eventually paid the price.


Stoke: Simonsen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Higginbotham (Cort 101), Dickinson, Lawrence, Buxton, Whelan, Cresswell (Fuller 78), Sidibe (Phillips 63), Pericard.
Subs Not Used: Sorensen, De Laet, Davies, Wedderburn.

Booked: Whelan.

Goals: Pericard 9, Sidibe 50.

Reading: Federici, Kelly, Bikey, Ingimarsson, Golbourne, Henry, Gunnarsson (Sigurdsson 95), Cisse (Pearce 98), Convey (Mooney 106), Long, Lita.
Subs Not Used: Andersen, Sodje, Bozanic, Spence.

Booked: Bikey, Cisse, Henry.

Goals: Henry 45 pen, 75.

Att: 9,141

Ref: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

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