Royals get past League Two opponents to progress in FA Cup – Reading Today Online

Reading v MK Dons

READING FC knocked out League Two Milton Keynes Dons to book their place in the second-round of the FA Cup.

Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan gave Reading the perfect start when he scored after three minutes before MK captain Alex Gilbey levelled the game just before the break.

Half-time substitutions reignited Reading into action as Harvey Knibbs headed the hosts back in front before Wing gave them a comfortable lead.

The visitors scored a stoppage time goal to make it 3-2 but couldn’t force a replay.

There were plenty of changes made by Ruben Selles as he looked to rejuvenate his side for their FA Cup tie against League Two MK Dons.

Sam Hutchinson made his return to the side, while the partnership of Tyler Bindon and Nelson Abbey was re-established at the back. Goalkeeper Joel Pereira was also selected to make his Royals debut.

In a 4-3-3 formation, Caylan Vickers was deployed in midfield, while Ben Elliott put on the right-wing.

As Reading tend to do in cup competitions, they made a fast start and scored with their first attack of the game with just three minutes on the clock.

Lewis Wing fed the ball through to Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan who showed composure and coolness as he twisted onto his right foot to put his opposing defender on the ground before he fired the ball in at the near post.

Having established an early lead, Reading took their foot off the gas and weren’t able to open up the visitors.

Mike Williamson’s side forged their first chance when Alex Gilbey was left unmarked at the back post and only managed a tame effort that was held comfortably by Pereira.

Ben Elliott was the first player to be carded when he slid in recklessly and was punished.

Elliott then lost possession in his own half and MK failed to take advantage when Gibley struck at goal again with another simple stop for Pereira.

The away team continued to press for a leveller and came close when a short free-kick routine was worked out wide and Tommy Smith headed a few yards over the top from a dangerous cross.

Having gone close on a couple of occasions, Gilbey seized his chance when a drilled cross from Cameron Norman was played into his path and he slid it past Pereira.

The Royals had numbers forward on the counter and Paul Mukairu eventually picked out Ehibhatiomhan with plenty of players in support before his goalward shot hit an MK body as the attack came to nothing.

A half that started with so much promise ended in disappointment as the teams went in all square at the break.

Selles made a double switch at half-time which saw Femi Azeez and Harvey Knibbs replaced Elliott and Mukairu.

The subs combined immediately to force a chance when Knibbs teed up Azeez who smacked his shot high into the north stand.

The bright start to the half continued when Azeez played it across goal to give Caylan Vickers a tap in, only to be denied by the linesman’s offside flag after he had converted from a yard out.

Sam Hutchinson picked up a yellow card for a rashly timed tackle.

Another double switch from Selles saw Dom Ballard and Michael Craig replaced Hutchinson and Vickers with 30 minutes left to play.

Reading re-took the lead when Knibbs rose highest to meet Wing’s free-kick and glanced his header into the far corner.

The Royals then put themselves in a commanding position in the tie when a defensive error was pounced upon and Ballard set up Wing to roll it into the bottom corner to make it 3-1.

Azeez had his chance to break his long scoring drought when he was threaded through by Knibbs, but the wait for him to find the net goes on after he fired wide.

Ballard came a matter of inches away from adding to the score when he dinked the ball over the keeper and had his shot hooked off the line.

The away team grabbed a goal in stoppage time to set up a nervy finish when Max Dean was quick to react from Pereira’s save and scored on the rebound.

Next up for Selles side is a home match against Bristol Rovers in League One on Tuesday night as they look to lift themselves off the bottom of the table.

Reading: Pereira, Carson, Abbey, Bindon, Rushesha, Hutchinson, Wing, Vickers, Elliott, Mukairu, Ehibhatiomhan

Subs: Collins, Holmes, Knibbs, Savage, Ballard, Azeez, Guinness-Walker, Dorsett, Craig

MK Dons: Kelly, Norman, Tucker, O’Hora, Williams, Leko, Gilbey, Eisa, Smith, Harvie, Devoy

Subs: Mac Gillivray, Lewington, Payne, Grant, Dean, Ilunga, Burns, Dennis, Tripp

Goals: Ehibhatiomhan 3’, Gilbey 39’, Knibbs 64’, Wing 68’, Dean 90+3′

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