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Late Mattock strike denies Royals
Published : 13 Feb 2010 17:12:48
Kebe scored after just nine seconds at the Madejski Stadium to kick-start a thoroughly entertaining FA Cup fifth-round tie which saw both sides reduced to 10 men. Robert Koren - who was only drafted into the Albion line-up by manager Roberto Di Matteo at the last minute - soon equalised but Reading substitute Simon Church looked to have put Brian McDermott's side into the last eight for the first time since 1927. However, Baggies left-back Joe Mattock ensured that the two teams will meet again at The Hawthorns in 10 days' time when he thundered in a sublime 87th-minute strike. Reading had seen striker Shane Long dismissed in the 48th minute for an ugly lunge on Abdoulaye Meite and he was soon joined on the sidelines by Albion substitute Youssouf Mulumbu - who lasted just 16 minutes before seeing red. Baggies boss Di Matteo scored in two final wins for Chelsea but saw his plans disrupted late on when winger Andwele Slory injured his heel in the warm-up, so Koren took his place in midfield. The Slovenian had barely had time to lace his boots when the hosts were ahead as Kebe struck with just nine seconds on the clock. The ball was played back to right-back Gianni Zuiverloon, who hesitated in possession and was challenged by Kebe on the edge of the area. The Mali international swept into the box and steered the ball under goalkeeper Scott Carson with his left foot to give the Royals a remarkable start. Non-league Ashton United midfielder Gareth Morris notched after only four seconds of a first qualifying round tie against Skelmersdale United in 2001, but Kebe's strike is believed to be the quickest in the FA Cup proper. Kebe then wasted a free header and was punished when Koren levelled in the 18th minute. Chris Brunt was the architect, cutting in onto his favoured left foot from the right and delivering a perfect cross over goalkeeper Adam Federici for Koren - who was just onside - to tap in from no more than a yard. Koren rattled the woodwork with a stinging volley as the visitors ended the first half on top before the game exploded back into life after the break. Mulumbu came on at the interval to replace the injured Gonzalo Jara and was booked within 60 seconds before Long was dismissed three minutes into the second period by referee Chris Foy when he jumped into a challenge on Meite near the touchline. The away side were almost quick to make their man advantage count as Roman Bednar capped a flowing move involving Simon Cox and Graham Dorrans with a measured shot from the right-hand side of the area which left Federici a spectator, but grazed the post and ran wide. Brunt then crashed two long-range shots just wide as the pressure mounted on Federici's goal until Mulumbu saw red in the 61st minute. Having already been cautioned, the midfielder was silly to check the run of Brynjar Gunnarsson and was shown an inevitable second yellow card. Albion continued to pepper the goal but it was Reading who forged ahead in the 73rd minute. Grzegorz Rasiak unlocked a shaky offside trap with a lofted pass forward and fellow substitute Church was left one on one with Carson. His initial chip was saved by the former England goalkeeper but Church was able to gather the loose ball and fire into an open goal. The visitors refused to panic and earned a replay with three minutes left through Mattock's cracker. Dorrans carried the ball forward and shaped to shoot but instead played in Cox on the edge of the area. The former Reading forward had the presence of mind to pick out Mattock in space on the left and he thundered a first-time drive past Federici and into the far corner.