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TitleReading Hotels - Cheap Accommodation Deals in ReadingREADING HOTELS - IF you need a hotel room in Reading, the UK - or anywhere in the world - our discount booking service is the answer. Click here for Reading Guide's own link to LateRooms.com®. Availability and prices are updated daily, the prices per room not per person, and there's no booking fee. IF YOU make future bookings, please do so from this link. ROYALS are into the third round of the EFL Cup, winning on penalties in a dramatic late night at the Mad Stad. Manager Jaap Stam made ten changes for the game from his regular starting eleven, giving a lot of his new signings a rare outing. For the most part they did well, but as in every game this season, Royals had the lion's share of the game, but couldn't turn it into as many goals as they should have. Their failure to do that was largely down to a fine debut performance for the Dons by keeper Lee Nicholls, newly-signed from Wigan Athletic. With great irony, he was coached there in his younger days by now-Royals No1 Ali Al-Habsi. Nicholls made a string of fine saves which, for much of the game, looked as though they might win it.
Dons had taken the lead in the first half, thanks to a penalty by Dean Bowditch. Royals' stand-in keeper Anssi Jaakkola was judged to have fouled Brandon Thomas-Asante, and Bowditch made no mistake from the spot. Former Charlton winger Callum Harriott was the Royals' main danger and he cracked in a superb solo equaliser on 68 minutes. With Nicholls outstanding in the closing stages, Dons held on for extra time where they suddenly looked the more dangerous side for the first time in the game. Royals had used all three subs, two to early injuries for Deniss Rakels and young Liam Kelly, whose promising debut was cut short when he crashed heads with team-mate Jake Cooper, his former Academy colleague.
Cooper stayed on, but in extra time was clearly beginning to struggle, and with young right-back Tennai Watson suffering cramp, the Reading back line came under pressure. In one frantic incident MK hit both the crossbar and the post, but it looked as though their night was over when Harriott poached his second with only six minutes remaining. Reading's delight at that lasted only two more minutes before a melee following a corner - with keeper Nicholls up as well - ended with Kabongo Tshimanga bundling in the equaliser.
So to penalties, and Danny Williams, on earlier as a sub, scored first for Reading. Ed Upson's kick squared it at 1-1, before George Evans potted Royals' next successfully. When Ben Reeves' kick came back off the bar, Royals had the advantage, which Stephen Quinn stretched to 3-1. When Jaakkola saved from Samir Carruthers it looked all over, but goal-hero Harriott, who had beaten Nicholls twice earlier, saw the keeper save. George Williams cut the gap to 3-2 but that still left Royals with one to win it, and Jordan Obita smashed that down the middle to ensure a place in the third round hat for tonight's (Wednesday) draw with the chance of a pay day against a Premier League club. MANAGER'S COMMENTS.
RAIN OR SHINE? COMPREHENSIVE WEATHER FORECAST FOR THE READING AREA (Met Office)
IF THE SEA TURNS YOUR TUM LET TRAIN TAKE THE STRAIN - FRANCE BY UNDERGROUND (Eurotunnel)
------------------------------------- MANCHESTER UTD DEFENDER SIGNS FOR ROYALS HOT on the heels of Reading’s 10th signing of the season, Leicester City defender Liam Moore, comes news of the 11th, another defensive signing - Manchester United’s Tyler Blackett. He was at Saturday’s game against Brighton and passed a medical over the weekend. He has signed a three-year deal and is likely to challenge Jordan Obita for the left-back spot. Obita has never quite added the defensive polish to his undoubted ability going forward. At the very least, Royals needed cover for that position. Blackett never came through after looking highly-promising at the start of the 2014-15 season, when Louis van Gaal trusted him with a starting role at centre-back. He was eventually loaned out to Blackpool and Birmingham, and then to Celtic for last season. He never settled north of the border and returned to United, where he is now deemed surplus to requirements. Born in Manchester, he has played for England at all age groups from 16 to 21, and also qualifies for Barbados and Jamaica. He has just turned 22.
The signing of Moore on Saturday was probably the worst-kept secret of the transfer window. The Loughborough-born centre-back, now 23, found himself surplus to requirements as Robert Huth and Wes Morgan locked down the two central defensive positions at the King Power Stadium, and he was loaned out twice to Brentford and also Bradford City and Bristol City. In between, in his five years at Leicester, he made 59 appearances for the Foxes, scoring one goal. Somewhere along the line this summer, either he, or his agent, or Leicester City, played a lot of hardball, but Royals manager Jaap Stam has finally got his man - and Moore himself is delighted. With Joey van den Berg ruled out by suspension, Moore is likely to make his debut against MK Dons in Tuesday’s EFL Cup-tie at the Mad Stad. Full story of Moore's signing from the club website.
Moore, who has been given a four-year deal, is Reading’s 10th signing, following on from the ninth, midfielder Sandro Wieser having joined on a free transfer from Swiss side FC Thun. Although only 23, Wieser has 33 international caps for his native Liechtenstein, playing against some of Europe’s superstar players. He began his career at the Academy of FC Basel, and later played alongside Royals midfielder Danny Williams at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. Full story from the club website. Meanwhile, young Royals striker Craig Tanner has returned on loan to Plymouth where he spent the whole of last season, making 50 appearances. He will stay at Home Park at least until January. Also farmed out on loan until January is midfielder Aaron Kuhl, who is joining Royals' associates Boreham Wood.
SOME time new-look Reading FC will land the thumping win their domination of matches deserves. In five matches so far they have yet to have less than 60percent of possession - but have only two wins and a draw to show for it. This was always going to be a tough ask against a Brighton side which was unbeaten in 18 previous Championship matches stretching way back into last season, and had not conceded a goal this term.
However, this could easily have been the day the Seagullasa had their wings clipped, especially when Royals took the lead inside two minutes through John Swift. A freak own goal by Joey van den Berg - hotly-disputed by Reading for a foul - squared it only six minutes later, but after that it was mainly a procession to the Brighton goal. Chris Hughton's men edged in front again 40 seconds into the second half through the brilliant Anthony Knockaert, but Paul McShane soon equalised (Reading FC picture, right), and until the closing minutes - and a ridiculous eight minutes of added time - Royals were well on top. The stats gave them 62percent possession, over the game, but in the end they were forced to hang on with 10 men after van den Berg was sent off for a second yellow.
If Reading were looking for a morale-boosting start they could hardly have done better than scoring inside two minutes. Swift’s free kick from wide left dipped and swerved into the far corner. Yet, as Royals found at Newcastle on Wednesday, their luck is not exactly in at the moment. From a Brighton corner the ball was bundled into the net via head of van den Berg. Reading protested vigorously that a tug by ex-Royal Glenn Murray had knocked van den Berg off balance, but referee Mike Jones would have none of it. He also flatly refused to penalise a blatant Brighton handball soon afterwards, and van den Berg was booked for his angry protest. Coming up to the half-hour it took a frantic goal-line clearance by Lewis Dunk to keep out Kermorgant’s fierce left-foot shot.
Back in the Brian McDermott days Reading had an irritating habit of conceding goals right at the start of the second half. Seldom, however, were those within 40 seconds of the re-start. This time Royals were still digesting their half-time cuppa when Sam Baldock hooked in a hit-and-hope cross from the left which the totally unmarked Knockaert met first time left-footed low into the corner. Royals were disappointed but not discouraged, and almost immediately they could have been level, Kermorgant’s powerful header from a Garath McCleary cross whacking against the crossbar and away. But on 59 minutes Reading were deservedly all-square, McShane, having stayed upfield after a free kick was cleared, swept in a clever cutback from McCleary.
Brighton were living on the edge, and David Stockdale had to make a worldy save to keep out Kermorgant’s acrobatic overhead kick. Then yet more controversy with Reading on the wrong end. Swift cut in from the wing and was clipped down by Gaetan Bong. It looked a certain penalty, but to Reading’s dismay, the referee decided it was inches outside. In driving rain, Royals decided on a more cautious game management in the closing minutes to preserve a point. The more defensive Stephen Quinn replaced Swift in midfield, but there was still a twist in the tail, when van den Berg was sent off for pulling back sub Tomer Hemed. That brought another change, Royals sacrificing the flair of Roy Beerens for spare centre-back Jake Cooper. They eventually held on through a daft eight minutes of extra time as the officials - who could hardly have been accused of being homers - gifted Brighton the chance to nick it. MANAGER JAAP STAM'S COMMENTS.