A disappointing result, but it allows the Albion to souly focus on the league, well until January that is anyway.
A bright start from the visitors resulted in their first chance; a poor cleared nice from Elvis Manu fell straight at Liam Kelly’s feet, and his long range effort testing the gloves of Niki Maenpaa. John Swifts corner wasn’t dealt with twice by Albion defenders, and it allowed Stephen Quinn to run in and hit a thunderous volley into the roof of the net, leaving Maenpaa rooted to the goal line. Tyler Blackett saw red 9 minutes later, after he lost the ball due to a bad touch, before lunging in on Sebastian Pocognoli. From the resulting free-kick, Glenn Murray’s header struck the bar after Connor Goldson knocked it back across goal. A swift counter-attacking move from Reading got them their second of the match. Quinn cut the ball back to John Swift on the edge of the area, and hit it first time, curling into the far corner; Maenpaa got a touch onto it, but not enough to keep it out. Swift slipped up inside his own penalty area to allow Murray a free shot at goal, which Anssi Jaakkola saved at the expense of a corner. After some ping pong in the area, Brighton finally got their goal. The ball was collected up by Sam Baldock, and with a first time cross, Jiri Skalak found Steve Sidwell at the far post, his header into Murray allowed the striker to lift the ball back across goal for Tomer Hemed to finish an easy chance. As Brighton pushed for the win, Skalak sent in another good looking ball, but Goldson could only put it straight at Jaakkola. Jamie Murphy had a final chance to salvage extra time, but his shot after a good solo run was just narrowly wide of the post. 2-1 the final score, and Brighton bow out of the cup and missed the chance on a trip to the Emirates in the next round.
Maenpaa (6); A few good saves, dissapointed not to get more on the ball with Swift’s shot.
Hunt (8); Has had some solid appearances in the earlier rounds, and after his league debut on Saturday, he looked a class above most of the senior players on the pitch.
Goldson (7); A couple of nervy moments with Mendes baring down on him, but not much done wrong.
Hunemeier (6); Looks slightly rusty still, but that’s to be expected after being out for 8 months.
Pocognoli (6); A pretty good debut for the Belgian, still will need some time settling into the squad before challenging Bong for the starting position.
Sidwell (6); Not a commanding game like usual from him; Reading nullified his passing options early on and found it hard to keep possession with high pressing.
Ince (6); Big and strong in front of the centre-backs offering extra protection , but little protection in midfield where it could of been used more effectively.
Norwood (6); Good set-pieces, and a keen eye for a defence-splitting pass more often that not.
Baldock (6); Good energy from the stand-in captain, always looked to get in behind the Reading back 4.
Murray (6); Solid hold-up play, and when down to 10 men, it became easier for him to take on the defence
Manu (7); Looked buzzing, excellent running no wasn’t afraid to take on defenders, leaving them in his wake. Might have found a new winger.
Hemed (7); Well-taken goal, and could of had some more if it wasn’t for resolute Reading defending.
Skalak (6); Excellent crosses from the right, but nobody could take a chance.
Murphy (6); Possibly the best chance of the 2nd half with his fine solo run, but snatched at the shot which pretty much ended all hopes of a draw.
BHAFC - RFC; Hemed (85); Quinn (31), Swift (54);