Royals Dumped Out Of The Cup By Walsall

Last updated : 15 January 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Walsall booked a fourth round home date with Wimbledon after an FA Cup penalty shoot-out win over Reading.

The Royals and the Saddlers, who had drawn a blank in the first game at the Bescot Stadium, traded defensive blunders in a scrappy replay.

But there was nothing scrappy about Walsall's penalty taking as they put the home side to shame from 12 yards to secure a 4-1 shoot-out win.

Walsall, having taken 90 minutes to create an opening in the first game, were ahead after just eight minutes of the replay.

Reading keeper Marcus Hahnemann flapped at a Matt Carbon cross and the ball fell to Darren Bazeley, whose cross gave Darren Wrack the simplest of chances to head home.

The opener gave Reading a wake-up call and the Royals were level in the 33rd minute courtesy of a Zigor Aranalde own goal.

Bazeley's foul on winger Nathan Tyson gave Ricky Newman the chance to whip in a teasing free-kick as the hapless Aranalde got the decisive touch to bundle the ball into his own net.

After that reprieve Reading had the best chances to win in normal time.

Nicky Forster just failed to connect with a Martin Butler cross and Forster again went closes on the stroke of half time when he flashed a shot just wide of the far post.

The home side bossed the second half and should have secured a fourth round passage in stoppage time when Butler sent substitute Andy Hughes clear only for goalkeeper Jimmy Walker to block his weak shot.

The home side lived to regret that missed shot as Walsall, despite being reduced to ten men when Ian Roper was stretchered off with all three substitutes having been used, upped the pressure.

Danny Hay headed over with the goal at his mercy but the Saddlers held their nerve better than the home side from the penalty spot.

Butler shot wide and former Arsenal youngster James Harper saw his penalty saved by the impressive Walker, while Aranalde, substitutes David Zdrilic and Fitzroy Simpson and finally Bazeley all netted to send the visitors through.