Date: 29th August 2012 at 2:23pm
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An extraordinary first half saw Reading fend off Championship Peterborough 3-2, in an exciting game in the Capital One Cup Second Round.

Royals boss Brian McDermott was expected to make changes to his line-up, but instead chose a full strength side that battled Chelsea in a 4-2 defeat last week. Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson instead made some changes to his team, but did have a good attack with the likes of Boyd, Taylor and Tomlin.

Posh started the game well, keeping the ball well against the Premier League outfit on their home turf. However, it was Reading who came the closest in the opening exchanges as Pavel Pogrebnyak’s shot just went wide of the post, from Garath McCleary’s square pass.

Despite the Royals turning up the pressure, it was the Championship side that took the lead on 12 minutes. A defensive mix-up allowed Paul Taylor to line-up a 20-yard thunderbolt, which managed to beat Adam Federici at his near post.

In a crazy turn of events, Brian McDermott’s side equalised minutes later through Russian Pavel Pogrebnyak. After the big Russian received the ball in the area, his initial effort was blocked by the Posh defence, but swung a leg at the ball while being on the ground and somehow managed to loop into the goal to level the game.

Seconds later in an incredible game, Peterborough retained the lead. A long ball forward managed to evade Ian Harte and allowed Lee Tomlin to get a shot away from a tight angle and somehow beat Australian Federici. Just when it seemed the Royals wouldn’t hit back again, they did.

Defender Chris Gunter had only scored two goals in his entire career before this game, but added to that tally on 19 minutes. After receiving the ball on the edge of the box, his left-footed, scuffed cross managed to find its way into the net, with the Peterborough defence in a complete mix-up.

Adam Federici had once again not endured the best of afternoon’s, but soon redeemed himself after a fine one-on-one save from George Boyd. It was then Reading’s turn to come close as neat play from Guthrie set-up Pogrebnyak, who was inches away from scoring his second, with his left footed effort rebounding off the woodwork.

Despite an 18-minute period without any goals at either end, this run was to end thanks to an own-goal from the visitors. Winger Garath McCleary delivered a dangerous ball from the right, which was headed in by Posh defender Nathaniel Knight-Percival, to give the Royals the lead for the first time in the match.

The second period had a much slower start to the first, with the first effort of any conviction coming on 65 minutes, after Pogrebynak’s header was palmed away by Olejnik. George Boyd, who is reportedly close to moving to Ipswich, then had a half-chance with a header from a enticing Mark Little cross.

Federici then made another good, low stop to maintain the Reading lead, this time from Grant McCann. The home side had changes to tie the game up with 10 minutes to go. Substitute Noel Hunt hit the post, with Danny Guthrie having a good chance in injury time, but the Royals eventually progressed to third round.

Reading: Federici, Gunter, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte, McCleary, Karacan, Leigertwood, Guthrie, McAnuff, Pogrebnyak
Subs: McCarthy, Mariappa, Cummings, Shorey, Tabb, Hunt, Le Fondre

Peterborough: Olejnik, Knight-Percival, Brisley, Nthle, Bostwick, McCann, Tomlin, Swanson, Boyd, Taylor
Subs: Day, Newell, Clarke-Harris, Richins, Grant, Gordon, Sinclair