There`s always ‘rotten luck`, there`s always ‘next year`. Such are the comforting words that one might offer to players responsible for last-minute cup exits. But don`t expect Alex Pearce to be receptive to consolation this week, should he elicit any sympathy from Royals supporters.
Reading`s skipper will certainly feel culpable, having given Barnsley a place in the third round of the Carling Cup by upending Kayode Odejayi in the 95th minute of this encounter at the Madejski Stadium, which sent Reading bowing out of this year`s League Cup.
Bogdanovic had given Barnsley a second-half lead that strangely appeared to please everyone in the ground: he collected a brilliant threaded pass and rounded Ben Hamer to tuck away the opening goal that, despite the groans from the meagre home support, finally provided a incident of note for the chattering Berkshire onlookers to discuss.
The tie had been Yorkshire-bound ever since the opening goal yet, following a breakdown in communication between centre-back Robert Kozluk and keeper Luke Steele in the 91st minute, the former Sheffield United defender nodded past his keeper to gift Reading a route back into the game.
Pearce had a mistake of his own to make, however, and followed up Kozluck`s error when he chopped Odejayi with seconds remaining. The scattering of Barnsley fans who dared make the trip down south brought the evening`s biggest cheer (a relative concept, given the measly attendance) when Bogdanovic sent them back up the M1 with a third-round tie in the bag.
While Adam Federici may be cutting a lonely figure this week, following his horrendous error against Sheffield United that cost his side at least a point, captain Alex Pearce will be feeling equally guilty for instigating Reading`s second successive home reverse.
Ben Hamer – 6
Will be extremely miffed that his two major tasks were to be lose a one-on-one and concede a penalty to the same player. The away fans’ celebrations from behind that goal will still be ringing in his ears.
Julian Kelly – 6
Alex Pearce – 5
Brynjar Gunnarsson – 6
Ryan Bertrand – 6
Marek Matejovsky – 6
James Harper – 4
Scott Davies – 6
Nicholas Bignall – 6
James Henry – 7
David Mooney – 6
Michel Antonio (Bignall) – 6
Jay Tabb (Bertrand) – 6