As expected, Jaap Stam made wholesale changes from the side that beat Barnsley 2-1 on Saturday - Liam Moore, Tyler Blackett and John Swift the only players to retain their places in the starting XI. Dominic Samuel made his first Royals start, whilst Sandro Wieser was on the bench for the first time since his summer switch from FC Thun.
Reading dominated the opening stages of the game at the AMEX without really testing Niki Maenpaa in the Brighton goal. But on 32 minutes, a Reading corner was poorly dealt with by the Seagulls, allowing captain for the night Stephen Quinn to smash home. A scrappy goal, but a deserved lead none the less for Reading.
The game then sprung into life, as 10 minutes before half-time Tyler Blackett went in with two footed tackle on Sebastian Pocognoli. He left referee Lee Probert with little choice to brandish the red card, especially with the Brighton left-back rolling around on the floor for at least a minute. The sending off forced Jaap Stam into an early change, with Dominic Samuel's evening unfortunately being cut short as Danzell Gravenberch replaced him to keep the defensive solidity.
Although we presumed it would be another backs to wall second half like on Saturday, Reading came firing out of the blocks in the second half, and man of the moment John Swift doubled the Royals' lead in the 54th minute with a superb curling finish after receiving Quinn's cut-back.
Jaakkola finally began to be tested by Brighton, as Glenn Murray's strong shot required an impressive save but Oli Norwood's free-kick was straight at the Fin. The Seagulls did get one back though as Tomer Hemed fired home from Glenn Murray's cross in the 85th minute.
Despite six minutes of stoppage time and a tonne of Brighton pressure, Jaap Stam's men held on brilliantly to make it seven games unbeaten and progress to the fourth round of the EFL Cup. Phew.
Reading line-up: Jaakkola; Watson, Moore (Gunter 61'), Blackett, Obita; Kelly, Swift (Evans 76'), Quinn; Samuel (Gravenberch 43'), Harriott, Mendes
Keep an eye out for Becka's full match report and player ratings at some point tomorrow, whilst the draw for the fourth round follows Northampton's game against Manchester United tomorrow evening.