A youthful-looking Reading team managed to secure a replay, after being subjected to a barrage of Cardiff attacks in the second half. This was especially when Tom McIntyre put a taint on an impressive personal performance, by getting himself sent ten minutes from time.
Bowen made 11 changes from the team that picked up a point at Forest in midweek, and with the Bristol City game on the near horizon, it’s no surprise that the gaffer made those changes. However, what was a surprise was the fact that no key players were named amongst the substitutes.
The bench had an average age of under 20 years old, which made the defending in the last ten minutes even more impressive, finishing the game with Howe, Osho, Burley and Richards as our back four.
Here’s how the fans reacted to some of the key talking points, and there were mixed feelings after the game. Most were impressed with the character shown, but some lamented another game being added to an already packed schedule...
After it was revealed that the Ivorian sadly lost his father last weekend, Meite returned to the team on Saturday afternoon and managed to grab himself a goal. As predicted, this was a truly poignant moment.
Meite was clearly emotional during his celebrations. During his celebration, he took his shirt off which displayed a message about the passing of his father. The referee booked him for removing his shirt - surely that law needs to be looked at?
Some things are just more important than football - and this is one of them. The support and love for Yakou was evident on social media after the game...
Some things are So much more important that football! What an emotional goal!— Jamie (@jaamie85) January 25, 2020
I bet the entire squad celebrated that one. Hugely emotional goal.— Tom Byrd (@tommytippy) January 25, 2020
Adam has been entertaining as usual and Aluko has actually put some effort in today for once and looks pretty good. So pleased for Meite after everything he’s been through recently and hopefully he can score at least one more #readingfc— Oli Bryant (@OliB_RFC) January 25, 2020
What a legend Meite is. Miles offside but who cares, hero #readingfc— Alex (@AlexLeFondre) January 25, 2020
So pleased for Yakou Meite, if there is anyone who deserves a goal today then it's him #readingfc— Jack (@thesimpsonRFC) January 25, 2020
We are with you mate every step of the way...great goal papa would be pleased and honoured...good man for your total professionalism in playing— Simon Barnard (@SimonMBarnard) January 26, 2020
Yakou Meite equalises after some sorcery from the Podgy McPirlo.— Greg Double (@Dubstep1988) January 25, 2020
Meite, overcome with emotion after the passing of his dad, whips his shirt off with a message...and is booked.
Bit harsh, but given the ref missed that Meite was a good two yards offside, that's fair. #readingfc
Forcing a replay
Fans were in two minds regarding a draw, as it isn’t really ideal for us to be playing another fixture. However, the team that played on Saturday against Cardiff (as they did in the replay against Blackpool), showed Bowen and the fans that they won’t lie down and will still put in a valiant performance.
Maybe we weren’t very effective going forward against the Bluebirds, especially in the second half, but the youngsters on the pitch showed a lot of resilience and fight to make sure they didn’t concede again after McIntyre’s red card. Despite this, they do have Sol Bamba to thank for that.
Here’s the best of the fans’ reactions to the Royals setting up yet another replay...
The players did fantastically to even get a draw considering the team we played and being down to 10 men. Realistically we’ve got very little chance of getting playoffs so I’d like to see some first teamers playing playing or at least on the bench for the replay. #readingfc— Louis Stagg (@dinglouis_) January 25, 2020
Hope we can nick this game today because we really don't want another replay to worry about #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) January 25, 2020
Held on but despite some inexperience showing through, we’re in the pot. Didn’t need another replay but so be it! #readingfc— Dave (@shakefon) January 25, 2020
The back 4 were in a barrage of long balls once McIntyre got himself stupidly sent off... and considering their age/experience I was really impressed. Shaky yes, but held their own. Deserved the replay considering we were nonexistent 2nd half in the final third #ReadingFC— (@LordCKS) January 25, 2020
B team down to ten vs a Championship first team, should have been 2-1 up really. Great character to get the replay #readingfc— Alex Stone (@alexgstone) January 25, 2020
Definitely a positive that we drew against Cardiff’s 1st team with our reserves. My only moan was no first teamers being on the bench. I do believe if reading got a decent home tie against prem team on Monday then we will take the replay much more serious. #readingfc— cameron macken (@ronniemac93) January 25, 2020
Chanting from the away end
For the second time within the space of a week, a Reading game was interrupted for apparent racist and homophobic chanting coming from supporters. Last week it was Millwall, and this time it was allegedly a section of the Cardiff City fans.
It’s hard to make judgements and opinions when everybody is saying different things on social media regarding the incident. However, what you can say is that if there was actual racist and homophobic chanting, there is no room for that kind of thing anywhere in football or society in general.
It was an incident that once again highlighted an ever-growing flaw within in the beautiful game that needs to be eradicated as soon as possible. This is something the fans wholeheartedly agreed with after the game...
Say what you like about Cardiff City fans but my experience is football loving people no worse than any other club always top banter between fans, two people yesterday get ejected from the away end for racism and all of a sudden every Cardiff fan is racist #readingfc, #ccfc— Royalstaylor (@Garytay1961) January 26, 2020
Just announced the racist and homophobic chanting by the Cardiff fans on SSN. Can’t actually believe that people still think this is acceptable, let alone at football. Embarrassing. #readingfc— Ashley (@Ashley_Holloway) January 25, 2020
Don't get the point of a racist, homophobic announcement over the tannoy. Just brings everything more on edge without nothing been done. May as well have kept it under the radar and thrown people out at half time. Completely pointless #ReadingFC— Jamie Harden (@MrCompo) January 25, 2020
Big 2020 and people still being racist and homophobic #readingfc— Harry (@hrryjnes) January 25, 2020
We’re in the hat, and that’s better than being out of the competition I guess. It will be the same team that will play in the replay, I’m sure of that. I’m also sure they will all give a very good account of themselves, ensuring that they stand up for themselves and be counted.
The facts regarding the incident in the first half will become clear over the coming days. Whatever happens or happened though, there is no room for that anywhere in society and the people at the top need to do something. As soon as possible please.