At long last, Reading have a really good cup draw. The Royals will travel to Kidderminster Harriers in the third round of the FA Cup, a match which is due to take place on the weekend of January 10 2022. Given the gulf between the two sides (Harriers play in National League North - the sixth tier), this game could well be televised.
After a seemingly endless stream of pretty dull ties - Reading apparently have only been allowed to draw fellow Championship teams or Manchester United , this one really stands out. Harriers are completely new opposition: the Royals have never faced the Worcestershire club in any competition, despite Harriers being in existence for a lengthy 135 years (can you tell I’ve got a Wikipedia tab open?).
The prospect of a trip to Aggborough Stadium has certainly drawn plenty of excitement already. It’s set up to be an exciting day out, the kind of special occasion that only the FA Cup can provide.
From a footballing point of view, it’s a tie that’s certainly winnable with a weak side - no disrespect to Kidderminster. Reading should be able to rotate as much as is feasible while still standing a good chance of getting through to the next round. That gives Veljko Paunovic more leeway than, say, if we’d been drawn against a Premier League side.
Should is the operative word though. Playing a non-league team away from home, perhaps in an evening game on TV, is the perfect set-up for an upset. On paper Reading can win this comfortably, but anything less than that piles pressure onto players and manager alike.
Anyway, that discussion is for another time. Until then we’ve got weeks of speculation over the ticket allocation - and how it’s handed out. Going by Football Ground Guide, the away end should fit in around 1,500 supporters, but there’s bound to be a fair few who miss out.