Similar to the Millwall game in the first round, Tuesday was a bit of a free hit. The win at The Den had maybe heightened excitement or eagerness for a bit of a cup run, but I doubt many fans went into the game against Ipswich Town expectant of a win.
Once again, Ruben Selles made some changes - bringing in the likes of Tom McIntyre, Coniah Boyce-Clarke, Michael Craig and Tivonge Rushesha. However, despite going ahead early doors and fighting back with a late equaliser, the Royals ultimately got the penalty shoot-out horribly wrong.
However, there were - again - a lot of positives to take from a battling performance against higher opposition. Here’s how the fans reacted tot he big talking points...
A decent effort and a good experience
It’s never nice to lose games - especially on penalties - but the players put in a decent shift against a superior side.
The starting XI had an average age of a nudge over 20, and although the quality wasn't there all the time, the effort certainly was and we ran Ipswich very close.
The players will ultimately learn a lot from both the result and the performance. Losing on penalties hurts in the immediate, but can be a beneficial experience in the long run. The fans were quick to applaud the effort and dish out a bit of sympathy...
Whatever happens these young players can hold thier heads up high tonight. Serious effort #readingfc— Dean Bennett #SellBeforeWeDai (@DeanBennett1993) August 29, 2023
Some v poor penalties aside, really pleased with that performance. Ipswich undoubtedly a class above for long periods but managed to hang in there and produce some moments of quality. There’s a process happening and this is just the start, trust in it #readingfc— Dan (@danoftheroyals) August 29, 2023
Good effort against a decent championship side considering it was such a young squad. Penalties need a bit of work though. #readingfc— Louis (@dinglouis_) August 29, 2023
Meh. Never going to win the Carabao Cup this season anyway. Good experience for the youngsters again.— Paolo (@Skeptichead) August 29, 2023
Avoiding relegation is all that matters this season. #readingfc
Those youngsters will find it tough to take but it is a great experience for them all and they have a bright future ahead.— (R)eading FC (@bluewhitewall) August 29, 2023
Still got the pizza cup left.
We might do alright in that considering we have done reasonably well against two championship sides with our u21#ReadingFC
Be nice to win on pens but either way, a team with very little professional experience has done a decent job tonight#readingfc— Paul Williams (@PaulFrankfurt71) August 29, 2023
All eyes on the league
While cup runs are always nice, and of course we have the prestigious Papa Johns Trophy to come in the next few months as well, all eyes have to be on the league and they always were in reality.
The fans were quick to recognise this, which will hopefully help the players brush the defeat off quickly and gear up for another tricky away game at Cambridge United on Monday.
Whilst recognising the defeat, the fans didn’t seem to be all that bothered with it really and turned their attentions swiftly to Cambridge...
Enjoyed that despite losing on pens. All about the league anyways #readingfc— Cameron #DaiOut (@ronniemac93) August 29, 2023
That was a tough opponent and the players should keep their heads held high. Very promising moments and now we can focus on the league more. Craig will be near the first team now! Can’t wait for Cambridge away! UP THE DING ⚪️ #readingfc— Luke (@Luke1871_) August 29, 2023
Not the end of the world really. Shame Elliott missed his penalty though, hope it doesn’t knock his confidence. Main focus has to be the league anyway #readingfc— Harry Sands (@SarryHands) August 29, 2023
Weirdly.. I’m disappointed about tonight which shows how far and how well these kids have done.— Jamie Hodder (@Jamie_Hodder21) August 29, 2023
The penalties were poor but we did well to take it to that stage. Big learning curve and hopefully we can kick on in the league now! #readingfc
Unlucky lads went against a very experienced team and just couldn’t get the pens right.— Mark Talks Football (@MarkTalksSport) August 29, 2023
But they showed character to get that last goal.
Keep the effort going and on to Cambridge. #readingfc
Absolutely no disgrace in that tonight, another good showing from an extremely young and inexperienced side. Time to recover now and prepare for Cambridge on Monday, full focus needed on the league anyway in reality, especially with our lack of depth #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) August 29, 2023
Yes it was disappointing to lose, it always hurts. But Reading have bigger fish to fry this season than the Carabao Cup, and I think the fans are pretty much all in agreement on that.
It was a good experience for another very youthful team and hopefully they can dust it off sharply before the Cambridge game on Monday. All eyes need to be on the league really.