Brighton & Hove Albion were knocked out of the EFL Cup at the third round stage, losing 2-1 to Reading at the Amex this evening.
- Albion are knocked out of the EFL Cup
- John Swift and Stephen Quinn score for Reading
- Tomer Hemed nets late on
- Sebastian Pocognoli makes his debut
Goals either side of half-time from Stephen Quinn and John Swift booked the Royals’ place in the fourth round, despite having Tyler Blackett sent off shortly before the break, with Tomer Hemed’s late strike only a consolation for the Seagulls.
Chris Hughton made 11 changes to the starting line-up that beat Burton Albion 1-0 on Saturday, with Sebastien Pocognoli making his debut at left-back.
Reading recorded the game’s first attempt when the ball sat up nicely for Dominic Samuel inside Albion’s penalty area, but the striker lifted his shot over the crossbar.
Glenn Murray was gifted with the ball following Quinn’s misplaced pass, before his powerful shot on the turn was blocked.
Niki Maenpaa was called into action soon after, as the Finish goalkeeper got down well to his left to gather Liam Kelly’s long-range volley, before Murray headed over for Albion.
Swift went close to breaking the deadlock for the visitors, when his half-volley from the corner of the box looped inches over the crossbar.
Elvis Manu was agonisingly close to putting Albion in front, when his volley from the edge of the penalty area sailed wide of Anssi Jaakkola’s right-hand upright.
The Royals took the lead in the 32nd minute, as Quinn made the most of Albion’s hesitant defending inside the penalty area, and lashed the ball past Maenpaa into the roof of the net.
Soon after taking the lead, the away side were reduced to ten men, as Blackett received a straight red card for a late challenge on Pocognoli.
From the resulting free-kick, Connor Goldson headed the ball back across the box to Murray, who saw his bullet header cannon back off the crossbar and away from danger.
The ball dropped invitingly for Rob Hunt on the edge of the area, but the full-back could only volley wide moments before the team’s went in at the break.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, the visitors doubled their lead nine minutes after the re-start, with Swift bending the ball into the far corner, following Quinn’s neat pull-back.
Albion continued to look for a foothold in the game, with Murray stinging the hands of Jaakkola, before Uwe Huenemeier’s glancing header went wide.
Baldock failed to direct his header on goal from Hunt’s delivery into the penalty area, before Norwood guided a free-kick straight into the hands of Jaakkola.
Huenemeier and Steve Sidwell both had opportunities to pull a goal back for the Seagulls, but neither were able to capitalise during a frantic goalmouth scramble.
Hemed, Jamie Murphy and Jiri Skalak were then introduced by Hughton, as Albion went in search of a goal.
On 85 minutes, the Israeli handed Albion a lifeline, firing past Jaakkola from Murray’s ball across the box, to set up a nervy finish for the away side.
Goldson arrived late in the box to meet Skalak’s perfectly-weighted cross, but could only direct his header at Reading’s shot-stopper, before Murphy cut inside and rolled an effort wide.
Albion piled on the pressure in the closing stages, but Reading held on and booked their place in the fourth round.
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