Football

McDermott: I thought we'd won it

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Reading manager Brian McDermott thought his side had booked a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals and was rocked by West Brom's late equaliser in a gripping 2-2 draw at the Madejski Stadium.

McDermott's side took the lead with one of the fastest goals in the competition's history when Jimmy Kebe scored after nine seconds, however Robert Koren soon equalised for Albion. Simon Church looked to have ended an 83-year wait for Reading to reach the last eight when he scored with 17 minutes remaining, but Joe Mattock hit a spectacular goal with just three minutes left to earn Albion a replay in a game where Royals forward Shane Long and Baggies substitute Youssouf Mulumbu both received their marching orders.

McDermott said: "I thought we'd won it. We changed the system when they went down to 10 men and we went for the win, and when Simon scored I thought we were through."

The Reading boss added: "But fair play to them, they are a quality side and it was a superb goal at the end to get the equaliser.

"I think West Brom will definitely be in the Premier League next season and they showed their quality.

"The goal so early on was incredible - We worked on that in training! But Jimmy has got so much pace that he can do that."

West Brom boss Roberto Di Matteo is no stranger to early goals - he took just 42 seconds to open the scoring in the 1997 final at Wembley - but was in dour mood as he reflected on injuries to Gonzalo Jara Abdoulaye Meite, the latter of which came as a result of Long's red card challenge.

He said: "I am sad because we lost three players to injury and suspension and we could do without that.

"Jara had to have five stitches, it was a very bad challenge, and we will have to wait and see about Meite.

"It's not part of the plan to have a replay as we have lots of games coming up but we are happy to be still in the cup. I said that we would love to have a cup run this season and we are still in it."

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Topics:
West Bromwich Albion
Reading
Football
Gonzalo Jara
Championship
Jimmy Kebe
Youssouf Mulumbu
Premier League
Robert Koren
Roberto Di Matteo
Shane Long
Abdoulaye Meite
Simon Church
FA Cup
Joe Mattock
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