A goal in the first-half from captain Matt Mills gave Reading a 1-0 win at Goodison Park tonight, and sent Everton crashing out of the FA Cup.
After beating Chelsea on penalties in the fourth round, Everton were seen as potential finalists in this seasons competition, but David Moyes side were abject as they were beaten by the Championship side.
Brian McDermott’s Reading put Liverpool out of the tournament last season, and have since disposed of three other Premier League sides in the competition (over the course of this season and last) and they certainly didn’t suffer from an inferiority complex against Moyes side tonight.
The Royals deserved their win, with Shane Long a constant menace to the Everton backline whilst Mills and former Leeds United and Republic of Ireland defender Ian Harte looked assured in defence.
One goal was enough to hand Reading victory, and it came in the 26th minute as Mills initially won the first header from a Harte corner, and when Leon Osman’s weak clearance fell back to the defender, he drilled a low shot past Tim Howard.
The side from Berkshire played with precision and poise all night, and were rightfully clapped off at the finale, whilst the home side were booed and jeered.
“To get clapped off not just by our own fans but by the Everton supporters is a great feeling and something I will never forget” said Reading boss McDermott.
The home fans applause was as much a salute to the job the away side had done, as the boos were an act of condemnation towards their own sides, dismal performance.