Reading 4-0 Sheffield United
The FA Cup with Budweiser
Fourth Round Proper
3pm, Saturday 26 January 2013
Madejski Stadium, Reading FC
Winning clubs receive £90,000 from The FA's Prize Fund
Click here for all the remaining Fourth Round ties
by Gerry Cox
Noel Hunt scored twice as Reading marched into the Fifth Round of The FA Cup with Budweiser after a comfortable win over League One side Sheffield United.
Brian McDermott's men were too good for Danny Wilson's side, especially in front of goal. Where the Royals were clinical, the Blades were blunt, and Hunt was the pick of the strikers.
His first goal came in the sixth minute when he headed home from close range after Hal Robson-Kanu crossed from the left following an exchange of passes with Nicky Shorey.
United, who have won The FA Cup four times, were giving as good as they got at this stage, however, and had two good chances to equalise.
Nick Blackman went on a jinking run from the right and drove the ball across the Reading goal-line before it was deflected away for a corner.
Striker Chris Porter then went close, heading cross from Jamie Murphy just wide of the far post in the 33rd minute. Murphy then forced Adam Federici into a fine save with a first-time shot from close range.
But Hunt was never far from the action. He forced a fine save from George Long with a shot on the turn five minutes before half-time, but the United 'keeper had little chance when Mikele Leigertwood made it 2-0 moments later.
The Reading skipper, who spent a season at Bramall Lane six years ago, seized on the loose ball after United failed to clear, and fired home from 30 yards for his third goal of the season.
Reading effectively killed off United's chances by scoring twice in four minutes early in the second-half. Hunt scored his second goal five minutes after the break as he ran on to Gareth McCleary's low cross. The striker mis-hit his shot, but it was enough to evade Long and make it 3-0.
McCleary then got in on the act, cutting in from the right with a clever flick of his heels before firing into the far corner of goal.
Still the Blades would not give up. Kevin McDonald had a low drive tipped away for a corner and then Murphy's full-blooded shot beat Federici but was cleared off the line by Stephen Kelly.
There was still time for one final miss, with Blades substitute Ryan Flynn heading wastefully wide of an open goal ten minutes' from time.
Federici; Kelly, Morrison, Mariappa, Shorey; McCleary, Leigertwood (Guthrie 84), Karacan, Robson-Kanu; Hunt, Le Fondre.
Substitutes not used: Taylor, Pearce, McAnuff, Kebe, Church,, Cummings
Long; McMahon, Maguire, Higginbotham, Westlake (Collins 75); Blackman, McDonald (Whitehouse 69), Doyle, Murphy; Kitson, Porter (Flynn 60)
Substitutes not used: Coyne,, Cresswell, Ironside,, Da Girolamo
Referee Chris Foy