In some ways, there’s no need for us to churn out this match preview. And, no, we don’t mean ‘no need’ in that unsolicited-could-you-be-entitled-to-a-PPI-refund-call sort of way. What we do mean (before you get all smart arsey) is that this is the FA Cup, right? Boro’ are, therefore, nailed on to score five goals. That’s how it works, if we’re not mistaken. Five goals in Round One, five goals in Round Two and five goals in each new FA Cup match until we’re either drawn away or lifting the damn pot at our ex-training ground. Hashtag foregone conclusion.
Of course, that’s not how it works. Our FA Cup form, however, has been a real treat if set against the backdrop of our results from the last three months. Nantwich were first to feel our ferocious heat. Then it was Swindon. Now, it’s Reading indoors and a not-so-unfamiliar face. We’ll have more on this breaking news later, but – let’s be honest – it wasn’t exactly the draw we’d hoped for. We missed out on the big guns. We even missed out on one of the top 20 or even 30 sides in the country right now. Reading at home? Aye, might as well we suppose…
Stevenage v Reading: The Lowdown
We’ve never fared too badly when Ben Toner has been in charge. And we’d like to keep it that way, please?
P4 W3 D1 L0 F7 A4; last result: Carlisle United 1-1 Stevenage, 17/04/2017
P2 W1 D0 L1 F2 A2; last result: Reading 0-1 Stevenage, 07/01/2012
Reading. And a third meeting with Stevenage, thereof. The Royals are as familiar as unfamiliar foes can be. We have met twice; both times in this hallowed competition. And both times producing away wins. The first was a little further down the line; in Round Four as our reward for toppling Newcastle, in fact. Darius drew us level, but Shane Long scored three minutes from time to dump us out. It was Darius who struck again when we were paired barely a year later (and almost five years to the day now) in Round Three; Boro’ winning 1-0.
Reading went on to win the Championship that term, while Graham Westley trundled off to Preston.
This ain’t about us, so much. Sure, we’ve won our last two matches indoors – scoring nine times in total (Five goals is on here! Ed.). That was Chesterfield and Cheltenham, though. Reading have a bit more about them, and that’s at the very least. Mind you, the Royals are propping up the Championship form table as we speak. They’ve taken two points from 18, while a 2-0 defeat to Birmingham at the Madejski last week was the Blues’ first away win of the season. Reading, meanwhile, have won more on their travels than at home in the league.
The stats, as seen and coloured in by kickoff.co.uk…
• BoroGuide’s Reading club profile – we’ll never be royals, it don’t run in our blood…