Reading are STUNNED by National League North side Kidderminister as Amari-Morgan Smith’s strike helps the lowest ranked side in the FA Cup come from behind against the Royals side SEVENTY NINE places above them
- Kidderminster produced a shock beating Reading 2-1 in the FA Cup on Saturday
- Amari-Morgan Smith’s 82nd minute strike helped his team to turn the tie around
- The National League North side are in the hat for tomorrow’s fourth round draw
Amari Morgan-Smith was Kidderminster’s late hero as they dumped Reading out of the FA Cup with shock 2-1 comeback victory.
The National League North side – the lowest ranked club left and 79 places below their Championship visitors – came from behind to stun the Royals by the narrow result.
George Puscas’ first goal for nine months gave Reading the lead before Sam Austin levelled after the break and Morgan-Smith struck with eight minutes remaining to earn a third-round giantkilling.
George Puscas gave Reading the lead against National League North side Kidderminster
Sam Austin levelled for the hosts after Reading goalkeeper Rafael Cabral’s error
Defeat increased the pressure on Royals boss Veljko Paunovic as injuries and rotation saw Reading start with six players that were aged 21 or under.
Pre-match, Paunovic admitted owner Dai Yongge “is not the happiest man in the world right now” amid their awful run which has taken them from a promotion battle to a relegation fight.
Reading have plummeted from seventh to fourth bottom after two wins from 11 games and having been hit with a six-point deduction in November for breaking the EFL’s financial rules.
Amari Morgan-Smith netted the winner to put his side in the hat for the fourth round draw
Kidderminster players celebrate after the drama unfolded in the FA Cup on Saturday
Defeat will not have improved Yongge’s mood and – even if the Royals are willing to give Paunovic time – there were few reasons why they should on Saturday.
They did at least create the first chance when Luke Simpson’s wretched clearance fell straight for Mamadi Camara but the Harriers goalkeeper atoned for his error to save at the striker’s feet.
The hosts had not played since December 18 due to Covid-19 issues sweeping through their opposition but, despite Simpson’s slip, there was little between the teams.
Danny Drinkwater, Chelsea’s £35million misfit, hoicked a deep ball straight out of play to sum up Reading’s early lack of direction, despite seeing more of the ball.
They remained in control of possession but, worryingly for the Royals, Kidderminster were comfortable and never overstretched which allowed them to grow in confidence.
In fairness to Reading they had hardly been given a tough examination until Harriers burst into life during a hectic two-minute spell just after the half-hour.
First, Ashley Hemmings wanted a penalty after Tom Holmes’ challenge and, when the ball ran loose, Morgan-Smith’s shot was saved.
It roused Aggborough, which had lost its early verve, and Omari Sterling increased the noise levels when his brilliant 30-yard effort was turned onto the crossbar by Rafael Cabral.
From the corner, Mark Carrington headed the ball over but Reading regained their composure and grabbed the lead just before the break.
In the end it was simple as Harriers lost their way and Tom Dele-Bashiru touched on Drinkwater’s pass for Puscas to smash past Simpson.
Reading looked to be on course to secure victory and a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup
The Royals celebrate after opening the scoring against Kidderminster at Aggborough
It should have given the visitors the platform to progress but they failed to build and slowly the hosts began to find openings.
Sterling skidded a free-kick wide before Austin curled the ball wide after beating Ethan Bristow in a warning of what was to come.
Reading lost the luckless Felipe Araruna after 64 minutes when he was carried off in just his second game following 464 days out injured.
It then got worse for the Royals after 69 minutes when Harriers levelled. Caleb Richards cushioned Hemmings’ cross for Austin and his low drive squirmed under Cabral.
Austin put the home side on level terms netting on 69 minutes as Kidderminster went on to win
Morgan-Smith was the hero as he helped his side sink the Royals to progress to the next round
The kidderminster players celebrate together at the end of the match after their victory
A fan posed for a selfie with match winner Morgan-Smith at full time following the 2-1 win
Kidderminster deserved the leveller and pushed for a winner which finally came after 82 minutes when Hemmings’ corner sparked an almighty scramble and Morgan-Smith eventually forced the ball in.
Harriers then negotiated 14 minutes of injury time following Araruna’s injury and stoppages for three flares behind thrown onto the pitch to spark wild scenes at Aggborough.