FA Cup: Wootton own goal sends Watford side through

A Scott Wootton own goal was enough to steer Watford into the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2007 as Leeds United were beaten 1-0 at Vicarage Road.

Published : Feb 20, 2016 23:30 IST

Leeds defender Scott Wootton reacts after the goal.
Leeds defender Scott Wootton reacts after the goal.

Leeds defender Scott Wootton reacts after the goal.

A Scott Wootton own goal was enough to steer Watford into the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2007 as Leeds United were beaten 1-0 at Vicarage Road.

Wootton was under little pressure at the back post when he diverted Ben Watson's whipped centre past his own goalkeeper eight minutes into the second half.

Watford had the ball in the net again shortly after, but Etienne Capoue's neat finish was chalked off for a Troy Deeney foul.

A third clean sheet in their last four home outings in all competitions helped Watford progress in the first FA Cup meeting between these teams and the Premier League side will have one eye on a trip to Wembley as well as securing their top-flight status. 

Quique Sanchez Flores made six changes from Watford's 2-1 win at Crystal Palace last weekend, with top scorer Odion Ighalo among those rested. A dead leg ruled out Liam Cooper and Leeds manager Steve Evans replaced the defender with Sol Bamba.

The hosts, yet to win the FA Cup, had two early sights of goal, captain Deeney having a header deflected wide in the first minute before Miguel Britos saw his own header fly well over.

Nordin Amrabat looped a header into Marco Silvestri's arms before Britos had a big chance at the back post, but the defender put another header wide as Watford dominated aerially.

Jose Holebas saw his strike deflect just wide as the Premier League side cranked up the pressure, with the visitors' first chance arriving against the run of play after 25 minutes.

A terrific counter-attack led by Mirco Antenucci worked an opening for Stuart Dallas, but his tame shot was saved easily by Costel Pantilimon. Dallas then dragged wide after brilliant build-up play by Souleymane Doukara.

Dallas saw another effort deflect wide shortly before half-time as the Championship side, who have now won just three of their last 12 matches in all competitions, continued to grow into the contest.

But any momentum that Leeds were gaining came to a halt as Watford broke the deadlock shortly after the interval, Wootton inadvertently turning Watson's excellent cross into his own net.

Capoue thought he had doubled Watford's lead after 57 minutes when he beat Silvestri from close range, but referee Michael Oliver disallowed it for a push by Deeney.

Liam Bridcutt tested Pantilimon when he let fly with a long-range drive after 64 minutes and, with two minutes to go, Doukara lashed a shot over after being played in by Wootton, but Leeds were unable to find an equaliser. 

Reading 3 West Brom 1: McShane, Hector and Piazon spring Cup shock  

Goals from Paul McShane, Michael Hector and Lucas Piazon earned Reading a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup thanks to a surprise 3-1 comeback victory over West Brom on Saturday.

Having lost to eventual winners Arsenal at the semi-final stage last season, Reading are enjoying another strong Cup run in 2015-16, providing a highlight amid a stuttering Championship campaign.

After a first half low on goalmouth action at the Madejski Stadium, the game sprung into life early in the second period with two goals in five minutes.

West Brom's Darren Fletcher – a winner of this competition with Manchester United in 2004 – opened the scoring with a well-taken angled drive, adding to his stunning goal in the replay against Peterborough United in the previous round.

But Reading responded swiftly and McShane – who featured from the bench for Hull City in the final against Arsenal two years ago – headed in from a set-piece to claim his first goal for Reading.

And it got even better for Brian McDermott's side as, 18 minutes from time, Hector glanced a header home at the far post before substitute Piazon added the third in stoppage time to condemn their Premier League opponents to a surprise exit.

In a quiet opening to proceedings, the only effort of note came in the 12th minute when Chris Brunt – selected as one of two changes for West Brom – fired a 30-yard free-kick comfortably over the crossbar.

Reading's first attempt at goal midway through the half came from an unlikely source as McShane fizzed a shot agonisingly wide of the right-hand post from just outside the box.

The home side threatened again seven minutes prior to half-time as Oliver Norwood whipped in a cross for Hal Robson-Kanu, who saw his header tipped over by Ben Foster.

James McClean fired wildly off target from 20 yards as Tony Pulis' men began the second half brightly and they were rewarded with the opening goal in the 54th minute.

From the right touchline, Salomon Rondon played a low ball into Fletcher just inside the area and the Scotland international made the most of the generous space afforded to him by controlling and dispatching a clinical finish into the bottom-left corner.

However, the lead lasted just five minutes as Norwood sent in an inviting free-kick from the left and McShane glanced in a header from six yards despite the best efforts of Foster, who got a hand to the ball, but could only parry it into the roof of the net.

And it was another excellent Norwood delivery that allowed Reading to forge ahead as the midfielder curled in a cross towards the back post and Hector got the better of Jonas Olsson to nod in from close range.

West Brom missed two glorious chances to force a replay with five minutes remaining as first Saido Berahino failed to get a clean connection on a ball across the six-yard box and then Fletcher poked a tame finish straight at Ali Al-Habsi when unmarked at close range.

With the final action of the game, Piazon was teed up by fellow replacement Ola John, composing himself before rifling past Foster to seal Reading's place in the last eight. 

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