LIVERPOOL, March 1, 2011 (AFP) - Everton hopes of a lengthy FA Cup run came to an abrupt end here Tuesday after the Premier League club were sent crashing out by Championship outfit Reading in their fifth round clash.
A first-half goal from Reading defender Matt Mills stunned Goodison Park into silence and sent the Royals into a quarter-final tie against either Manchester City or Aston Villa.
It was a bitterly disappointing exit for Everton, who had knocked out holders Chelsea in the previous round. Everton's players left the field to a chorus of boos as Reading's players celebrated a famous win.
|Reading's manager Brian McDermott celebrates his team's victory over Everton. AFP|
Reading grabbed a shock lead after 26 minutes, when Mills stabbed home from eight yards after the Everton defence failed to clear a corner.
The goal infused Reading with confidence and Jimmy Kebe had a golden chance to make it 2-0 when clean through on Everton's goal.
Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard was alert to the danger however, snuffing out what looked like a certain Reading goal and keeping the home side in the match.
Leon Osman had a clear chance to level it for Everton just before half-time only for the midfielder to head just over after being picked out by a Leighton Baines cross.