Tuesday 12 December 2017

Yakubu sinks 10-man Derby County as Reading progress

Derby County1 Reading2

Derby County's Ryan Shotton jumps with Simon Cox of Reading during their FA Cup fifth round match at the iPro Stadium
Derby County's Ryan Shotton jumps with Simon Cox of Reading during their FA Cup fifth round match at the iPro Stadium
Reading's Yakubu scores the winning goal
Derby manager Steve McClaren and Reading manager Steve Clarke on the touch line during the match
Reading's Danny Williams appeals for a penalty
Darren Bent celebrates after scoring Derby's equalising goal
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Derby were lauded as "absolutely heroic" by manager Steve McClaren, despite slipping out of the FA Cup to a late goal from former Premiership star striker, Ayegbeni Yakubu - a player he once signed.

The Championship promotion seekers had twice-capped England international full-back Stephen Warnock sent off for a second yellow card in the 39th minute, but still gave Reading a run for their money.

Hal Robson-Kanu put the visitors ahead just after half-time but Darren Bent equalised soon after and it needed an 82nd-minute strike from Yakubu to settle the match in Reading's favour.

"The way we continued to set about a good Reading side in such a positive way made me very proud," said McClaren. "You can hardly expect to win a game when you are down to 10 for 50 minutes. It's well-nigh impossible but, my word, we had a terrific crack at it.

"We didn't want a replay. We didn't want any more on our plate. We wanted to win at the first attempt and we couldn't have shown more willingness to have a real go at it.

"Even a man down we looked the better side but we were eventually caught on the break and a well-taken goal from the Yak saw Reading through. As soon as I saw him warming up to go on, I thought, 'Oh no, not him!'"

Substitute Yakubu underlined his quality by picking up a Simon Cox through-ball and powering forward, before firing home a clinical left-footed shot from the edge of the box to settle the match.

Reading manager Steve Clarke, who signed Yakubu as a free agent, had no doubt the former Nigeria, Everton and Portsmouth striker would make the most of his opportunity.

He said: "He's very good at doing the business in that sort of situation and that makes him a great asset.

"All credit to Derby for the way they played with 10. We knew they would still come at us but we handled the situation well."

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