FT: Bradford City 0-0 Reading

Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak (left) and Bradford City's Andrew Davies battle for the ball in the air during the FA Cup Sixth Round match at Valley Parade
Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak (left) and Bradford City's Andrew Davies battle for the ball in the air during the FA Cup Sixth Round match at Valley Parade
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HISTORY still beckons for both Bradford City and Reading after a dour goalless draw in an FA Cup quarter-final that failed to live up to the billing.

The Bantams had the best of a contest that rarely got going as Andrew Davies headed over and James Hanson fired just wide.

But, despite Gary Liddle also striking an upright with a cross and Reading twice hitting the woodwork, there was to be no separating the two clubs.

Instead, a replay will be needed to decide who makes it through to the last four.

No date has yet been given but with UEFA decreeing that no domestic Cup games can take place on Champions League nights - a rule that forced Hull to host Brighton on a Monday last season in the fifth round - the most likely date seems to be a week on Monday.

After all the hype and anticipation that had swept through Bradford during the build-up, perhaps it was inevitable that the first half should be such a poor affair.

Both sides did hit the post but, in truth, neither deserved to be ahead at the break after an opening 45 minutes that were low on quality.

Reading’s near miss came in the 28th minute, a swift break down the right seeing Jamie Mackie get clear to cross for Pavel Pogrebnyak.

The Russian then controlled before drilling a low shot that struck the foot of Ben Williams’ post.

Nine minutes later, City went equally close when a cross from Gary Liddle evaded a cluster of players before striking the upright and bouncing to safety.

Thankfully for the 24,321 - Valley Parade’s biggest crowd since February, 1960 - matters did improve after the break, even if only marginally.

Much of this was down to City, who played a much more constructive game after the break.

A neat one-two involving Billy Clarke and Jon Stead ended with the former firing a shot that struck a defender.

Moments later, Billy Knott wasted a great opening after being played in down the left when firing his cross at the first man.

A fine ball by Clarke released Stead midway through the second half but, after beating Alex Pearce with ease, the striker was tackled by Stephen Kelly just as he prepared to shoot.

Clarke was again the man to unlock the Reading defence on 71 minutes with another flighted pass that Stead latched on to. He crossed for Hanson who stabbed a shot wide.

Andrew Davies was the next to go close with a bullet header from a Filipe Morais free-kick that flew just over.

Reading’s best chance of the second half came four minutes from time when Pogrebnyak met an Oliver Norwood free-kick but as the ball bounced around the six-yard box no visiting player was able to apply the final touch.