Adam Le Fondre scored twice as Reading came from behind to knock League One Crawley out of the FA Cup.

Crawley's Nicky Adams aroused hopes of a shock with a stunning strike from outside the area after just 14 seconds.

But Reading equalised with their first chance as Le Fondre side-footed home Garath McCleary's header.

McCleary set up Noel Hunt to knock in the Premier League side's second and Le Fondre made it 3-1 from the penalty spot after Joe Walsh fouled Hunt.

Crawley had reached the fifth round of the Cup in the last two seasons but were facing a league side for the first time in their current run after victories over Metropolitan Police and Chelmsford City.

FA Cup facts

  • It was the first competitive meeting between Crawley and Reading
  • Reading were knocked out of last year's competition in the third round by League One Stevenage

Fans of the Sussex side are used to giddy moments after back-to-back promotions and they were soon in raptures once more as Crawley scored within moments of the kick-off.

Adams robbed Reading captain Ian Harte of possession, cut in from the right and fired past goalkeeper Adam Federici from 25 yards.

Reading, showing seven changes to the side beaten 3-1 by Tottenham, were lucky not to fall further behind as Adams drilled another effort wide before Federici pulled off a spectacular save to keep out Joe Walsh's header.

The Royals got on level terms after their first spell of pressure as McCleary cushioned Harte's cross back to Le Fondre, who directed a first-time shot low past Crawley goalkeeper Paul Jones.

The outstanding McCleary was also the provider for Reading's second goal as he turned full-back David Hunt inside out and crossed for Hunt to slot home.

Reading gave themselves breathing space shortly after half-time when Hunt went down under a challenge from Walsh and Le Fondre blasted the penalty into the roof of the net.

Reading, FA Cup quarter-finalists in 2010 and 2011, saw out the clock to book their place in Sunday's fourth-round draw.

Crawley manager Richie Barker: "I thought the players were fantastic from minute one. They worked extremely hard, did everything I asked them to do and, who knows, with a little bit of luck and a correct referee's decision we may have come away with something.

"Today was about enjoying it - letting the players go and enjoy playing against some of the best players in the country, testing themselves and proving they should be playing at a higher level and for me they did that.

"I think the penalty had a major effect on the game. I think the referee has made a mistake, but I'll check the DVD to make sure, but if he's guessed it's too big a guess."

Reading manager Brian McDermott: "It was about coming and trying to get a result and do the basics as well as we could, which we didn't in the first 14 seconds.

"They had another chance to go 2-0 up, which would have been a real problem. It is easy to panic but we got ourselves back into the game. The reaction from our players was good.

"When we got ourselves 2-1 up it was more comfortable for us. I thought the combination of Adam and Noel was really good and Garath McCleary made a really good goal for Noel.

"We made a few changes but we put out a team we thought could win and that is what happened. It has turned out to be an okay day. I am pleased to be in the next round."

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (4)

Crawley Town

  • 01 Jones
  • 03 Sadler
  • 04 Connolly
  • 12 Walsh
  • 13 Hunt (Akinde - 82' )
  • 06 Akpan
  • 07 Clarke
  • 11 Simpson
  • 16 Adams
  • 21 Jones (Elford-Alliyu - 68' )
  • 09 Alexander

Substitutes

  • 25 Kuipers
  • 19 Byrne
  • 08 Torres
  • 15 Bulman
  • 18 Cooper
  • 17 Akinde
  • 20 Elford-Alliyu

Reading

  • 01 Federici
  • 05 Pearce
  • 15 Morrison Booked
  • 23 Harte
  • 24 Cummings
  • 04 Karacan (Guthrie - 59' )
  • 16 Tabb
  • 19 Robson-Kanu
  • 09 Le Fondre
  • 10 Hunt
  • 12 McCleary (Gunter - 85' )

Substitutes

  • 41 Taylor
  • 02 Gunter
  • 03 Shorey
  • 06 Mariappa
  • 20 Guthrie
  • 18 Church
  • 36 Ugwu
Ref: Taylor
Att: 5,880

Match Stats

Shots

18 10

On target

10 6

Corners

9 7

Fouls

2 6

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:18 Full time

Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.

90:00 +3:01

Effort by Nicky Adams from a long way out goes over the crossbar.

90:00 +1:28

Shot by Hope Akpan from outside the box goes high over the crossbar.

90:00 +1:09

The assistant referee flags for offside against Noel Hunt. Paul Jones takes the free kick.

90:00 +0:50

Noel Hunt takes a shot. Save by Paul Jones.

90:00 +0:08

Shot from deep inside the area by Adam Le Fondre clears the crossbar.

88:59

Unfair challenge on Mark Connolly by Adam Le Fondre results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Jones.

88:12

Effort from the edge of the box by Nicky Adams goes wide of the left-hand upright.

86:53

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Mat Sadler from the right by-line, Mark Connolly takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.

85:25

Corner taken by Chris Gunter.

84:32 Substitution

Substitution Chris Gunter is brought on as a substitute for Garath McCleary.

81:40 Substitution

Substitution John Akinde on for David Hunt.

81:20

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Mat Sadler.

81:03

Mat Sadler takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.

80:52

Corner taken short by Mat Sadler.

77:08

Inswinging corner taken by Nicky Adams, Jay Tabb manages to make a clearance.

75:32

The assistant referee signals for offside against Adam Le Fondre. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Jones.

74:10

The assistant referee flags for offside against Adam Le Fondre. Mat Sadler restarts play with the free kick.

73:36

Danny Guthrie challenges Mark Connolly unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by David Hunt.

72:54

Nicky Adams takes a shot. Adam Federici makes a save. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Nicky Adams, save by Adam Federici.

72:13 Booking

Booking Sean Morrison receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

68:30

Effort from outside the area by Josh Simpson goes wide right of the goal.

67:18 Substitution

Substitution Lateef Elford-Alliyu joins the action as a substitute, replacing Mike Jones.

65:08

Corner taken by Danny Guthrie played to the near post, David Hunt makes a clearance.

62:29

Billy Clarke takes a shot. Sean Morrison gets a block in.

59:14

Inswinging corner taken by Danny Guthrie, Mark Connolly manages to make a clearance.

58:54 Substitution

Substitution Danny Guthrie is brought on as a substitute for Jem Karacan.

57:52

Nicky Adams decides to take the corner short.

54:57

Garath McCleary takes a inswinging corner.

51:16

The referee blows for offside. Paul Jones takes the free kick.

48:23 Goal scored

Goal! - Adam Le Fondre - Crawley 1 - 3 Reading Power penalty scored by Adam Le Fondre. Crawley Town 1-3 Reading.

47:31

Unfair challenge on Noel Hunt by Joe Walsh results in a Penalty.

46:54

Headed effort from inside the area by Jem Karacan misses to the right of the target.

45:11

Corner taken left-footed by Ian Harte, Alex Pearce takes a shot. Save by Paul Jones.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +1:04 Half time

Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.

43:43

The assist for the goal came from Garath McCleary.

43:43 Goal scored

Goal! - Noel Hunt - Crawley 1 - 2 Reading Noel Hunt finds the net with a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Crawley Town 1-2 Reading.

41:48

Gary Alexander fouled by Alex Pearce, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Connolly.

41:10

Effort from 35 yards by Billy Clarke missed to the right of the target.

40:36

Sean Morrison gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gary Alexander. Free kick taken by Paul Jones.

39:55

Gary Alexander takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.

36:53

Headed effort from inside the area by Billy Clarke misses to the left of the target.

34:41

Garath McCleary challenges Hope Akpan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mat Sadler takes the free kick.

34:11

Josh Simpson takes a shot. Alex Pearce gets a block in.

32:14

Mike Jones takes a shot. Save by Adam Federici.

29:45

Josh Simpson takes a shot. Save made by Adam Federici.

26:58

Shot from just outside the box by Noel Hunt goes over the target.

26:03

The offside flag is raised against Noel Hunt. Paul Jones restarts play with the free kick.

24:25

Garath McCleary takes a shot. Mat Sadler gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken by Ian Harte, save made by Paul Jones.

21:04

Shot by Jem Karacan from outside the box goes over the target.

20:41

The referee penalises Billy Clarke for handball. Adam Federici takes the indirect free kick.

13:42

Noel Hunt takes a shot. Save made by Paul Jones.

12:23

Assist on the goal came from Garath McCleary.

12:23 Goal scored

Goal! - Adam Le Fondre - Crawley 1 - 1 Reading Adam Le Fondre fires in a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Crawley Town 1-1 Reading.

11:25

Corner taken left-footed by Ian Harte from the right by-line, save made by Paul Jones.

10:52

Foul by Nicky Adams on Hal Robson-Kanu, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Ian Harte.

9:54

Corner from the right by-line taken by Mat Sadler, Garath McCleary manages to make a clearance.

9:04

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Mat Sadler, Joe Walsh takes a shot. Adam Federici makes a save.

8:32

Corner from right by-line taken by Nicky Adams.

6:10

Nicky Adams takes a shot from 35 yards and went wide right of the target.

4:27

Billy Clarke takes a shot. Blocked by Alex Pearce.

1:49

Foul by Adam Le Fondre on Mark Connolly, free kick awarded. Paul Jones takes the indirect free kick.

0:14 Goal scored

Goal! - Nicky Adams - Crawley 1 - 0 Reading Goal scored by Nicky Adams from just outside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Crawley Town 1-0 Reading.

0:00

The game kicks-off.

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