The Football League Paper - - FA CUP QUARTER-FINALS -

THE French call it snap­ping a ca­ble. Here in Eng­land, we tend to say brain fart. What­ever the moniker, Jake Cooper cer­tainly suf­fered one.

Yan­nick Bo­lasie made the most of an in­stinc­tive pull that only marginally slowed him down and there’s ab­so­lutely no way he’d have beaten Ali AlHabsi to the ball. But Cooper should never have given the Palace winger any ex­cuse to hit the deck. The re­sult was harsh on a Read­ing side that de­fended ex­cel­lently, coun­tered with in­tel­li­gence and, in Al-Habsi, had the game’s out­stand­ing player. The Roy­als also had a man­ager in Brian McDer­mott who was gra­cious, mea­sured and mag­nan­i­mous in de­feat. Their sea­son may be over but with McDer­mott back at the helm, the feel­good fac­tor has re­turned.

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