Reading winger Jimmy Kebe scored one of the fastest goals in FA Cup history, but the Royals were pegged back by West Bromwich Albion in a captivating fifth-round match. Kebe scored after just nine seconds at the Madejski Stadium to kick-start a thoroughly entertaining cup tie in which both sides were reduced to ten men.
Robert Koren - who was only drafted into the Albion line-up by manager Roberto Di Matteo at the last minute - soon equalized, but Reading substitute Simon Church looked to have put Brian McDermott's side into the last eight for the first time since 1927. However, Baggies left-back Joe Mattock ensured that the two teams will meet again at The Hawthorns in ten days' time when he thundered in a sublime 87th-minute strike.
Reading had had striker Shane Long dismissed in the 48th minute for an ugly lunge on Abdoulaye Meite and he was soon joined on the sidelines by Albion substitute Youssouf Mulumbu, who lasted just 16 minutes before seeing red.
Baggies manager Di Matteo scored in two final wins for Chelsea, but had his plans disrupted late on when winger Andwele Slory injured his heel in the warm-up. Koren took his place in midfield and the Slovenian barely had time to lace his boots before the hosts were ahead, as Kebe struck with just nine seconds on the clock.
The ball was played back to right-back Gianni Zuiverloon, who hesitated in possession and was challenged by Kebe on the edge of the area. The Mali international swept into the box and steered the ball under goalkeeper Scott Carson with his left foot to give the Royals a remarkable start.
Non-league Ashton United midfielder Gareth Morris notched after only four seconds of a first qualifying round tie against Skelmersdale United in 2001, but Kebe's strike is thought to be the quickest in the FA Cup proper. Kebe then wasted a free header and was punished when Koren levelled in the 18th minute.
West Brom back in it
Chris Brunt was the architect, cutting in on to his favoured left foot from the right and delivering a perfect cross over goalkeeper Adam Federici for Koren - who was just onside - to tap in from no more than a yard. Koren then rattled the woodwork with a stinging volley before the break.
Mulumbu came on at the interval to replace the injured Gonzalo Jara and was booked within 60 seconds before Long was dismissed three minutes into the second period by referee Chris Foy when he jumped into a challenge on Meite near the touchline.
The away side nearly made their man advantage count quickly as Roman Bednar capped a flowing move involving Simon Cox and Graham Dorrans with a measured shot from the right-hand side of the area. It left Federici a spectator, but grazed the post and ran wide.
Brunt then crashed two long-range shots just wide as the pressure mounted on Federici's goal until Mulumbu saw red in the 61st minute. Having already been cautioned, the midfielder was silly to check the run of Brynjar Gunnarsson and was shown an inevitable second yellow card. Albion continued to pepper the goal, but it was Reading who forged ahead in the 73rd minute.
Grzegorz Rasiak unlocked a shaky offside trap with a lofted pass forward and fellow substitute Church was left one on one with Carson. His initial chip was saved by the former England goalkeeper, but Church was able to gather the loose ball and fire into an open goal.
Mattock’s late strike
The visitors refused to panic and earned a replay with three minutes left through Mattock's cracker. Dorrans carried the ball forward and shaped to shoot, but instead played in Cox on the edge of the area. The former Reading forward had the presence of mind to pick out Mattock in space on the left and he thundered a first-time drive past Federici and into the far corner.