Hello and welcome to Sports Mole
's live text coverage of this afternoon's FA Cup
quarter-final as Bradford City
at Valley Parade. League one side Bradford have enjoyed an amazing run in the competition, and another win today will seem them in the semi-finals at Wembley Stadium. However, Reading are sure to have something to say about that and will be relishing the chance to get through to the last four. Team news is on its way.
BRADFORD: Williams, Darby, McArdle, Davies, Meredith, Liddle, Morais, Knott, Clarke, Hanson, Stead
Following their 1-0 win over Crawley Town in League One on Tuesday, Bradford boss Phil Parkinson has made a total of seven changes to his starting lineup for today's game. Billy Clarke and Jon Stead return up front, while Filipe Morais is also among those back in the team after a spell on the sidelines through injury.
READING: Federici, Kelly, Hector, Pearce, Obita, Chalobah, Mackie, Williams, Norwood, Robson-Kanu, Pogrebnyak
Meanwhile, Reading manager Steve Clark has made two changes after seeing his side draw 1-1 with Bolton Wanderers earlier this week. Stephen Kelly and Danny Williams both come in, while Chris Gunter and Garath McCleary make way. The mighty Yakubu is on the bench.
It would be fair to say that Bradford will be fancying their chances today. Having already knocked out Chelsea and Sunderland, the Bantams will be feeling like they can beat anybody. Not only that, but they will have the home crowd fully behind them this afternoon. Those sort of things make a huge difference when it comes to playing higher-ranked opposition. As for their league form, Bradford have won just twice in their last five matches. Not exactly inspiring, but as well all know, that goes out the window in the FA Cup.
And what of Reading? Well, the Royals have also seen off stern competition to get this far, beating the likes of Brighton, Cardiff and Derby to reach the last eight. However, Steve Clarke will be well aware that today's clash represents the toughest game for his players so far. Despite being a league apart, the Scot knows that Bradford will throw everything at his side this afternoon.
Reading manager Steve Clarke: "What Bradford have achieved in the competition is fantastic. But it's up to us to be the spoilers of the party. We've done well in the cup as well. We've had three difficult games, away ties at fellow Championship clubs. We deserve to be [in the quarters]."
Bradford striker James Hanson: "We know there's no reason why we can't do it again after what we did against Chelsea and Sunderland, but we are still going in as the underdogs. We're looking forward to another chance to test ourselves against higher-level opposition. They have a lot of players who have played in the Premier League so we know it is going to be a test."
It's worth noting that Bradford boss Phil Parkinson enjoyed a successful 11-year playing career with Reading, making over 350 appearances for the Royals. While he has fond memories of his time with the Berkshire-based club, he will only be focusing on getting Bantams through over the course of the next 90 minutes.
Here come the teams!
KICKOFF! The players are out, the pre-match handshakes have been done, and it will be Reading to get us underway at Valley Parade. The atmosphere is absolutely cracking. Here we go!
There have already been a couple of hefty challenges from both sides during a cagey opening few minutes. Reading have seen more of the ball so far, but they've been unable to get at Bradford in the final third.
Bradford threaten for the first time as Meredith, Clarke and Stead all link up down the left, but the latter's attempted flick back to Clarke is cut out by the visitors. The hosts look like they're starting to get a bit of wind in their sails.
Reading winger Mackie has been lively so far. He does well to earn a free kick for his side down the left before Norwood's disappointing delivery is dealt with by the home team. It remains a closely-contested affair, though the Royals are probably just edging it at the moment.
The hosts are starting to apply a bit of pressure to the Reading defence. A good cross from the left is met by the head of Hanson, but Federici is able to keep his eye on the ball and make a comfortable save. That was a decent opening for Bradford.
We've not seen much in the way of free-flowing football so far. The pitch might have something to do with that. The playing surface at Valley Parade is not the best, let's put it like that.
While the chances are few and far between, this is a bit of an old-school-blood-and-thunder FA Cup tie. The challenges continue to fly in, but referee Neil Swarbrick is doing a good job of letting them go and allowing the match to flow at a good pace.
There are quite a few long balls being pumped into the respective penalty areas at the moment as we head towards the half-way mark in this first half. Both teams are obviously finding it difficult to put together passes on the deck with the pitch as it is.
Disappointing from Reading full-back Kelly, who gets down the right before hitting a woeful cross out of play. The ball may have taken a bobble before he struck it, but he had the chance to take a touch and compose himself.
CHANCE! Almost a fortuitous goal for Reading as Williams's cross from the right takes a deflection and looks like it might be creeping in at the near post, but his namesake in the Bradford goal reacts quickly to keep it out.
OFF THE WOODWORK! Reading come close again as Pogrebnyak shoots from the edge of the box following a cross from the right, but the striker's effort comes back off the post. He did brilliantly to control the ball before getting his strike away. A warning sign for Bradford, who are starting to be forced back.
The visitors are definitely beginning to take control of this game. Another good move down the right ends with Kelly whipping a dangerous cross towards Pogrebnyak, but goalkeeper Williams is brave to come off his line and collect the ball. Bradford haven't seen too much of the ball in Reading's half during the last five minutes or so.
Bradford are trying to fight back by getting at Reading down the right, but they're struggling to make anything happen. The ball is often being lumped up to Stead, who is being closed down quickly by the Reading defenders. The away side clearly don't want to give the striker too much time on the ball.
OFF THE POST! Bradford, against the run of play, come within inches of taking the lead. Liddle's inswinging cross from the left evades everyone before hitting the back post. There's a bit of a scramble in the box after that, but Reading just about see off the danger.
YELLOW CARD! Bradford defender McArdle is the first player to go into the book today, though it's unclear why. Possibly for showing dissent.
Five minutes left until half time and this FA Cup quarter-final is really hotting up. That opening a few minutes ago has really given the Bradford players and fans a lift. They've suddenly come alive following an underwhelming start to this match.
WHOOSH! Reading surge forward through Williams, who tries his luck with a speculative effort from about 35 yards that flies high over the crossbar. That was a waste from the midfielder because he had a couple of teammates up with him and Bradford were retreating fast.
There will be a minimum of TWO MINUTES added time at the end of the first half...
HALF TIME: BRADFORD 0-0 READING
The half-time whistle goes to bring an end to a cagey yet intriguing opening 45 minutes at Valley Parade. Chances have been hard to come by, but we've seen the woodwork struck at both ends. While Bradford looked in the ascendancy at the end of the half, Reading have probably been the more dominant side so far.
Despite the away side looking the more likely to find the net, Bradford have done a good job of keeping them at bay. It's been a keenly-contested match - one that's seen lots of physicality and dogged play, particularly in midfield.
As mentioned earlier, the pitch is certainly making it difficult for either of the teams to play a passing game. Reading have done a better job of getting the ball on the deck, while Bradford have opted for a more direct approach.
Pogrebnyak was unlucky to have hit the post with his effort earlier. The striker showed great control on the edge of the box before smacking his shot against the woodwork. Meanwhile, Bradford's best opening saw Liddle's cross miss everyone and hit the back post. It could well take a bit of luck like that to separate the teams in this tie.
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY! The teams are back out for the second half, and it will be Bradford to kick us off. No changes from either side during the interval.
CHANCE! Bradford get a decent opportunity right at the start of the second half as a cross from the left is met by Morais at the back post. The midfielder hits a good, low effort towards goal, but Federici is there to keep it out. What a start that would have been for the Bantams.
This has been a positive start to the second half for the home side. Morais is in the thick of the action again as he works some space down the right before pinging in a dangerous cross, but Federici is quick off his line to catch the ball. It looks like Bradford aren't going to be changing their tactics anytime soon. They were eager to get crosses in from out wide during the first half and they're trying to do the same again in this half.
Bradford continue to ask questions of the visitors as Meredith receives the ball out wide and whips in a cross that goes over everyone and out of play. Reading are struggling to get out of their own half at the moment as the home side applies some pressure.
Good defending from Reading as they deal with a couple of threatening Bradford set pieces. Chalobah in particular has been valuable at the back for the away side this afternoon. Reading need to build up a bit of pressure of their own because Bradford are seeing the majority of possession right now.
Bradford are playing some good football right now as they try to grab the game's opening goal. They opted for a more direct approach during the first half, but they're showing some good touches on the deck as we apprach the hour mark. However, they're still lacking that telling piece of quality in the final third.
Reading are forced into action at the back again as Clarke hits a low cross into the box from the left. However, Pearce is there to throw himself in front of the ball. The Royals are needing to be really focused in defence while Bradford pose the questions.
You can only see Bradford getting stronger from here. They're still controlling possession and the pace of this game. Phil Parkinson will be delighted with what he's seeing from his players. They were second best during the opening 45 minutes, but there's no doubt that they're looking the more likely to score now.
What a tackle from Kelly to deny Stead. The Bradford forward controls the ball in the box before pulling the triggers, only for the Reading full-back to hurl himself in front of the ball to make a tremendous block.
READING SUB: The visitors make their first change of the afternoon as McCleary replaces the disappointing Robson-Kanu.
Something of a half-chance for Reading as a cross from the left is headed towards his own goal by Meredith, though Williams deals with it easily in the end. That was the away side's first attack in what seems like a very long time indeed. They've found it so hard to make any ground in the Bradford half since the restart.
CHANCE! Bradford are agonisingly close to taking the lead as Stead and Hanson combine. The former's cross is met at the near post by Hanson, who pokes the ball narrowly wide while under pressure. It wasn't an easy chance, but he almost found the net.
CHANCE! Bradford threaten again as a free kick from out wide is met by the head of Davies, but the defender's header goes narrowly over the crossbar. Davies looks disappointed because he knows that was a good opportunity.
BRADFORD SUBS: The hosts shake things up now as Morais is replaced by Halliday. Not a lot of time left at Valley Parade for either of these sides to find the goal that would take them to Wembley Stadium. Are we heading for a replay?
READING SUB: Could this man make the difference? Yakubu enters the action for Reading, replacing Mackie. The veteran striker scored against Derby in the last round.
Some concern for Reading here as Chalobah stays down after getting an arm in the face from his captain Pearce. The youngster seems to be a bit dazed, but he should be okay to carry on.
BRADFORD, READING SUBS: Changes from both sides here. Bradford bring on Yeates and Zoko for Knott and Clarke. Meanwhile, Chalobah is in fact not okay to continue as he comes off for Akpan.
CHANCE! Reading come so close to finding the net as Norwood's cross from the left hits the back post after almost creeping in at the back post. The ball then pings about in the Bradford box before the home side hack the danger clear. The woodwork has been hit three times now.
Whoever scores now would surely book their place in the semi-finals. We've got two minutes left, plus stoppage time. As it stands, it's difficult to tell who might go on to win this one. The game has certainly become more open during the last few minutes, with both sides pushing forward in search of that vital goal.
There will be at least FOUR MINUTES of added time at the end of this match...
Reading skipper Pearce is down and receiving treatment after getting a bloodied nose following an aerial clash with Zoko. The centre-back has been very solid indeed today, particularly at the start of the second half when Bradford were putting significant pressure on the Royals.
It looks like we might have a couple more minutes in injury time because Pearce is still being seen to by the Reading doctors. He looks to be okay, but they're having some trouble stopping the flow of blood.
This could well be the bloodiest nosebleed of all time. It's absolutely streaming out of Pearce's nose. He's had to go off for further treatment, but Reading haven't made a change.
Pearce is back on. We'll probably have a couple more minutes of added time before this one's over.
FULL TIME: BRADFORD 0-0 READING
A replay it is. Both sides fail to find the net after the 90-plus minutes, so this game will be decided at the Madejski Stadium. It wasn't the most riveting of FA Cup ties if truth be told, but there were one or two moments of excitement. Who will be the more pleased with that? Bradford will be pleased that they're still in the competition, though Reading will be quietly confident of progressing.
That's the end of our live text coverage of today's game, but don't forget that you can keep up to date with all of the reaction from both teams right here on Sports Mole. Thanks for your company, we hope to see you again soon. Goodbye!