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Monday 22nd
posted by Morning Star in Sport

Midfielder Chris Brunt hit by coin thrown by fans in FA Cup defeat

Reading 3-1 West Brom
by Simon Williams
at the Madejski Stadium

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis was left “disgusted” following scenes at the end of their FA Cup fifth round defeat to Reading on Saturday.

The Premier League took the lead through Darren Fletcher before Paul McShane, Michael Hector and Lucas Piazon all scored to send the Royals into the hat for the quarter-final draw.

But the game was marred when Chris Brunt — who has been at the Baggies for nine years — went over to the travelling fans at the final whistle to give his shirt to a young supporter on the front row but was hit by a coin thrown from the crowd.

The 31-year-old was furious and, after eventually handing his shirt over to somebody on the the front row, had to be dragged away by police as he tried to remonstrate with supporters.

In his post match press conference Pulis made his feelings clear believing social media had a big part to play in the incident.

He said: “Unfortunately it’s the way the game is going. Social media and everything else that goes around builds up an anti-feeling if things are not going well at football clubs.

“West Bromwich Albion is a fantastic football club — it’s a very famous football club — but you can’t condone that.

“Never mind the football club banning the supporter, I hope the police get involved. For me that is criminal — and I mean criminal.

“People have a drink before a game and then you get incidents like this. It has got to be one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.”

After a poor first half Fletcher opened the scoring after 54 minutes with his second goal in three games for West Brom, drilling a low shot from inside the area past Ali Al-Habsi.

But five minutes later Reading equalised when former West Brom player McShane powered in a header from an Oliver Norwood cross.

And the hosts were ahead midway through the second half when Hector nodded in the second before substitute Piazon struck a third in injury time to seal the victory for the Championship side.

“We’re delighted to be in the next round,” said Reading manager Brian McDermott.

“Considering we were playing a top Premier League side they knew what they were doing and they know how to win games.

“Tony Pulis put out a really strong side so it’s a great result for us and we look forward to the draw.”