HOLDERS Reading got their National Cup campaign underway by hammering Henley 12-0 in their second-round tie at Sonning Lane on Sunday.

And they would have netted quite a few more but for some heroic goalkeeping from Rob Green.

The size of victory was no surprise as the odds were heavily stacked against Henley even before the start.

They were low on confidence after a 7-0 defeat on Saturday had left them bottom of MBBO Premier Division One, while the Blues were making their only appearance of the weekend with young international Peter Scott returning after a long lay-off following an illness.

"When you are up against lower-ranked teams you cannot be complacent," said Reading skipper Ciaran O'Connell.

"The club takes the cup seriously, as it's a big part of we want to achieve here. We have won it for the last two years and the aim is to make it three. We don't intend to drop our standards.

Henley included former Reading captain Rhys Joyce, but shortly after rescuing his side with a goal-line clearance he was forced off with a calf injury.

They missed his experience and neither were they helped by twice being reduced to 10 men with Benji Hetherington committing two green-card offences.

These Henley set-backs made it even easier for their Premier League hosts.

The visitors managed to hold out until the 13th minute when from the fourth of their 11 penalty corners in the game, Josh Bretherton opened the floodgates.

Henley missed a half-chance to score before Sam Armitage doubled the lead with Jatinder Bachu, Chris Ellison and Matt Richards making it 5-0 by the interval.

Armitage, Bachu and Richards also all netted in the second half, along with Lee Morton, Connor Roberts (2) and Jack Clee, while Scott rattled the post and the busy Green continued to make fine saves.

Under 18 goalkeeper Ted Salter was no more than a spectator in the home goal throughout the half.

For Reading Women, their National Cup hopes were sent crashing, losing 8-0 away to Premier Division side Clifton Robinsons with five goals coming in the last 22 minutes.

The scorers were Carol Middough (14 mins), Tara Chittenden (25 and 48), Claire Thomas (28, 50 and 53), Catherine Macaulay (56) and Lisa Daley (68).