Royals boss Mark Bowen was left delighted after Reading's pulsating penalty shootout victory over Cardiff City in the FA Cup fourth round replay on Tuesday evening.

Reading found themselves 2-0 down and looked set to crash out of the competition after goals from Josh Murphy and Robert Glatzel gave the hosts a healthy lead with an hour gone.

However, left back Omar Richards popped up with a powerful header in the 69th minute to half the deficit, before substitute Andy Rinomhota scored a spectacular volley to level the scores and send the game into extra time.

Murphy scored his second of the game shortly after the restart but again Reading battled back and equalised again thanks to an instinctive volleyed finish from Yakou Meite.

With Cardiff only managing to score one of their three spot kicks, Sone Aluko stepped up and sent Reading through to the fifth round - where they will face Premier League side Sheffield United.

Speaking after the game, Royals boss Mark Bowen said he was delighted with the response from his side after a poor opening 45 minutes.

"I thought in the first half we were miles off what I expect and what the players ask of each other. We were poor in the first half. "I had some harsh words to say at half time. We tried to flip things around and went to a 4-4-2 shape in the second half and asked players to be braver on the ball.

"In the first half we were just looking at Cardiff. I wanted us to get on the ball and try and take the game to them.

"Sone Aluko I thought did that, Garath McCleary as well. When we started doing that it gave the team more confidence and to come back from 2-0 down and being down in extra time - I'm proud as punch. I'm delighted for them."

"I said to the lads at the end, I don't care if we lose [on penalties] it wouldn't of changed what I thought because they'd been fantastic in the second half. I did just have a feeling we'd win the penalties." Bowen also expressed his delight at the bravery shown by young centre back Gabriel Osho, who stepped up to take a kick in the shootout after his error led to Cardiff's third goal in extra time.

"He showed guts - he had cramp after about an hour but he got through it and he was one of the first ones to put their name up to take a penalty.

"Full credit to him after a little mistake for their third goal - it would have been easy for him to put his head down and be a shrinking violet but he stepped forward and said I want a penalty so I'm proud as punch."

Bowen did say that the result was for the fans, and that he believes the magic of the cup is very much alive.

"The fans have come down, it was a cold night in Wales - it's always a cold night in Wales!

"At half time they were probably a bit like me and thinking what the hell did I come down here for, but I hope they go home tonight proud of the players for the way they turned it around and are looking forward to another cup tie.

"[The magic of the cup] will never go for me. I'm a traditionalist, you want to progress and not look too far ahead. Bring it on - Sheffield United.!