WATCH: Paul McShane sent off for horror challenge and now misses most important game
After 30 league games this season, after captaining the side with distinction and then setting up the goal in the play-off semi-final first leg, Paul McShane will miss Reading's last promotion push.
A straight red card on Saturday evening for the Wicklow native is one which he can have no real complaints about but one which ultimately rules him out of the return leg at home and a possible Wembley final for a place in the Premier League.
Fulham and Reading played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the play-offs but Jaap Stam's men will face the visit of the Londoners to the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday night without their reliable centre back and their skipper.
Would have ripped your arm off for a 1-1 draw, but McShane is a huge loss.
All to play for. https://t.co/HHWYUaeOqL
— Jacob South Klein (@JacobSouthKlein) May 13, 2017
McShane is a massive loss as he is key to what they do defensively. They might not be able to play 3-5-2 now. All to play for.
— Russ Goldman (@Russ_Goldman) May 13, 2017
Solid result for Reading that - McShane will be a huge loss for the second leg mind #FULREA
— Christian Brown (@Chris78901) May 13, 2017
— Charlie (@CharlieHicks90) May 13, 2017
Wow. Straight red for McShane.
That may not hurt Reading today, but that's a HUGE loss for Leg 2
— Rapinoe Stan (@AndyGlockner) May 13, 2017
After setting up the opener in Craven Cottage with a burst straight through the middle of the Fulham defence - uncharacteristic of your ordinary centre back - McShane literally led the way as Jordan Obita put Reading ahead.
Tom Cairney equalised not long after in the 65th minute but Reading were forced to play out the final 10 minutes with 10 men after McShane received a straight red for a pretty shocking challenge on Kevin McDonald.
Reading are 90 minutes from Wembley, 180 minutes from the Premier League.
The real shame is that their captain, one of their best players this season and one of football's real good guys is going to have to sit out the remainder of the campaign and watch on.