Reading under 21s 2 (Church 68, Tshibola 74)
Blackburn under 21s 4 (Osawe 22, O'Sullivan 23, Maclaren 26, Morris 45)
A spirited fight back from Reading under 21s wasn’t enough to prevent defeat to a clinical Blackburn Rovers side on Friday afternoon, as Chris Cummins’ youngsters fell to a 4-2 defeat.
Brynjar Gunnarsson and Simon Church provided the experience for the Royals, who fell behind midway through the first half as Osayamen Osawe took advantage of some hesitation in the defence before clipping the ball home.
The lead was doubled just seconds later, with John O’Sullivan bundling home from close range after a free-kick was sent in from the right.
Reading were rocking, and were shocked further as Jamie Maclaren turned home Osawe’s cross with five minutes remaining before the break.
Craig Tanner almost brightened up an overcast Hogwood Park with a mazy run and stinging shot shortly afterwards, but saw his effort cannon back off the crossbar.
With conditions verging on the atrocious, rain and wind battered the training ground - and Rovers made it four in first half stoppage time as Josh Morris’ daisy cutter took a deflection before skidding past a helpless Jonathan Henly.
However, far from letting their heads drop, Reading came out with purpose in the second period – as Church clipped just wide of the post ten minutes in, before the Welsh international eventually pulled one back for the hosts.
Lawson D’Ath brought down a high cross-field pass with an impeccable first touch, before sending Australian youth international Ryan Edwards down the wing – who squared for Church to exquisitely turn home.
The striker then found the net again, only to see his effort harshly chalked off for offside – before substitute Aaron Tshibola got a second when his cross-come-shot was deflected home from the left wing.
It was a positive note to finish off a difficult afternoon – and the Royals will look to bounce back with a win when they travel to Arsenal on Monday 8th October.
Reading: Henly, Partridge, Arnold (Keown 21), Sweeney, Gunnarsson, D’Ath, Taylor, Edwards (Losasso 79), Tanner (Tshibola HT), Samuel, Church
Unused subs: Lincoln, Webb
Blackburn: Urwin, Henley (c), Beesley, O'Sullivan, Fernandez, Wylie, Osawe, Payne, Maclaren, Cotton, Morris.
Unused Subs: Haley, Dilo, Daly, Brown.