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U21s in narrow City defeat

PUBLISHED

15:58 10th February 2014

Keown scores in loss

The Royals under-21s came close to ending Manchester City's nine-game winning sequence at Hogwood Park on Monday afternoon, but two excellent finishes secured the visitors all three points.

Defender Niall Keown put the Royals ahead early on, but an superb solo goal from City's Devante Cole and a fierce strike from their captain Marcos Lopes secured Patrick Vieira's side the win.

Reading, looking stretch their six-game unbeaten run which goes back four months, were without several players rested ahead of Wednesday's FA Youth Cup tie, which gave an opportunity for Academy first year scholars Hammad Lawal and Lewis Collins to impress.

Vieira opted to make one change from the side that beat Bolton Wanderers 4-0 last time out, bringing Ellis Plummer into the XI in place of Jason Denayer at the heart of defence.

But it was the Royals who were in the ascendency early on, and took the lead when Keown bundled home from a Craig Tanner corner.

In the 39th minute, City equalised and it was courtesy of special individual effort from Cole. The 18-year old drifted in from the left before sliding his shot past Royals goalkeeper Dan Lincoln.

It was the perfect response from the away side who had played their part in an entertaining, open first half in which two sons of former Premier League title-winners in Martin Keown and Andrew Cole, had found the net.

And it was our visitors who clinched the all-important third goal of the game when Lopes struck an unstoppable 20-yard drive.

Martin Kuhl's men will pick themselves up ahead of next Monday night's game against Arsenal at Madejski Stadium, which is free for supporters to attend.

Reading: Lincoln; Long, Griffin, Sweeney, Keown (C); Partridge (Jeffrey 20), Tshibola, Collins, Lawal; Tanner, Ugwu

Unused subs: Moore, Sheppard, Ethelston, Williams.

Man City: Lawlor, Drury, Plummer, Facey, Leigh, Glendon, Fofana, Lopes (C), Bytyqi, Cole, Hiwula.

Unused subs: O’Brien, Bryan, Denayer, Byrne, Ntcham.

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