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Kick off 14:00 (UK)

2-3
26 November 2017 Venue St George's Park Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

Stoke City PL2
2 - 3
FT
Reading PL2

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Match Reports

U23s back to winning ways as Watson returns

Barrett's brace and Loader's goal earn 3-2 win at Stoke City

27 November 2017

The Royals' U23s recovered from defeat against Newcastle United last week to beat Stoke City in a frantic second half at St. George's Park.

After a goalless first period, Scott Marshall's side rallied in the second half to secure a 3-2 victory courtesy of a brace from Josh Barrett, to take his tally to eight goals this season.

This was followed up by a calm finish into the bottom corner from U17 World Cup winner, Danny Loader, to keep up the Royals' charge in the Premier League 2 - with our youngsters sat 3rd in the table.

A big boost for the Royals was the return to action of Tennai Watson, who had been out of action since April with a long-term injury. The full-back got 30 minutes of action under his belt as he begins the road back to full fitness.

In a lively performance from Barrett in the first half, he could have notched the opening goal with an excellent free-kick from 25 yards out, dipping on target but kept out well by Stoke 'keeper Daniel Gyollai.

Barrett was then thwarted again after jinking his way into space in the Potters' area, with Gyollai on hand with a smart save from the winger's effort.

The breakthrough for the Royals came shortly after half-time, with Barrett finally getting past Gyollai after a driven effort into the bottom corner from just inside the area.

That lead was short-lived, though, with the Potters equalising through the unmarked Tyrese Campbell prodding home past a previously relatively untroubled George Legg in the Reading goal.

In an end-to-end encounter at St. George's Park, Barrett doubled his and his team's goal tally mid-way through the second half with another clinical finish, with Gyollai unable to save after getting contact on the ball on its way in.

The vital two-goal cushion came eight minutes from time as Danny Loader scored his first goal after his triumphant return from India with silverware with England, coolly dispatching into the far corner.

A grandstand finish was set up after Potters' substitute Shola Ayoola pulled back a second for Stoke with time running out in the 90, but the Royals stood firm and held on for all three points on the day.

Next up for our U23s is an exciting match-up against Arsenal in the Premier League International Cup on Thursday night at Boreham Wood.

Reading U23: Legg, Holmes, Sheppard, Andresson, Medford-Smith, East, Watson (McIntyre 31), Holsgrove, House (Rollinson 83), Loader, Barrett.
Unused subs: Rosario, Shokunbi, Howe.
Goals: Barrett 48, 68; Loader 82.
Yellow cards: Medford-Smith 67. 

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