Reading’s Under-23s registered a well-earned victory in Premier League 2 on Monday evening, defeating their hosts Aston Villa at Bodymoor Heath.
Oli Pendlebury, Ryan East and Danny Loader each got on the scoresheet for the Royals; Louie Barry grabbed one in reply for the Villans but it proved too little, too late as the visitors took the win back to Berkshire.
Barry had a couple of opportunities to net the opening goal of the game, first weaving in from the right and forcing a stop from Coniah Boyce-Clarke and latterly losing his footing as he tried to take on the Royals stopper.
Instead it was Reading that went ahead, with less than 30 minutes played. The Royals earned a free-kick on the edge of the area – and Pendlebury stepped up, drilled below the leap of the Villa wall, and past home goalie Viljami Sinisalo.
Sinisalo kept the score to one to deny East from long range before the break – his effort was destined for the net before the Finnish stopper saved acrobatically.
But East eventually got the better of the goalkeeper as Loader laid on for the midfielder to finish early in the second period, placing his left-footed effort into the bottom corner from just inside the area.
Then Loader added his name to the scoresheet to convert a neat pass by Femi Azeez, extended the Royals’ lead to three midway through the second half with a low shot across goal.
Barry’s solo effort soon after offered hopes of a fight-back, but the Royals were resolute in defence to ensure they claimed the PL2 points.
Full-time | Aston Villa U23 1-3 Reading U23
Aston Villa U23: Sinisalo, Burton, Birch, Wright, Ramsey, Chukwuemeka (Archer 67), Philogene-Bidace, Revan, Bridge, Barry (Sea 83), Kessler.
Unused subs: Hooper, Searle, Tait.
Reading U23: Boyce-Clarke, Nditi, Dorsett, Elva-Fountaine (Beeden 87), Samuels, East, Lawless, Pendlebury, Osorio (Caetano 75), Azeez (Ajose 70), Loader.
Unused subs: Collins, McGiff.