Reading's Under-23s staged a second-half turnaround to earn a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion at Madejski Stadium on Monday night.
Jamie Soule had put the visitors ahead in the opening stages after a defensive mix-up, but Scott Marshall's side turned the game on its head when Thierry Nevers and Adam Liddle both struck within three second-half minutes to earn all three points in the Premier League 2.
The hosts started brightly in possession at Madejski Stadium, forcing an early chance when Ehtan Coleman found a ball over the top into the path of Adam Liddle, but goalkeeper Brad House sprinted off his line to save from the Reading striker.
Just two minutes later though, the visitors took the lead. A loose backpass was pounced upon by Soule, who rounded Myles Roberts and slotted into the empty net with just five minutes on the clock.
Reading tried to respond quickly when Michael Olise was fouled 30 yards from goal. Olise sent the free-kick to the far post, with Trialist heading back towards goal but House was there again to claim it in mid-air.
The game settled down shortly afterwards, with the teams unable to break each other down for an extended period.
That midfield dominance looked to have stopped when a Reading corner was cleared and the Baggies' defender went on a 70-yard run from his box into the Reading half, slipping the ball through to goalscorer Soule, but Roberts rushed off his line and saved well from point-blank range.
Up the other end, first team debutant, Akin Odimayo played an incisive pass from defence to the left-hand side, with Thierry Nevers able to power forward. His run took him into the West Brom box, with Reading's appeals for a penalty waved away as the striker shot off-balance under a challenge, the ball going narrowly past the post on that occasion in Reading's best chance of the game to that point.
However, that chance was about to be usurped moments later, but the Royals would remain behind. Trialist was in space on the right of the box, squaring back for Olise to shoot. House made a reflex save into the path of Liddle in the six-yard area. He did not have time to react properly to the loose ball, with his header going wide from a matter of metres.
Reading pushed for a leveller right up until the interval, but the West Brom defence held firm to take a one-goal advantage in at half time.
Half-time | Reading U23 0-1 West Bromwich Albion U23
Reading flew out of the traps in the second period in search of an equaliser. An Olise corner was swung into the area, finding the head of Odimayo but House parried with another important save. Andre Burley tried to follow up, but the Baggies scrambled clear.
Our Under-23s then broke three-against-one from a West Brom corner, as Coleman fed Trialist through on goal, but his shot was blocked after George Harmon had stayed back from the corner, keeping with Reading every step of the way and defending impressively.
Soon afterwards, a cleverly improvised one-two between Teddy Howe and Nevers set the latter into the box. He fired a low ball across the face of goal, narrowly out of reach of Trialist who looked to finish a good move off.
Up the other end, the Baggies looked to show their potency going forward when they put Reading under pressure for the first time in the half, on the hour mark. The ball was worked across goal into the path of Sam Wilding, whose 20-yard effort was deflected over the bar.
But eventually, Reading's pressure paid off. Nevers found himself in space to the left corner of the penalty box, his first touch cleverly gave him the room he needed to pick out the bottom corner, calmly slotting past House and levelling proceedings.
Three minutes later, the turnaround was complete, with the Royals taking advantage while West Brom regrouped. The ball came in from the right flank into the path of Reading's strike partnership, with it falling kindly for Liddle six yards out, who poked the young Royals in front.
West Brom soon found their way back into the match, though, as the balance of the game shifted once more and the midfield battle that dominated the first half resumed as the clock ticked on.
However, Reading's defence held firm as the Baggies aimed for a late equaliser on a clear night at Madejski Stadium.
The points were hard-earned for Marshall's men on the night, in what was a well-deserved victory in RG2.
Full-time | Reading U23 2-1 West Bromwich Albion U23
Reading U23: Roberts, Howe, Odimayo, Burley, Medford-Smith (c), Trialist A, Trialist B (Pendlebury 87), Olise, Nevers, Liddle.
Subs: Collins, Nditi, Elva-Fountaine, Osorio.
Goals: Nevers (62), Liddle (65).
West Bromwich Albion U23: House, Meredith (White 74), Harmon, Solanke, Fitzwater, Harper, Tulloch (Asomugha 60), Wilding, Soule (Ashton 81), Azaz, Clayton-Phillips.
Unused subs: Cann, Taylor.
Goal: Soule (5).