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U21s hold Bolton

12 November 2012

Reading U21s 0-0 Bolton U21s

The Royals under 21s held Bolton Wanderers to a goalless draw at a rain-soaked Hogwood Park on Monday afternoon.

The youngsters had chances to win it late on but had to settle for a point, which takes their unbeaten run to five matches.

Chris Cummins fielded another youthful team to face the Wanderers with captain Brynjar Gunnarsson supplying the side with experience - while defender Michael Hector also started after resuming training with the Royals.

In a sluggish start to the match, it was Bolton who had the first decent attempt despite the Royals seeing more of the ball. The visitors broke away down the left, but the eventual strike was skied over the bar.

Chances were few and far between in the first 45 minutes as both sides pressed, but failed to exert any real authority.

Wanderers had an effort early in the second half which deflected off Hector, before the young Royals dealt with the ensuing corner well.

Minutes later came possibly the best chance of the match. Jordan Obita delivered an accurate corner, finding the head of Charlie Losasso, but the winger's attempt was just wide of the mark.

With time running out, the Royals were certainly in the ascendency and right-back Nick Arnold picked out Gunnarsson from the right, but the veteran didn't quite connect properly and saw his header bounce wide.

Goalkeeper Dan Lincoln, making his first appearance for the Royals' U21s, was then called into action and prevented Bolton striker Michael O'Halloran from scoring - before Craig Tanner had a penalty appeal turned down at the other end.

Tanner then went close to snatching a win when the youngster cut inside from the left, before Losasso fired just wide from the edge of the area from the resulting corner.

Goalless was how it finished, and despite the frustration of not grabbing a win, coach Cummins was pleased with what he saw in the second half.

"We weren't quite at it in the first half but we turned it around after the break and upped the quality. We had a better tempo and more urgency about us and perhaps should have done better with three or four outstanding crosses from Jordan Obita.

"Bolton were decent, and it's always difficult at this level when you change it around. We were very good defensively but it had nil nil written all over it unfortunately.

"We started with five scholars in the team today which is great - that's the way to go. We would have obviously preferred to win but we're proving hard to beat and that gives you something to work off."

Royals line-up: Lincoln; Arnold, Griffin, Keown, Hector; Tshibola, Losasso, Gunnarsson, Obita, Tanner, Taylor.

Subs: MacDonald, Moore, Webb, Sweeney, Ikpeazu.

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