Partridge goal not quite enough
Reading 1 (Partridge 21)
Everton 1 (Duffy 39)
The Royals under 21s battled to a 1-1 draw with Everton at Hogwood Park on Friday afternoon – and could easily have taken all three points after an impressive display.
Defender Matt Partridge, playing at left back, opened the scoring by lashing home after Toffees goalkeeper Mateusz Taudul had only half punched away a swerving free-kick.
However towering defender Shane Duffy headed home emphatically from a corner to grab a share of the spoils.
Reading: Taylor, Arnold, Partridge (Keown 89), MacDonald, Sweeney, Taylor, Gunnarsson, Losasso (Ikpeazu 74), Edwards, Tanner (Tshibola 81), Samuel
Subs not used: Henly, Webb
Everton: Taudul, Browning, Garbutt, Lundstram, Duffy, Hammer, Grant, Junior, Vellios, Kelly, Kennedy
Subs: Springthorpe, Hope, Forester, Pennington, GreenFirst Half
The early stages of the game were uneventful, and in truth Partridge’s opener was the first goalscoring opportunity of note.
With 20 minutes gone, the Academy product took advantage of a misjudgement from the Visitors’ stopper to smash home a half volley.
Brynjar Gunnarsson captained the side, and was impressive in the middle of the park – dragging a volley wide after half an hour, though Everton would equalise shortly before the break.
A dangerous corner wasn’t quite dealt with, allowing the sizeable Duffy to nod home at the near post.
Matt Kennedy almost edged the men from Goodison Park into a lead moments later – but Stuart Taylor got down well to tip a low effort away from danger – before striker Apotolos Vallios headed over.
Taylor again saved from Kennedy early in the second half, but after that spell of Toffees pressure Reading again began to assert their dominance.
Partridge could have had a hat-trick on another day – seeing Taudul keep out a close range header before clipping just wide from a Losasso corner.
Jake Taylor almost capped off an impressive week, a few days after captaining Wales under 21s for the first time – but sent his free-kick just over the bar.
Sam Kelly nodded over in the dying stages, but in truth any Everton winner would have been undeserved – as Chris Cummins’ men saw the game out to make it three games unbeaten in the Barclays Under 21 Premier League.