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Academy defeat Man Utd

29 April 2013

Under-18s close in on final stage

Reading 1 (Hyam 68)
Manchester United 0

The Royals Academy are now within touching distance of qualifying for the Barclays U18 Premier League final stage after beating Manchester United 1-0 at Hogwood Park on Saturday.

A second half strike from Dominic Hyam was enough to secure all three points and leapfrog a United side that hadn't lost away from home since mid-February.

Reading under-18s are now up to second place, just two points behind league leaders Fulham - and Eamonn Dolan's men went about their business in the right manner from the offset.

In windy conditions at Hogwood, the Royals hit the woodwork twice early on. Craig Tanner hit the frame of the goal with a curling free-kick before Jake Cooper's effort was saved by United 'keeper Jonny Sutherland onto the post.

Top scorer Uche Ikpeazu was denied by Sutherland soon after, before Dan Lincoln was called into action at the other end - parrying one shot away before diving away to prevent another.

Belgium international Andreas Pereira had a deflected effort go over the bar before Shepherd Murombedzi missed a great opportunity from eight yards.

But on 68 minutes, Reading made the vital breakthrough. Defender Hyam found space to fire home Tanner's corner with aplomb from close range.

Tanner was causing havoc with his inch-perfect set-pieces, and almost gave the Royals a two-goal cushion soon after - but Sutherland produced an outstanding save.

Our under-18s coped well with the Red Devils' pressure late on, and also had chances to extend their advantage. Sutherland made a terrific save to deny substitute De'Jaune Taylor-Crossdale moments before the full time whistle blew.

The Royals have just two Elite League fixtures remaining - and need just a point to virtually secure their passage into the final stage. Click here to view the fixtures and here for the table.

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