Samuel scores in narrow defeat
Reading U21s 1 (Samuel 55)
Our under-21s fell to their first defeat of the season on Monday night after two late Blackburn Rovers goals overturned Dominic Samuel's opener at Ewood Park.
Reading's youngsters got their Barlcays U21 Premier League campaign off to a fantastic start last week, with a 4-2 victory over Newcastle United at Madejski Stadium, but this wasn't to be their night in the North West.
Despite the defeat, the Royals were impressive in large spells against a Blackburn side who had new signing Aaron Tumwa and the experienced Morten Gamst Pedersen start.
Martin Kuhl's men were bright early on, dominating possession and creating a number chances. Defender Sean Long superbly crossed in for Gozie Ugwu - the two-goal hero in our opening day win - but the striker fired over the bar.
He then had a header brilliantly saved off the line before Royals goalkeeper Jon Henly came to our rescue at the other end, producing a smart stop to deny Tim Payne.
The Royals took the lead just ten minutes into the second half. Captain Jake Taylor played an excellent ball in to find Samuel, who kept his composure to slide the ball under advancing goalkeeper Simon Eastwood.
But two late Rovers goals cruelly turned the game on its head, and the hosts held out for the win. Our youngsters will take on Southampton next Monday, behind closed doors at Hogwood Park.
Rovers: Eastwood, Henley (Pero 81), Tumwa, Daly, Songo'o, O'Connor (c), Bauress, Payne, Preston (Green 46), Pedersen, R. Hanley.
Subs not used: Haley, Raya, Paulo Jorge.
Royals: Henly, Long, Griffin, Tshibola (Tanner 66), Sweeney (Fosu-Henry 87), Cooper, D'Ath (Partridge 77), Taylor (c), Ugwu, Samuel, Obita.
Subs not used: Moore, Murombedzi.