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Academy down Fulham

13 March 2013

Royals beat league leaders

Reading U18s 3 (Hyam 30, Long 45, Ikpeazu 89)
Fulham U18s 1 (Tankovic 58)

The Royals Academy won their third successive Elite League fixture with a 3-1 victory over league leaders Fulham at Hogwood Park.

Defenders Dominic Hyam and Sean Long gave Reading a deserved 2-0 lead at half time - and although striker Muamer Tankovic pulled one back for the visitors, Uche Ikpeazu headed in late on to seal victory.

Assistant Academy manager David Dodds took charge of the under-18s alongside Eamonn Dolan, with owner Anton Zingarevich and director of football Nick Hammond also watching. Virtually the same team that beat Everton 4-3 a fortnight ago was named, with Shane Griffin starting the match this time.

Towering defender Jake Cooper had the game's first serious chance when his header was well saved by Fulham goalkeeper Max Oberschmidt, before Royals shot-stopper Dan Lincoln had to be on his guard.

But it was Cooper's central defensive partner who would put the Royals ahead. From the aftermath of a corner, Dominic Hyam volleyed home into the net to give us the lead - despite the assistant referee flagging for an infringement.

And on the stroke of half time, right back Sean Long made it two. From another set-piece knockdown, Long reacted first and nodded in to give the Royals a commanding 2-0 advantage going into the interval.

Half time

After the break, midfielder Liam Kelly had a shot well blocked before Shepherd Murombedzi went close - but it was the Cottagers who would score next, as Moussa Dembele combined with Tankovic, who struck home to half the deficit.

Despite Fulham - who had won every Elite League game before today - pressing hard for an equaliser, Reading defended well and had a chance to notch a third when Tariqe Fosu performed a clever stepover to beat his man in the box, but his effort was just wide.

And with just minutes left, Ikpeazu made sure of the win. The striker leaped above everyone else to head his 23rd of the season and secure the Royals a 3-1 win over Fulham.

The victory ended the Cottagers' six-match winning run and recorded our third win in three - with Southampton at home next up this Saturday. Click here to view our Elite League fixtures.

Royals: Lincoln; Long, Griffin, Hyam, Cooper; Kuhl, Kelly, Murombedzi, Stacey, Fosu; Ikpeazu.

Fulham: Oberschmidt; Donnelly, O’Reilly, Burgess, Richards (Evans 60); Roberts, Sambou, Hyndman, O’Halloran (Williams 60); Tankovic; Dembele.

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