Taylor strikes to level with Brighton
Reading U21s 1
Brighton U21s 1
Reading's under-21s came from behind to earn a draw against Brighton & Hove Albion at a rain-soaked Hogwood Park on Tuesday afternoon.
In their final fixture of the season, our under-21s noticeably improved as the contest went on, and had chances to win towards the end - with goalscorer Jake Taylor hitting the crossbar twice.
In a quiet opening, the Royals had a few good early moves but failed to really test the Brighton goalkeeper. Jordon Obita fizzed in an excellent free kick which somehow eluded everyone, before the visitors blasted over the bar.
Aaron Tshibola hit the outside of the post from a tight angle, before Taylor struck wide - but was fouled in the process. Obita's took the resulting free kick, but his fierce effort smashed against the wall shortly before half time.
Chris Cummins' men were quick out of the blocks in the second half, and were nearly gifted the lead when the Brighton 'keeper miss-kicked a backpass, allowing Lawson D'Ath to get a sniff of the ball six yards from goal - but the shot-stopper recovered to spare his blushes.
That proved to be a key moment as, two minutes later, the Seagulls broke the deadlock. After a good move down the left, Brighton's striker coolly slotted passed Royals goalkeeper Jon Henly to give the visitors the lead.
But Reading fought back straight away, with Taylor just inches away from an emphatic response - hit long range effort coming back off the woodwork.
The Seagulls had two or three half chances go astray or gobbled up by Henly, but Reading were the better side and got the goal the undoubtedly deserved. Taylor, vibrant up front throughout, cleverly took a quick free kick into the net - with Brighton defenders and goalkeeper flat-footed.
The Royals were in the ascendancy from here on in - and Taylor remarkably had another long range drive hit the crossbar, then hit the goalkeeper's back and desperately hooked away.
1-1 was how it ended for our under-21s in their final fixture of the season. Follow twitter.com/readingfc and check readingfc.co.uk for details of the Academy's Barclays U18 Premier League final stage semi-final against Everton, kick off is 4pm.
Royals: Henly (Gogic 78); Partridge, Amofah, Sweeney, Hector; Losasso, Webb (Oliyade 80), Tshibola (Fridjonsson 78), D'Ath, Obita; Taylor.