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U21s edged by experienced Spurs

29 April 2014

Brave defeat in final game of season

Late goals condemned Reading's under-21s to a 4-2 defeat in their final Premier League game of the season away at Tottenham Hotspur, who included Belgium international Jan Vertonghen in their side.

The in-form Jack Stacey scored a stunning goal and defender Pierce Sweeney headed in his first of the season as the Royals came from 2-0 down to equalise, but the North Londoners took all three points at Stevenage's Broadhall Way Stadium.

France midfielder Étienne Capoue also started for Spurs, who raced into a 2-0 lead as Nabil Bentaleb and Ruben Lameiras both converted penalties.

This was after Gozie Ugwu had the first chance of a thrilling game as he lobbed over the bar in just the second minute. Martin Kuhl's men did create more openings but Spurs were the better side in the opening 45 minutes.

However, the game changed just four minutes before the break. Craig Tanner fouled Bentaleb, but the Algerian retaliated by raising his hands on the Royals striker, and was subsequently sent off for his reaction.

Reading forced their way back into the game in the second half. Tariqe Fosu rattled the crossbar from 25 yards on 55 minutes and two minutes later, the visitors were back in it as Stacey curled into the top corner from the same distance.

The Royals then levelled on their next attack as Tanner floated in a corner, Sweeney powered his header at goal to beat Spurs goalkeeper Jordan Archer.

But the key moment arrived on 75 minutes as Lameiras worked a yard to shoot from the edge of the box and his low effort went through Moore and crept over the line.

Archer's fine one-on-one save with his feet to deny Fosu a minute later was just as important, and Kenny McEvoy secured the victory after Moore hit an attempted clearance straight to him in the box.

Reading: Moore; Long, Griffin, Cooper, Sweeney; Tshibola, Kelly, Stacey, Fosu; Ugwu (Cardwell 80), Tanner.

Unused subs: Keown, Lincoln, Fridjonsson, Murombedzi.

Spurs: Archer; McEneff, Gallifuoco (Dombaxe 80), Vertonghen, McQueen; Bentaleb, Capoue (Lesniak, 61), Veljkovic; McEvoy, Akindayini (Campbell-Young 82), Lameiras.

Unused sub: Miles.

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