Hector and Cardwell goals seal win over LiverpoolLiverpool 1 (Lussey 41)
Reading 2 (Hector 6, Cardwell 80)
Our under 21s earned a fantastic 2-1 victory in front of the Kop, thanks to a superb performance from Martin Kuhl's side.
Reading started brilliantly and took the lead through Michael Hector, and could well have scored one or two more in a great first half display - only for a rare slip to allow the home side to equalise just before the break.
The Reds then hit the post, but Reading soon settled and began to play more of their excellent brand of football, typified by a brilliant winner for sub Harry Cardwell, who finished superbly from a wonderful Craig Tanner pass.
It really was a great night for our youth setup, at one of the homes of English football, and with our u21s also in the semi-final of the Premier League cup and the under 18s in the quarters of the FA Youth Cup, our Academy is shining bright.
Reading: Lincoln, Keown, Griffin, Cooper, Hector; Kuhl (c), Tshibola, Stacey, Murombedzi (Cardwell 67), Tanner (Shaugnessy 90), Taylor
Subs: Ward, Hyam, Dickie
Liverpool: Mersin, Williams, Smith (Maguire 81), Jones (c), Paez; Rossiter, Chirivella (Trickett-Smith 83), Dunn, Petersson; Lussey, Sinclair (Bijev 65)
Subs: Firth, Randall
Reading started superbly, and inside three minutes Craig Tanner had a very good chance after winning possession but Rafael Paez was able to make a key interception. Moments later the same Royal was almost in from an Aaron Tshibola pass.
Then, with just six minutes gone, we had a lead at the Kop end. Tanner and Aaron Kuhl worked a corner well, and the delivery found Michael Hector, who claimed it despite the close attention of Niall Keown. Regardless of who scored, it was reward for a very bright start.
Our 'keeper Dan Lincoln then made two good stops as Liverpool looked to respond quickly.
Jack Stacey then saw a penalty appeal waved away, and we were desperately close to a second goal when a super Niall Keown cross saw Jake Taylor's header saved.
Jack Dunn then shot not too far wide for the home side, before Reading were inches away after another super Keown cross. Tanner almost pressured home keeper Yusuf Mersin into an error but he just got away with it, then Shep Murombedzi was just off target from 20 yards.
So Reading had played really well - and it was cruel when Jordan Lussey capitalised on some uncharacteristically loose play to make it 1-1.
Lussey had a golden chance to make it 2-1 just after half time but hit the post from eight yards out, a real opportunity missed.
Liverpool started the second half on top but Reading began to stem the tide, and Tanner had a goal disallowed following good work by Tshibola. Murombedzi then went close, before Jake Cooper had to defend superbly down the other end.
Taylor then curled a presentable chance over, before sub Harry Cardwell turned home a clinical finish from a brilliant forward pass from Tanner, a goal of real quality.
Kuhl and Cardwell then produced a great move to send Stacey through, and he was only denied by a good Mersin save.
We then held out superbly into injury time, and it was a great win for our young charges.