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U21s hit Bolton for four

11 March 2014

Youngsters impress

A largely inexperienced Royals under-21s shone on Monday night, as they thrashed Bolton Wanderers 4-1 at Basingstoke's Camrose Stadium.

It was an excellent victory for a side that missed a number of players because of injury and Wednesday night's FA Youth Cup, with several first and second year Academy scholars stepping up to the mark.

Reading had taken an early lead from the penalty spot through Shepherd Murombedzi, but Luke Woodland drew the visitors level on the stroke of half time.

De'Jaune Taylor-Crossdale then restored the lead before Murombedzi added his second of the night and defender Jake Cooper smashed home to wrap up all three points,

It took a while for Martin Kuhl's men to get going, and Bolton came close to taking an early lead when Oscar Threlkeld headed wide and Andy Kellett's dangerous cross was not met by a Whites head.

But soon the Royals improved, and took the lead midway through the half. Murombedzi was clearly fouled in the box by Kellett, and the winger took it upon himself to convert the spot kick past Bolton keeper Harry Campbell.

After the goal, Reading were undoubtedly in the ascendancy as first Taylor-Crossdale and then Bogdan Vastsuk enjoyed long range efforts which failed to test Campbell.

But against the run of play, Wanderers drew level on the stroke of half time. Woodland released an unstoppable effort from 30 yards out which flew straight into the corner of the net, with Royals stopper Stuart Moore hapless.

Following an even start to the second period, Wanderers were kicking themselves after Iliev blasted over from six yards out - and it was to be the Royals who were grab the all important third goal of the game.

After Taylor-Crossdale drilled an 30-yard effort into the 'keeper's arms, he tried his luck from a similar distance and found the back of the net in style.

Six minutes later, Murombedzi fired another stunning effort home from around the same area of the pitch for his second of the game, which he deserved after an excellent performance.

And to round off the night Cooper, having only recently returned from injury, lost his man at the back post and smashed left-footed past Campbell.

It was a fantastic start to the week for our youngsters, with the Youth Cup quarter final against Liverpool on Wednesday and Saturday's Barclays Premier League semi-final against Arsenal coming up.

Bolton: Campbell, Threlkeld, Kellett, White, Holding, Woodland, Lester, Bastos (Walker), Clough (Wilkinson), Iliev, Maher.

Reading: Moore, Sheppard, Griffin, Collins, Cooper, Sweeney, Ofori, Murombedzi, Taylor-Crossdale, Vastsuk, Williams.

Reading Subs: Jules (ON, second half), Lincoln, Waritay, Urbancic.

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