Goalscorers speak after extraordinary nightPassage sealed into the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup. History made for Reading FC's Academy in the most remarkable game of football these youngsters have surely ever been a part of.
After a quite astonishing night of pendulum swinging at Madejski Stadium, several of the playing and coaching staff of the under-18s spoke to Reading FC Player to try and put into words what they had just witnessed.
Harry Cardwell, who scored a truly brilliant solo goal to open the scoring before notching a second half strike, hailed the 'Reading spirit' which runs right from top to bottom.
"It was unbelievable," he told Reading FC Player, astonished. "Seven minutes to go, we’re 2-0 up, we should have just kept the game as it was. But we made it hard for ourselves. Doing it that way made winning feel so good though at the end.
"Once it got to 4-2, the feeling on the bench was that we could still do this. We’ve got the Reading spirit, we can get back into this game. And we did. Incredible from the lads. And to come through on penalties showed some nerve."
Before the Royals earned those penalties it was substitute De'Jaune Taylor-Crossdale who gave Reading a lifeline, finding the back of the net after a perfect pass from Liam Kelly, and then it was the stuff of dreams for the forward as he struck home the winning penalty to spark wild celebrations.
"Unbelievable," said De'Jaune. "I’ve never been in a better game than that. It had everything. I was always optimistic and when the game changed, they scored, and we needed something.
"When I got the call, I said to myself ‘I need to help this team win this game.’ And it was as great pass from Liam to find me for the goal."
George McLennan, who also came off the bench to score, talked us through his dramatic late equaliser to make it 4-4 in extra time.
"I was wondering if Tariqe was going to backheel it, and thankfully he did. I’m not usually in that position, so I just thought I’d bang it. And it went in!"
Catch all the post-match interviews on Reading FC Player for FREE during the free trial, and read more in this Saturday's edition of 'The Royal'!