Late goal seals Cup win over Chelsea
Reading's under-14s clinched a dramatic 1-0 victory over Tore Andre Flo's Chelsea to clinch the inaugural Nike Trophy at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.
In the final, refereed by top Premier League official Phil Dowd, Royals youngster Jack Buchanan tapped home the winner in the dying stages of extra-time to seal a glorious Cup victory that these young stars will never forget.
With the previous games being played at St George's Park, our U14s beat Mancheter United (2-1), Arsenal (2-0) and West Brom (1-0), before defeating Fulham 2-1 in the semi-final - earning their place in the final at the home of English football.
The rules of the tournament meant that, because of Reading's inferior goal difference compared to Chelsea's over the course of the competition, the West Londoners would be crowned Champions if the tie remained level after the two 30-minute halves and ten minutes of extra-time.
And with our young players starring Cup final defeat in the face, Buchanan's dramatic late goal sparked scenes of wild celebrations for the Royals.
It capped off a tie which saw Reading have a penalty saved after just one minute after the Royals surged forwards from the off.
The side, coached by Martin Dean, Ryan Williams and various hard-working Academy staff, also had a goal bound effort cleared off the line as Reading dominated the game.
Chelsea had a goal disallowed for an obvious handball in the first half, and had a player sent off for two yellow cards deep into extra time.
No one could deny it was a deserved victory for the Royals U14s, who add to a remarkable campaign for the Academy which included a heroic run to the semi-finals of the Youth Cup and the under-21s clinching the first ever Barclays Premier League Cup.