Reading U18s 0-3 Southampton U18sReading’s U18 side were beaten 3-0 by Southampton at Hogwood Park on Saturday.
Joe Lea opened the scoring for the visitors with a low shot on 50 minutes, and Marcus Barnes doubled their lead shortly afterwards.
Barnes then added his second goal three minutes from time to complete the scoring and condemn the young Royals to a disappointing defeat.
Harry Cardwell almost broke the deadlock after just two minutes but, having met an inviting cross, his close-range shot was repelled by Saints stopper Harry Isted.
At the other end, Reading goakeeper Luke Southwood held comfortably from Barnes’ 25-yard strike, after the forward had collected a throw-in.
Cardwell prodded home what he thought was the opener shortly afterwards. Sadly, though, the offside flag had been raised.
Royals left-back Jake Sheppard then rattled the crossbar just before half time as the hosts continued to strive for an opener.
Reading’s breakthrough failed to arrive and five minutes after the interval Lea drilled a low strike beyond Southwood and into the corner.
Barnes, whose mis-control inadvertently teed up Lea to score, notched himself two minutes later; breaking away from a challenge before burying his opportunity.
As the Royals pushed for a route back into the game, they were hit on the counter attack and Barnes converted a cross at the far post to complete the scoring.
Reading U18s: Southwood, Watson, Sheppard, Husin, Ethelston, Jules, Warity (Bennett 65), Davis, Cardwell, Novakovich, Williams (Smith 65). Not used: Ward, Osho, Urbancic.
Southampton U18s: Isted, Deasy, Cook, Clinton, Cull, Lea, Little, Slattery (Olomola 65), Willard (Demkiv 78), Kayembe (Irvine 69), Barnes. Not used: Bakary, Osborn.