Royals end Black Cats’ unbeaten runOur Under-21 side recorded their first win of the new Barclays Under-21 Premier League Division 1 season on Monday, with a 2-1 home win against Sunderland at Hogwood.
The Royals ended Sunderland’s 14-match unbeaten run, which saw Rowan Liburd bag his second goal in as many games since his arrival this summer.
It was his goal that put Reading ahead after 17 minutes – Liburd was played in beyond a high defensive line and burst into the box, and then made no mistake with his finish and slotted the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.
The Black Cats levelled midway through the first half when Lynden Gooch picked up the ball on the edge Royals box and curled the ball superbly into the top corner giving Stuart Moore no chance of keeping the ball out.
The Reading stopper had to be alert to keep the sides level moments later when Martin Smith’s inswinging free-kick was prodded goalwards from the edge of the six-yard box, but his showed fine reactions to keep it out.
The young Royals responded well creating a host of chances toward the end of the first half and on the 39th minute they retook the lead. Rob Dickie provided a smart finish from Aaron Kuhl’s whipped delivery from a corner to get the Royals back in front.
A goalless second half saw the Royals stand firm to record their first win of the 2015-16 campaign after a draw away at Middlesbrough on the opening day. Sub Harry Cardwell nearly put the polish on a good performance with a late overhead kick, but saw his effort saved from close range.
Speaking after the game Martin Kuhl seemed happy with the Reading performance, but did feel his team had areas where they needed to improve.
"We were very good in the first half and bossed the game," Said Kuhl.
"Going forward we always looked a threat and their goal was against the run of play. Apart from that one shot we looked really good defensively and were solid.
"In the second half we lost our way a bit, we had good possession but we did not make the most of our options when on the ball. Our defensive performance was strong and overall it think we played some good stuff. That’s no surprise really with this group of lads, they are very talented and it was good to get a few coming back from injury into the fold."