Royals fall to table-topping SunderlandSunderland’s Under-21 side came from behind to defeat the Royals’ U21 contingent 2-1 at Eppleton Colliery on Sunday.
Reading went into the break ahead through Harry Cardwell, but a second-half fight-back from the table-toppers allowed them to secure the three points in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League meeting.
A close-fought first half looked like it was going to end goalless – Nana Owusu’s shot from the edge of the box was turned towards goal by Rowan Liburd, but it bounced clear off the hosts’ post as the deadlock remained.
But Cardwell fired the Royals into the lead four minutes before the break – sharp instincts took over and allowed him to slot in for a lead as Owusu fizzed a low cross in from the left.
The Black Cats came out rejuvenated after the interval – and after failing to take a couple of chances, they finally pegged back to level terms through Rees Greenwood. The Sunderland forward won the ball high upfield, rode a desperate challenge, and fired back across goal and in.
Then with 15 minutes to go, Valentin Roberge gave the hosts a lead as he applied a flicked header to a corner which just crept over the line – moments earlier Reading had been denied a chance to go ahead at the other end from a corner of their own.
Reading piled on the pressure and barricaded the hosts’ goal in the closing stages, but the defence stood firm. At the other end, Andrew Nelson drew a foul in the box but home skipper Liam Agnew squandered a chance to put daylight between the teams as his spot-kick shaved the outside of Stuart Moore’s post, but Sunderland held on to all three points.
The Royals U21s have a chance to get back to winning ways on Wednesday as they face Everton at Adams Park (kick-off 1pm). Tickets will be available to buy at the ground (£3 Adults and £1 Under-18s) and free parking is also available on site. To access the full list of fixtures and results for our Under-21 team, click here.
Reading U21: Moore, Keown, Griffin, Shaughnessy, Sweeney, Cooper, Barrett, Rinomhota, Liburd, Cardwell, Owusu (Semedo).
Unused subs: Ward, Watson, Lawal.