How the U21s achieved promotionExactly two months ago, Reading’s U21s beat Blackburn Rovers 2-1 at Hogwood Park to brush off the disappointment of exiting the Premier League Cup against the same opponents.
Goals from Pierce Sweeney and Niall Keown decided a closely-fought contest on a chilly Friday evening as Martin Kuhl’s side recorded their first win in three games.
Next time out, they beat league-leaders Middlesbrough. Then Brighton. Then an Arsenal side containing England international Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby and Serge Gnabry. Then second-placed Derby County. Then Stoke City and, on Friday evening, a superb free-kick from Liam Kelly secured a seventh successive victory.
Excluding the Blackburn clash on March 6th, all of the Royals’ wins were earned without conceding a goal; the U21s’ net was last rippled 578 minutes ago.
Last night, a goalless draw between Derby County and West Bromwich Albion ensured that Reading cannot be caught in second place, thus earning them promotion to Premier League Division One and below, fans can read about the U21s’ magnificent seven.
Reading U21s 2-1 Blackburn Rovers U21s
Niall Keown opened the scoring for Reading’s U21s with a powerful header and, after Rovers had bagged an equaliser, fellow centre-back Pierce Sweeney struck an excellent winner from range.
Middlesbrough U21s 0-3 Reading U21s
Goals from the excellent Tariqe Fosu, and a double from Scottish striker Harry Cardwell earned Martin Kuhl’s side the three points against a Boro team that were reduced to 10 men after just 11 minutes.
Reading U21s 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion U21s
Jack Stacey scored the only goal of the game as Reading’s U21s picked up three points in a tightly-contested game with Brighton & Hove Albion at Hogwood Park.
After a goalless opening period, the winger struck the decisive blow, which made it three win in a row for Martin Kuhl’s side.
Arsenal U21s 0-1 Reading U21s
Niall Keown’s decisive, early header earned Reading’s U21s all three points against a star-filled Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Monday evening.
The defender powered home Liam Kelly’s corner before following it up with a magnificent defensive display, alongside Pierce Sweeney at the heart of defence, as the Royals downed a Gunners side containing Jack Wilshere, Abou Diaby and Serge Gnabry.
Though the hosts enjoyed a number of spells of possession, they were unable to break through the Reading rearguard, as Martin Kuhl’s men made it four successive victories.
Derby County U21s 0-1 Reading U21s
Reading stepped up their bid for promotion to the Under 21 Premier League First Division with a 1-0 win over second-placed Derby County on Monday evening.
Andrija Novakovich struck the decisive blow seven minutes from time, which keeps Martin Kuhl’s men third in the Division Two table – just a point behind the Rams and having played a game less.
Reading U21s 3-0 Stoke City U21s
Andrija Novakovich, Sean Long and Shane Griffin all found the target as Reading's U21s made it six wins on the bounce to keep their promotion push on track.
Novakovich volleyed home after 34 minutes with Long nodding in the Royals' second just four minutes later and Griffin concluded a neat team move by slotting home a third after the break.
The victory ensured that the Royals keep their promotion ambitions in their own hands with three matches of the U21s Premier League Division Two campaign remaining.
Reading U21s 1-0 Aston Villa U21s
An exquisite free-kick from Liam Kelly moved Reading’s U21s to within two points of promotion as they edged out Aston Villa at Madejski Stadium on Friday evening.
After some tight opening exchanges, the dynamic midfielder curled home from 25 yards to give the Royals lead the lead.
After the break, Andrija Novakovich, Harry Cardwell and Kelly all went close to extending the scoreline but 1-0 proved to be enough as the U21s secured their seventh successive victory.