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U21s to finish as runners up in Premier League Division 2

12 May 2015

Wolves U21s 2-1 Reading U21s

Reading will finish as runners up in U21s Premier League Division Two after they slipped to a last-gasp defeat against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Monday evening.

Having gone ahead through Craig Tanner’s early opener, the Royals, who before kick-off had gone 578 minutes without conceding a goal, were pegged back just before half time by Jordan Graham’s equaliser.

And Graham pounced again four minutes into stoppage time at the end of the game to condemn Reading to their first league defeat since January.

The loss ensures that the Royals now cannot catch Middlesbrough at the summit of Division Two, though their promotion to Division One is already assured. Reading host West Bromwich Albion in their final game of the season on Friday evening, 7pm.

Matrin Kuhl’s side made an extremely bright start and took next-to-no time in finding the net. After Stuart Moore, who recently returned from a successful loan spell with Basingstoke Town, punched the ball clear from a free-kick, the visitors embarked on a counter attack.

Possession fell for Aaron Kuhl and he picked out Craig Tanner, who has also just returned from a loan spell, with AFC Wimbledon, and the young forward jinked into the box before slotting into the corner.  

Kuhl fizzed a volley just wide after 13 minutes and, at the other end, Moore made a smart save from lively winger Zeli Ismail.

Ismail continued to be involved and it was his cross that led to the equaliser on 39 minutes. It found Graham who, on the turn, curled into the far corner.

A long-range effort apiece from Connor Hunte and Ismail went close for Wolves just before half time but, immediately after the interval, the home side were indebted to defender Aaron Simpson, who got in a goal-saving tackle on Tariqe Fosu.

The Royals were beginning to build some momentum and when Aaron Tshibola, another Football League loanee from 2014/15, with Hartlepool, powered a header against the crossbar Tanner was unable to force the loose ball over the line.

Home stopper Jon Flatt denied Fosu soon afterwards with a point-blank stop and Eusebio Bancessi then fired narrowly off target for the hosts.

Graham then sent an angled cross-shot just wide for the hosts but in the fourth minute of stoppage time he rose to nod a Ryan Rainey cross into the net.

The defeat ends a run of seven successive wins for the Royals, who will be hoping to end their season by recording three points against West Brom on Friday. Entry for the game at Madejski Stadium is FREE.

Wolves: Flatt, Simpson (Matinyadze 60), O’Hanlon, Weeks, Upton, Johnson, Ismail (Bancessi 71), Harris, Reid, Hunte (Rainey 84), Graham. Not used: Burgoyne, Wilson.

Reading: Moore, Long, Griffin, Keown, Sweeney, Tshibola (Fridjonsson 71), Kuhl, Kelly, Fosu, Tanner (Cardwell 66), Novakovich. Not used: Hyam, Ward, Owusu.

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