Wieser, Fosu and McIntyre score at Madejski StadiumFirst-half goals by Sandro Wieser, Tariqe Fosu and Thomas McIntyre for the Royals’ Under-23 squad helped them to overcome Man City by a 3-2 scoreline at Madejski Stadium.
Paolo Fernandes hit a fierce effort to cut the deficit in second half as the visitors showed improvement, but City didn’t have enough of a response to get anything from the Premier League 2 meeting despite a late scrambled goal by Isaac Buckley-Richards.
Liechtensteiner Wieser opened the scoring with a delightful free-kick before winger Fosu finished a nice team move and Under-18 McIntyre drilled in, as the Royals stormed into a first-half lead from which the Citizens could never recover.
With a handful of the U23 group going out on loan within the last week, the squad took a bit of a different shape.
Luke Southwood lined up between the sticks after Jonathan Bond’s loan to Gillingham, Dominic Samuel began up front as he continued his return to full fitness, Under-18 defender Tom McIntyre lined up at left-back and Sandro Wieser – who arrived with the club this summer – took a midfield berth.
After a positive start with plenty of possession for Reading, it was almost the visitors that went ahead as Lukas Nmecha was gifted the ball in the final third – but captain Dominic Hyam got back to makes amends and get a vital touch to the ball before the striker could fire.
But then Reading twice came close within the space of seconds – good work down the right by striker Samuel allowed Josh Barrett to swing a cross towards full-back McIntyre who was arriving at the back post. His header was saved by stopper Billy O’Brien, before a glancing header by defender Hyam went past the post.
The deadlock was broken in style by Wieser – after Samuel’s mazy run had been halted illegally by Charlie Oliver, the Liechtenstein international whipped a powerful left-footed free-kick over the wall and into the bottom corner.
Samuel had goalkeeper O’Brien at full stretch to keep the lead to just one goal – he received the ball 30 yards from goal, and with the other options available, he elected to shoot and the stopper just about managed to claw away a ferocious effort.
Jack Stacey set off another attack with an interception in Man City half – Samuel pirouetted with the ball to take it in his stride and fired a dipping effort which was just a fraction over.
City stopper O’Brien was working overtime as Samuel was denied after beating the offside trap and then Stacey and Barrett each had close-range efforts turned away on the rebound.
But that elusive second goal was a thing of beauty as Barrett skipped in off the left, slotted a well-weighted ball into Fosu’s path, and the winger skipped past the advancing goalkeeper before slotting home from a narrow angle.
Javairo Dilrosun kept Southwood honest with two chances towards the end of the first period – the first was taken comfortably as a shot came in from distance, but the second was an instinctive after the winger had been picked out at the back stick by Nemane.
Fosu was denied a second when Marcus Wood put in a last-ditch challenge after he received from Andy Rinomhota and rolled his man – but that third goal came through Under-18 defender Tom McIntyre. Barrett’s cross was dealt with in awkward fashion by the City defence, allowing the youngster to control and lash into the top corner.
City were thankful to only trail by three at the break – Stacey had a shot deflected marginally over the goal, and Barrett was the crossbar’s width away from netting from a tight angle.
The visitors made a couple of changes at the break and came out strongly after the interval – Southwood first denied Paolo Fernandes from cutting the deficit from a well-worked set-piece, before remarkably turning away an overhead-kick from point-blank range.
City did pull one back just after the hour – Fernandes took the initiative and scampered through some challenges, before unleashing a venomous strike from the edge of the area which nestled on the inside of the side-netting.
Fosu had a chance for his second and Reading's fourth as Barrett flicked a header on to release him down the left - the stopper wasn't bamboozled by his quick feet and managed to smother the ball out for a corner kick. In the final ten minutes, Stacey overlapped down the left and had a drilled shot saved down low.
The Royals had to endure a nervy few minutes at the end of the game after Isaac Buckley-Richards scrambled in deep into the six added minutes, but the Royals finished with the lead intact and three points to show for their efforts.
Full-time: Reading U23 3-2 Man City U23
Reading U23: Southwood, Sheppard, McIntyre, Wieser (East HT (Novakovich 84)), Hyam (c), Osho, Barrett, Rinomhota, Samuel (Cardwell 73), Stacey, Fosu.
Unused subs: Collings, Andresson, Novakovich.
Goals: Wieser (15), Fosu (33), McIntyre (43).
Man City U23: O’Brien (c), Horsfield (Davenport 79), Humphreys, Oliver, Wood, Kongolo, Nemane, Fernandes, Nmecha (Diallo HT), Diaz (Buckley-Ricketts HT), Dilrosun.
Unused subs: Grimshaw, Duhaney.
Goals: Fernandes (63), Buckley-Richards (90).