Royals defeated at Hogwood on opening weekendThe Royals’ Under-18 squad were defeated 2-0 by West Ham on the opening weekend of the Under-18 Premier League season.
Reading had a number of opportunities to break the deadlock before the break, but couldn’t quite beat Latvian stopper Rihards Matrevics. A closely-contested game was goalless until just before the hour-mark, but Olatunji Akinola’s opener for the Hammers was followed up quickly by Alfie Lewis.
Under-18 manager David Dodds said: “It was the old cliché of being a game of two halves. In the first half we had four very good one-on-one chances with just the goalkeeper to beat from a few yards out, and just couldn’t convert them. We also restricted them to very little in the first half.
“It just shows that you have to be ruthless and put your chances away, because in the second half they got a foothold and some good possession of the ball and began to create chances. Unlike us, they were able to take two of their chances in the second half.
“We still had a couple of chances from some situations with some good play where we didn’t quite take the right options. But it’s a good lesson that you must take chances when they arise, at any level. We need to learn to weather the storm if we have a poor spell in the game.
“It was only a bit of naïve defending that cost us – we didn’t poorly overall, and in the first half we had done enough to be out of sight and that happens sometimes in football. But we had five or six debutants at this level for our first game, and that’s a good sign too.”
Reading U18: Driscoll, Howe, Medford-Smith, Shokunbi (Coleman 66), Odimayo, McIntyre, Rollinson, Holsgrove (Wallace 66), Loader, Frost, Green.
Unused subs: Philby, Hillson, Balogun.
West Ham U18: Matrevics, Johnson, Hannam (Henry HT), Wells, Akinola, Powell, Longelo-Mbule (Hamilton 90), Belic, Lewis, Scully, Hector-Ingram (Constantinou 81).
Unused subs: Miller, Hudson.