Cardwell, Novakovich and Fosu net against the R’sReading Under-21s came out triumphant from a well-contested friendly meeting away at Queens Park Rangers on Thursday afternoon – the Royals twice came from behind, before Tariqe Fosu made it 3-2 with his winning goal.
The behind-closed-door fixture at Harlington falls within a busy schedule against tough opposition for the young Royals – after games against Manchester United and Manchester City, Martin Kuhl’s men travel to visit Liverpool on Sunday.
After chances were squandered at both ends, the hosts took the lead midway through the first period - Andreas Komodikis was released with a ball over the top, and calmly rounded goalkeeper Lewis Ward to open the scoring. The lead was short-lived through; Harry Cardwell tucked in neatly from close range, after Liam Kelly’s foray down the right wing opened things up for the Royals.
It looked like Rangers would take a lead into the break as Joseph N’Guessan made it 2-1 shortly before the referee was due to blow for half-time – but there was still time for Reading to reply again, as Andrija Novakovich headed in Kelly’s corner.
The scoring was settled soon after half-time – Fosu latched onto the end of a cross, heading in what proved to be the winning goal for the Royals.
Under-21 manager Martin Kuhl said: “I thought it was a good workout for the older boys for the first 60 minutes, and the younger lads come on in the later stages and did very well as well.
“We have had some good games recently – they have been a good learning curve. The game against Manchester United was a physical game, and I thought we held our own against Manchester City and did really well – but a couple of mistakes in that game cost us, which they’ll have to learn from.
“But today was a really good workout – there was a bit of edge, both teams wanted to play football, and when you play against a team that likes to have possession as well, you have to work on defensive shape too.”
Reading U21s: Ward, Stacey, Long, Shaughnessy, Hyam, Jules, Novakovich, Kuhl, Cardwell, Kelly, Fosu.
Subs: Southwood, Sheppard, Watson, Lawal, Husin, Rinomhota, Semedo, Owusu, Vastsuk.