Young Royals beat West Ham to stay secondOur Under-18s opened 2016 in style with an impressive 3-0 victory over West Ham at Hogwood Park on Saturday.
The young Royals had a great first half of the season, and their form continued into the New Year when they swept the Hammers aside.
The hosts took the lead through Sam Smith, who fired home in the first half, before midfielder Tyler Frost doubled the Reading's lead just before the half-time whistle.
As the rain poured down in the second half, the Royals ended any chance of a West Ham comeback, when Axel Anderson powered home a penalty to seal the win.
The Royals opened the scoring midway through the first half when they benefited from some slack passing from the visitors. High pressure from Reading forced an error with the ball falling to Smith; the striker took a shot on the half-volley and buried his finish past Rihards Matrevics in the West Ham goal.
After going in front, the Royals were in the ascendancy and doubled their lead shortly before the referee sounded the half-time whistle. Frost latched onto a whipped delivery at the near post, finished with a deft header to force home the home side’s advantage.
The second half began with West Ham on the front foot as they looked for an equaliser, but they could not break down the Royals who defended well.
The Reading youngsters put the result beyond doubt having seen out the spell of danger. West Ham defender Abdoulahi Diallo bought down Smith as he beared down on goal for the Royals, and Andresson stepped up to smash home the spot kick and hand all three points Reading.
The win keeps Reading in second place in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League (South) division, eight points clear of third-placed Aston Villa.
The U18s will next be in action on Monday 18th January in the FA Youth Cup fourth round against Fulham. For more information on the Royals visit to Fulham’s Motspur Park, including ticket information, click here.
Reading U18: Luke Southwood, Daniel Akinwumni, Omar Richards, Ryan East, Tom Holmes (Josh Chatee), Axel Andresson, Tyler Frost, Ethan Coleman (Ade Shokunbi), Sam Smith (Dan Loader), Josh Barrett (capt), Conor Davis.
Unused subs:Teddy Howe, Joe Tupper.
Goals: Smith, Frost, Andresson (pen).