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U21s: Royals battle to draw with Spurs

4 March 2016

Stacey goal earns Reading U21s a draw against Spurs at Adams Park

A high-octane display at Adams Park saw a Reading Under-21s side battle to a draw against Spurs in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League.
A goal from Jack Stacey deep into first-half stoppage time pulled the Royals ahead at the break, but Spurs dug deep and Miller’s effort found the net late on to give the visitors a share of the points come the full-time whistle. 
Royals Stopper Lewis Ward was found busy in the opening period to the game, denying Pritchard and Miller from giving Spurs an early lead in the tie.  
Down the other end, '''j produced the first real chance for Reading to open the scoring, glancing his header just wide of the near post. Jack Stacey then saw his effort fly just over the bar as the Royals continued to push Spurs in order to break the deadlock.

The visitors did have their chances, Pritchard’s 20 yard drive was enough to sting the gloves of Ward, and then Sonupe’s whipped delivery just had too much on it to find Spurs’ Anthony Georgiou arriving at the far.   

Defensively, Spurs had their goalkeeper Tom McDermott to thank for keeping the score level. Making his Under-21s debut, he reacted well to deny Cardwell’s header low down to his right, then clever play on the by-line from the Royals saw Stacey engineer a chance but again his effort lacked the decisive finish in front of goal.

Deep into first-half stoppage time it was Jack Stacey that made the breakthrough for the Royals. He calmly evaded an oncoming challenge on the edge of the area before bursting through and powerfully striking home past McDermott into the bottom corner, giving the Reading a deserved lead as the game progressed into the second-half.   
After the restart, Nabil Bentaleb came close to providing an equaliser for Spurs, as did Miller when he dragged his effort wastefully wide at the far post.

The Royals had a cluster of opportunities to extend their lead – Cardwell striking over from 15 yards before being denied once again by a sliding challenge from Luke Amos, with Sean Long heading wide from the subsequent corner.

With 19 minutes left in the game, Will Miller stepped up for the visitors, and after Pritchard slipped the forward in on goal, he coolly evaded the defenders before slotting home to make the tie all square.    

What followed was an end-to-end finish to the game, with both sides coming close to scoring a conclusive goal – Shaughnessy’s effort was blocked on the line by Walker-Peters, and Shane Griffin hurled himself in front of Pritchard’s shot to deny Spurs, but at full-time it ended level in a well contested fixture at Wycombe’s Adams Park.

Full Time: Reading U21s 1 Spurs U21s 1

Reading U21s: Ward, Watson, Long, Shaughnessy, Jules, Griffin, Stacey, Kuhl (c), Cardwell, Barrett, Fosu.
Substitutes: Owusu, Rinomhota, Husin, Novakovich, Southwood.

Spurs U21s: McDermott, Walker-Peters (c), Amos, Lesniak, Walkes, Bentaleb (Stylianides 63), Sonupe, J Pritchard (Maghoma 78), Miller, Goddard (Edwards 63), Georgiou.
Substitutes: Owens, Whiteman.

Attendance: 229.

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