House, Rollinson and Loader net in a 3-0 winReading’s Under-18s were 3-0 winners at Little Heath on Saturday, overtaking hosts West Ham in the process to rise to second in the Under-18 Premier League South standings.
A neat solo goal by Ben House had the Royals in an early lead, before Joel Rollinson doubled the lead by rounding off a set-piece.
West Ham tried to get back into the game after the interval – but it was Reading who settled the affair with a stunning strike by Danny Loader with quarter of an hour left to play.
“The pitch was quite wet and slippery and there was really bright sunlight for the goalkeepers to deal with,” said Under-18 manager David Dodds. “We had the better of the first quarter of an hour, and then Ben House went on a little dribble through a couple of players and managed to slot it past the goalkeeper.
“Teddy Howe got round the back of the defence a couple of times and put some great crosses in, along with Joel Rollinson, but we couldn’t quite convert them.
“But then we got the second just before half time with a free-kick which was well delivered by Jordan Holsgrove, and Akinwale Odimayo headed it back down for Joel to score at the back post – it was a well-taken goal and that settled us going into the break.
“It was quite a professional performance – we kept control of the game, and we knew West Ham would come out with a reaction. They are always a good team and produce good players, and we were ready for that.
“We killed the game with the third goal after about 75 minutes – we’ve been working on slide-balls and things behind defenders and we thought that might be something we might be able to exploit.
“And instead Danny rifled it in from about 25 yards, when I was just about to say ‘what are you doing?!’ That was a fantastic goal, right into the top corner – really high-quality play. It was a quality strike – they had a huge goalkeeper and he couldn’t get anywhere near it.
“We had a few other chances as well – Ramarni Medford-Smith made some good breaks down the left and got into the box a couple of times, and we were unlucky not to add to the tally. They rallied at the end and had a couple of half-chances which went across the goal, but I thought it was a well-deserved win at the end of the day.
“There were some good individual performances – Danny Loader and Jordan Holsgrove are getting a good understanding now and combining well, while both of the full-backs are very athletic and good at getting down the sides, and they are getting better at defending now too. So all in all it is looking decent at the minute.”
Full-time: West Ham U18 0-3 Reading U18
West Ham U18: Matrevics, Johnson, Eggleton, Akinola, Hannam (Longelo 67), Coventry, Lewis (Hamilton 82), Henry, Powell, Scully (Neufville 46), Hector-Ingram.
Unused subs: Constantinou, Forde.
Reading U18: Driscoll, Howe (Wilson 80), Medford-Smith, Odimayo, Philby (Green 87), Denton, Holsgrove, Rollinson, Coleman, Loader (Loader 84), House.
Unused subs: Sparta, Wallace.