Royals defeated at Hogwood by Midland visitorsReading’s Under-18s were made to pay for a disappointing first half of football when Aston Villa visited Hogwood on Saturday – all the goals in a 3-1 defeat came before the break.
Villa striker Kelsey Mooney was the beneficiary when a pass was picked off early on as he opened the scoring for the visitors – although Reading were back level minutes later when Akinwale Odimayo headed in Jordan Holsgrove’s corner.
But Mooney completed his hat-trick before the interval as a pair of crosses into the box were well taken by the striker – and for all of the Royals’ second-half efforts, the Midland side held onto their two-goal buffer.
Under-18 manager David Dodds said: “I thought the performance was a bit disappointing after last week. We started the game off and moved the ball around, but we didn’t move it quite as quickly as we wanted to. They played 4-4-2 and we wanted to get down the sides of them.
“We made a slightly loose pass in our third when we tried to play out, and they capitalised and scored a goal from it. We did respond quite well and scored a goal through Akinwale from a corner, but after that we again moved the ball quite slowly and it was quite laboured.
“Out of the blue a cross came over which we misjudged in the box and allowed them to score – and it was a similar story for their third goal, just before half time. We were just about to have a little regroup in the changing room, but we conceded a similar goal. A cross came in from the right and it was misjudged… their lad took it well to control on his chest and volleyed it into the top corner.
“In between we had some good chances, and in the second half we had the lion’s share of the play. But credit to Aston Villa – they played into our half and made it difficult to get at them. We had a couple of great balls around the back of them but we couldn’t quite put the ball in the net.
“By our standards we were a little bit disappointed as a group at half-time, and we talked about how we would sort things out in the second half – which we did to a certain extent. But by then it’s catch-up football and trying to get back in the game.
“On another day, maybe if you get a goal back soon after half-time, we might have gone on to get a result. But it wasn’t to be. We’ll dust ourselves down and move on.”
Full-time: Reading U18 1-3 Aston Villa U18
Reading U18: Tupper, Howe, Medford-Smith, Philby (Burley 72), Odimayo, Shokunbi, Coleman (Nolan 68), Rollinson, Holsgrove, Loader, House.
Unused subs: Wilson, Denton, Green.
Aston Villa U18: Johansson, Williams, Hall (Walker 85), Prosser, Finnerty, Abdoul, Knibbs (Pastorek 71), Clarke, Mooney, Cox (Rowe 78), Humphries.
Unused subs: Idem, Birch.