U18s defeat Brighton 7-4 in Sussex
The Royals’ Under-18 squad left Brighton with three points under their belts with an eye-catching 7-4 win.
Reading led the scoring ever since the first minute of the game – although the Seagulls pulled the game back to within a goal on several occasions.
Ben House, who signed a contract with the Academy after a recent trial period, struck twice in the first three minutes. Cameron Green and Jordan Holsgrove added goals before the break, and Harry Philby, Joel Rollinson and a late own-goal completed the scoring for Reading.
“We started the game off very quickly – we were 1-0 up after a minute, as Ben House made the goalkeeper make an error,” said Under-18 manager David Dodds. “Even before then we had a chance when Joel Rollinson was played in by Jordan Holsgrove and he narrowly missed at the far post.
“And then we were two up after three minutes – Teddy Howe put in a nice little cross that the goalkeeper couldn’t deal with, and Ben was on hand to sniff out a second goal for three yards out.
“Brighton were very good at running at people from midfield – they had some really effective players. We tried to press them at times and they broke the press, and they got a goal back midway through the half.
“Jordan Holsgrove did really well to win a penalty just before half-time and scored it himself which put us 4-2 up… we wanted to go into the break with a cushion so that we could regroup and talk about our defending – but lo and behold they pegged it back to 4-3 a minute before half-time!
“We had some honest and strong words at half-time. We have been using a slightly different tactic recently in getting the ball back, which might have had some bearing on events. But in the second half we were much more compact and played better as a team defensively.
“We have to get that combination. Some of our offensive play was the best I’ve seen in a long while – we were good at moving the ball swiftly around and penetrating through, making good decisions in the final third, and hitting the passes that counted.
“During the game we were always in the ascendency and always in charge, but they kept nicking a goal back – that was because of some little bits and pieces that we can certainly do better with.
“Joel Rollinson and Jordan Holsgrove were probably the standout players on the day – they were both excellent. And lots of different people scored for us which is a good sign – there are goals coming from all around the team.”
Full-time: Brighton & Hove Albion U18 4-7 Reading U18
Brighton & Hove Albion U18: Hobbs, Myles-Meekums (Moore 80), Cochrane (Ferguson 79), Tavares, O'Sullivan, Barker, Sanders, Mandriou, Fornah (Ljubicic 68), Hutchinson, Connolly.
Unused sub: Garcia.
Reading U18: Driscoll, Howe, Medford-Smith, Odimayo, Philby, Green, Rollinson, Shokunbi, Coleman, Holsgrove, House.
Unused subs: Hillson, Burley, Buchanan, Wilson, Denton.