Reading U18's back to winning ways after defeating Arsenal U18's 5-1Reading’s Under-18s secured an emphatic victory on Saturday as visitors Arsenal were on the end of a 5-1 triumph for the Royals at Hogwood Park.
The Gunners went into the game as leaders in the Under-18 Premier League South, and now the Royals sit level on points with Arsenal and Chelsea after nine games.
The Royals missed a chance to go ahead within the first minute as Ben House drew a foul in the box from goalkeeper Joao Virginia, but Jordan Holsgrove missed his kick from the spot. And then, somewhat against the run of play, the visitors went ahead in the opening quarter of an hour through Trae Coyle.
But House levelled up with a curling shot from outside the area soon after, before winning another penalty from former Reading Academy defender Jordi Osei-Tutu which this time Holsgrove converted well. The pair each completed a brace after the break before defender Akinwale Odimayo added a fifth, giving our boys a noteworthy result against their counterparts from North London.
David Dodds, Under-18 manager, said: “What was pleasing was that we started brightly this week, which we didn’t do last week against Chelsea. Ben House won a penalty after 16 seconds after we pressed high up the pitch – he took it round the goalkeeper, who fouled him, and under the new rules it was just a yellow card rather than a sending-off.
“Jordan Holsgrove had been practicing penalties and was sticking 10 out of 10 inside the side netting, but this one he put over the bar. And then when they went ahead after 15 minutes we felt a little bit unlucky because we had started so well.
“But it was pleasing to see how well they reacted to going a goal behind. Ben scored a fabulous curling equaliser from about 25 yards and then he won another penalty… and this time Jordan stuck it inside the side netting.
“We kept our discipline in the second half and scored a few more really good goals, and on another day we might have converted one or two more chances as well. There were some really good performances, both individually and collectively in little units and in little pockets of play.
“Arsenal are one of the benchmark teams and they have put a few goals past teams this year, so it was really pleasing to put in such a good performance. Obviously the lads were buzzing. We aren’t going to get carried away or go over the top, but there were a lot of positive signs.
“Danny Loader is away with England at the moment for their qualifiers and Tom McIntyre and Tyler Frost are involved again in the Under-23s – and with the first-team getting a result on Saturday as well, it’s a good weekend for the club.”
Full-time: Reading U18 5-1 Arsenal U18
Reading U18: Driscoll, Howe, Medford-Smith (Denton 86), Odimayo, Philby, Shokunbi (Nolan 86), Holsgrove, Coleman, Rollinson, Green, House.
Unused subs: Hillson, Wilson, Buchanan.
Arsenal U18: Joao Virginia, Osei-Tutu (Beckford HT), Bola (Omole 68), Medley, Oluwu, Ballard (Olayinka 74), Benson, Burton, Tella, Coyle, Willock.
Unused subs: Barden, Thompson.