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U23s fall to narrow defeat in Leicester

31 October 2016

Reading beaten in topsy-turvy clash in the East Midlands...

Despite leading twice, the Royals' Under-23s were beaten by a late goal away at Leicester’s Belvoir Drive in a topsy-turvy Premier League 2 affair.

A goalless first half saw the Royals dominate the play creating a number of good opportunities but were denied by some impressive goalkeeping from Foxes stopper Max Bramley.

Just a minute into the second half Reading had the lead their first half performance deserved, when Tyler Frost fired the Royals in front.  With 25 minutes to go, Leicester equalised through substitute Raul Uche and after being denied from the spot the hosts were behind again when Ryan East netted.

Alex Pascanu equalised for a second time before Harvey Barnes converted in the 87th minute to complete a turnaround and win the game for Leicester.

Just nine minutes into the game Reading were testing their hosts through Andrija Novakovich. The forward's effort was well saved by Leicester keeper Bramley, who had a busy first period, as Reading pushed for an opening goal.

Next to be denied was Frost who was looking a real threat to the Foxes defence. The midfielder was unable to break the deadlock thanks to more fine keeping from Bramley.

The second half got off to a good start for Reading when Frost opened the scoring, converting a loose ball in the Leicester area from close range, giving the visitors a deserved lead.

The hosts' response after going behind was a strong one, drawing level through substitute Uche. The Spanish youngster broke free of his marker to head in past Luke Southwood on 65 minutes.

The home side had the chance to take the lead five minutes later when Darnell Johnson was fouled in the box. Admiral Muskwe stepped up, but the striker was brilliantly denied by Reading’s England U20 keeper Southwood from 12 yards.

And our U23s were soon back on the front foot.  Novakovich surged down the left flank before whipping the ball low into the opposition area, where midfielder East was arriving to latch onto the cross to slot home and retake the lead for the Royals.

In an end-to-end second half it only took City two minutes to find a second equaliser, when Pascanu volleyed home from a tight angle to set up an exciting climax.

Unfortunately for Martin Kuhl’s side it was Leicester who found the telling strike through Barnes with three minutes to play. The goal handed the hosts all three points in a game that could’ve gone either way in the dying minutes.  

Full Time: Leicester City U23 3-2 Reading U23

Leicester CityU23: Bramley, Johnson, Moore, Benalouane (c), Pascanu, James (Uche 63), Kapustka, Rowe (Miles 46), Barnes, Ndukwu, Mitchell (Muskwe 46).
Unused subs: Debayo, Iversen.

Reading U23: Southwood, Sheppard, Medford-Smith, Bennett, Cooper (c) (Andresson 63), Keown (Odimayo 63), Barrett, Rinomhota, Novakovich, East, Frost.
Unused subs: Howe, Tupper, Cardwell.

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