Striker reaches his ton with late goal against RochdaleOur well-respected Academy rightly receives plaudits for the players it consistently produces for the Royals first team and one of our graduates reached a career milestone at the weekend.
Simon Cox scored a last gasp winner for Southend against Rochdale at the weekend to bag his 100th career goal in dramatic circumstances at Roots Hall.
Cox, 29, scored the first of his 100 whilst on loan from Reading in 2007, notching for Northampton in a 2-0 win at Leyton Orient nearly ten years ago.
Cox, who enjoyed two spells as a Royals first team striker, had to wait until August 2014 to score his first goal in blue and white hoops – at home to Huddersfield at the start of his second first team spell at the club.
The Reading-born forward joins an illustrious group of just three other Reading Academy graduates to have made it to their career tons – Shane Long, Nathan Tyson and Darius Henderson being the other centurions.
Shane Long has one goal more to his name, his Premier League goal at home to West Brom on New Year’s Eve taking the Irish international to 101 career goals at club level.
Both Long and Cox can both add to their tally if they include goals for their native Republic of Ireland, but the only other Academy graduates to have hit triple figures are Tyson and Henderson.
35-year-old Henderson scored the first of his 131 goals when he bagged a brace in Reading’s 4-0 thrashing of Luton Town in the League Cup back in August 2001.
He has recently joined Eastleigh’s National League campaign, signing from Mansfield last week – his most recent league goal for the Stags coming in a 3-1 home win over Notts County.
Meanwhile Tyson is plying his trade north of the border currently, although he is yet to add to his 115 goal tally at Kilmarnock since signing for the top tier outfit in the summer.
Tyson’s first goal came whilst on loan from Reading at Swansea, scoring in a 2-0 home win for the Swans against Darlington in October 2001.
His first Reading goal arrived a year later when he notched against one of the sides he would go on to represent, Derby County, in a 2-1 home win for the Royals in December 2002.
Our Academy set-up continues to thrive, with a young U18s side sealing a 4-0 win over Southampton at the weekend – to consolidate their second place league standing with a comfortable victory.
And our Under-23s’ last fixture in the Premier League 2 was also against Saints, Martin Kuhl’s side firing four of their own in a 4-2 win over the south coast side.
The latest Academy starlet to become a senior team goalscorer was Liam Kelly when he fired home a fantastic goal that triggered an incredible comeback at Bristol City at the start of this month!