Youngsters defeated in StevenageReading’s Under-23s fell to defeat against hosts Tottenham Hotspur in Premier League 2 on Monday evening, as the North London club claimed a 4-0 win at Broadhall Way.
Parity lasted just 11 minutes before Spurs took the lead in Stevenage. Goalkeeper Luke Southwood had already denied Shilow Tracey in a one-on-one situation, but then the stopper was left exposed when a loose pass in defence was picked off by striker Ryan Loft, who punished the error mercilessly.
Just two minutes separated the second and third goals for Spurs; Joshua Onomah grabbed the first just after the half-hour mark after playing a burst of pace set up an attack down the left, and then he turned provider to feed Jaden Brown as he slotted a square ball for the full-back, whose effort deflected into the far corner.
Reading almost grabbed one back moments before the interval as Omar Richards showed quick feet to buy a yard of space on the left to cross low, but Sam Smith’s first-time effort from close range was too close to Pau Lopez.
After the restart, Josh Barrett came close to firing a free-kick inside the near post after Andy Rinomhota drew a foul – but the fourth went the way of Spurs again, as Tracey added a fourth ten minutes after the break, heading in Marcus Edwards’ hanging corner at the back post.
It could have been five for Spurs, but for a fine penalty stop by – 19-year-old stopper Southwood kept up his exemplary record of spot-kick saves to deny William Miller from 12 yards, whose driving run had forced the foul in the box initially.
Reading kept the effort up in search of a goal to cut the deficit, but it wouldn’t come. Danny Loader and Smith had efforts blocked bravely in succession, and Tyler Frost whipped in a cross which was deflected against the woodwork.
And Pau Lopez had to pull off two fine stops to keep his sheets clean – first denying Jordan Holsgrove down at his near post from a well-weighted free-kick, and then a blistering half-volley from Richards which needed strong palms. Substitute Ramarni Medford-Smith saw a deflected shot dipping on target in the final moments, but the Spurs stopper backtracked to push over the bar as Tottenham saw out their win.
Full-time: Tottenham Hotspur U23 4-0 Reading U23
Tottenham Hotspur U23: Pau Lopez, Muscatt, Brown, Lesniak (Stylianides 81), Maghoma, Carter-Vickers, Edwards, Onomah, Loft (Pritchard 81), Tracey (Goddard 67), Miller.
Unused subs: Glover, Owens.
Reading U23: Southwood, Osho (Holmes 66), Richards, Hyam, Dickie, Holsgrove, Frost, Quinn (Loader 27), Rinomhota, Barrett (Medford-Smith 66), Smith.
Unused subs: Driscoll, East.