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Match Reports

U18s complete dramatic late comeback to beat Villa

Young Royals turn around deficit in final five minutes to win

27 November 2017

A wonder-strike from Jack Nolan in stoppage time completed a dramatic comeback as the Royals' U18s beat Aston Villa 2-1 at Hogwood on Saturday.

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Despite having missed a penalty in the first half through Jack Buchanan and creating plenty of opportunities throughout, the Royals found themselves 1-0 behind after Colin Odutayo netted from the spot for Villa early in the second half.

The Royals rallied late on in search of an equaliser, and they were rewarded as Joe Wilson tapped home from close range from a corner to level proceedings at Hogwood.

Having had his first call-up to England U17s recently, Jack Nolan showed why he was picked for his national team with a stunning left-footed strike into the top corner in stoppage time to seal all three points for the Royals.

U18 manager David Dodds said: "It was very good for a young, inexperienced team. They showed some real good quality at times and kept going.

"Although we had lots of chances in the game, we were still 1-0 down with about five minutes of normal time to go.

"Then we got an equaliser with Joe Wilson from a set piece, then Jack Nolan hit a bit of a wonder-strike from 30 yards into the top corner in extra time.

"Again, we were trying to get the ball forward a bit quicker into more advanced areas, in between defenders.

"The result was a few clear-cut chances, which for all our domination of possession recently shows that we haven't been creating enough, but we did on the day which was pleasing.

"There were three boys who were away with England Under-16s at the weekend, a couple of lads out injured, but fair do's to the boys who came in. They've been waiting patiently for their chance to get games and they showed what they can do moving forward and learning.

"For some of the lads coming in it was their first taste of Saturday football for them, and I thought they played with spirit and some decent understanding as well."

Our U18s will be hoping to follow this result with another strong showing as they welcome their counterparts from Southampton to Hogwood on Saturday morning.

Reading U18: Desbois, Wilson, Odimayo, Nditi, Elva-Fountaine, Buchanan, Faniyan (Saydee 89), Lawrence, Nevers (Hansen 85), Nolan, Simmo (Stevens 61).
Unused subs: Roberts, Totman.
Goals: Wilson 85, Nolan 90.
Yellow cards: Wilson, Buchanan, Nolan, Faniyan.

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