Reading’s Under-23s recorded a 2-1 win at New Bucks Head against hosts Wolverhampton Wanderers – earning a third consecutive Premier League 2 victory by the same scoreline in the process.
17-year-old striker Danny Loader scored either side of the break for the Royals, either side of Aaron Collins’ sole effort for the hosts, and lifted Reading to fourth in the early-season standings.
Wolves had threatened early through Collins, but his powerful shot from outside the area was fielded well by George Legg.
Instead Reading went ahead with less than ten minutes played – and it was simple stuff as Jordan Holsgrove’s corner found Loader untracked, allowing the forward to take a touch before dispatching.
Andrew Sealey-Harris and Christian Herc had opportunities in turn to level, but a block by skipper Gabriel Osho and a comfortable save by Legg kept the lead intact.
Shortly before the break, Legg had to show an acrobatic side as he flung himself across goal to beat away a curling effort by Anthony Breslin.
Wolves continued to trouble Reading after the interval in search of the equaliser – Dan Armstrong and Collins each firing narrowly wide of either upright.
Shortly after Reading had nearly doubled the lead, as Josh Barrett’s effort was turned away by Harry Burgoyne, the ball was in the net at the other end. On the counter, Sherwin Seedorf crossed for Collins to convert a leveller.
Ben House had a chance to re-establish the lead almost immediately as Hakeem Odoffin’s error in possession gave the striker a clean run on goal, but Burgoyne made amends as he dashed off his line quickly.
But, midway through the second period, Loader had his and Reading’s second. The teenager strode onto a slipped pass by Barrett before calmly slotting in to restore the advantage.
With the Royals in command again, Wolves were committing forward – and were nearly caught on the break. Loader was denied a hat-trick as was played through for a one-on-one, with the goalkeeper coming out on top on that occasion.
But it mattered little at the final whistle, as the referee soon called time on a third straight 2-1 win for Scott Marshall’s men.
Full-time: Wolverhampton Wanderers U23 1-2 Reading U23
Wolverhampton Wanderers U23: Burgoyne, Rainey, Breslin, Goncalves, Odoffin, John, Armstrong, Herc, Collins, Sealey-Harris (Xavier HT), Seedorf.
Unused subs: Csoka, Beasley, Watt, Heredia.
Reading U23: Legg, Holmes, Osho, Andresson, Richards (Medford-Smith HT) East, Sheppard (Howe 67), Holsgrove, House, Barrett, Loader (Rollinson 87).
Unused subs: Southwood, Frost.