Reading's U23s were beaten 4-1 by Newcastle United at Adams Park on Monday night, in their penultimate match of the season.
- Wilson scores first for Newcastle after defensive mix-up for Reading
- Newcastle add two more goals in four minutes in the second half
- Tyler Frost replies for the Royals on the hour mark
- Stefan O'Connor puts the result beyond doubt with Newcastle's fourth
It was a line-up with first team experience for the Royals at Adams Park, with Sam Smith, Joseph Mendes, Tennai Watson, Tom Holmes and Andy Rinomhota all starting on the night.
Tyler Frost had the first good opportunity of the night for the Royals after 10 minutes. Ryan East's corner was half-cleared, with Rinomhota nodding down to Frost who controlled and volleyed on target, with Nathan Harker making a solid save to his left.
However, a defensive mix-up led to the visitors taking the lead. Akinwale Odimayo had to reach backwards to attempt a clearance, which was blocked and Adam Wilson was able to nip in and chip over Liam Driscoll to score.
Reading almost levelled just four minutes after going behind. Mendes did well to get past his man and slide a ball through for Watson on the right. He crossed for Frost who shot first time, but Harker made an improvised stop with his leg.
This was the U23s' first competitive match for almost a month, and that lack of football appeared to show in the first half with a few loose passes, despite the Royals commanding the majority of possession.
Newcastle rarely threatened the Royals' goal after they netted the opener in the first half, but Reading were unable to break through as they pressed for an equaliser.
East lofted a ball over the top and Mendes got in behind the defence, but couldn't set himself properly and his effort went harmlessly wide.
The Royals trailed at the break in a half that offered little in front of goal for either side.
Half time | Reading U23 0-1 Newcastle United U23
Six minutes in the second half were on the clock and the Royals were two behind. A free-kick from the left was whipped in and flicked on to Owen Bailey, who poked in from close range to double the arrears.
Just four minutes later and the visitors had a third. A cross was looped onto the head of Luke Charman, whose high header looked like it was going over the bar, but it dropped in to leave the Royals with a mountain to climb.
However, the Royals soon had their tails up and Frost replied on the hour mark. The midfielder drove on in the attacking third and threaded a fine finish into the bottom corner and give Reading hope.
Hopes of a comeback were to be short-lived, though, with Holmes giving away a free-kick on the far side. It was whipped in and Stefan O'Connor rose highest to nod into the far corner and put the result beyond doubt.
A change of formation followed as England U17 international Jack Nolan was introduced, with Frost played clean through on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat. He opened up his body and shot, but he couldn't direct it on target.
Nolan tried to inject fresh life into the Royals' attack, putting in a dangerous cross from the left but no-one was able to get on the end of it to score a second for the Royals.
Frost had the ball in the net in stoppage time after latching onto Teddy Howe's cross, but the flag went up for offside.
Full time | Reading U23 1-4 Newcastle United U23
Reading U23: Driscoll, Odimayo (Nolan 73), Osho, Holmes, Medford-Smith, East, Watson (Howe 65), Rinomhota, Mendes (Rollinson 60), Frost, Smith.
Subs: Desbois, Coleman.
Goals: Frost 60
Yellow: Odimayo, Holmes, Howe
Newcastle United U23: Harker, Williams, Gillesphey, Bailey, Yarney, O'Connor, Fernandez (Allan 67), Hunter, Charman (El-Mhanni 70), Barlaser (Sangare 83), Wilson.
Subs: Kitchen, Langley.
Goals: Wilson 15, Bailey 51, Charman 55, O'Connor 67