A senior international duo in the form of Chris Gunter and Adrian Popa both played a role in our Under-23 side’s 4-1 win against Sunderland on Saturday in Premier League 2.
Welshman Gunter, involved in his first game since our pre-season friendly against Crystal Palace, played the first 45 minutes for the Royals – when he was replaced by fellow first-team player Omar Richards.
Meanwhile Romanian winger Popa, who is working his way back to match fitness and recently faced Birmingham in the Carabao Cup, played the first hour of the fixture.
The game was only nine minutes old when the first goal went in – Josh Barrett was the one to open the scoring, with Ben House providing the assist.
And before the 20-minute mark, the lead was doubled through captain Gabriel Osho – he netted from the spot after Danny Loader drew a foul in the Black Cats’ box.
Soon after the hour-mark, House added his name to the scoresheet as the Royals’ lead was further extended.
Luke Molyneux pegged one back for the visitors with 20 minutes remaining, but it wasn’t enough to put any real pressure on the Royals’ hopes of getting the right result – our first PL2 win of the new campaign.
And indeed it was Reading who finalised the scoring – centre-half Osho notched his second and our fourth in added time to put some gloss on the win.
Full-time: Reading U23 4-1 Sunderland U23
Reading U23: Southwood, Gunter (Richards HT), Howe, Osho (c), McIntyre, Rinomhota, East, Popa (Frost 61) Barrett, Loader, House.
Unused subs: Legg, Liddle, Coleman.
Sunderland U23: Patterson, Storey, Taylor, Young (Mbunga-Kimpioka HT), Hunter, Bainbridge (Gamble HT), Koloko, Bale (Diamond 62), Hackett, Molyneux, Connelly.
Unused subs: Johnstone, Connolly.