Reading's Under-23s finished off their pre-season preparations with a well-earned 2-0 win against Charlton Athletic at Hogwood on Monday afternoon.
Having already put a team out to play Swansea City at the weekend, it was all change for our U23s as a youthful line-up took on the Addicks at the Royals' training ground.
The difference in experience between the sides was noticeable to begin with – as the Royals had to be defensively alert to thwart three Charlton attempts on goal.
Scott Marshall’s side then grew into the game, with first-year Scholar, Michael Olise crossing for Adam Liddle at the far post – with his header just creeping over the bar.
Olise appeared to be a catalyst for a good number of the Royals’ forward action in the first half, picking out Joel Rollinson on the far side with a cross-field pass, before the winger struck and forced the Addicks’ goalkeeper into a good low save.
Olise then went himself, taking on two players and letting fly from range – but off target and high of the bar.
The best chance of the half came as Jazz Wallace set Rollinson free once more on the right-hand side, with Rollinson using his pace to get into the area and get another shot away – the goalkeeper saved again and a defender just about managed to beat Liddle to the rebound and clear.
Half-time: Reading U23 0-0 Charlton Athletic U23
The second half saw further dominance on the ball from the young Royals, as Gabe Osho went close with a header from a corner.
Wallace also had a good chance with a deflected shot from range troubling the goalkeeper – but he scrambled back to make a good save.
Reading applied further pressure to the Charlton back line and got their reward after Jack Nolan was played in on the left wing.
He drove on past his man and rifled a left-footed shot across the goalkeeper that nestled into the bottom corner and gave the hosts a deserved lead.
The Addicks then threw players forward in search of an equaliser, but the Reading defence stood firm and got their second two minutes from time.
Great tenacity from Liddle saw him dispossess the Charlton defence on the half-way line. He powered forward towards the edge of the area – before his marker tackled him, but the direction of the ball took it into his own net and Reading ran out comfortable winners on the day.
All 11 players on the pitch will be happy to have got through the full 90 minutes on an afternoon where the sun was beating down at Hogwood, with the first Premier League 2 action on Saturday against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The season opener for our U23s will take place at Madejski Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with a 1pm kick-off in RG2 as the first team prepare to face Nottingham Forest at The City Ground a couple of hours later.
Full-time: Reading U23 2-0 Charlton Athletic U23
Reading U23: Southwood, Balogun, Green (c), Omolabi, Osho, McIntyre, Rollinson, Wallace, Liddle, Olise, Nolan.
Goals: Nolan 68, OG 88