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Match Reports

Royals U23s rout Oxford in friendly

Five-star performance from youngsters at Hogwood...

9 October 2018

It might be the international break at the moment, but Reading's Under-23s kept themselves ticking over with a fine performance in a friendly against Oxford United at Hogwood.


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Adam Liddle was on target twice, supplemented with strikes from Jazz Wallace, Michael Olise and Khalid Simmo as a youthful squad rounded off a comfortable 5-0 victory on Tuesday afternoon.

Andy Rinomhota and Tom Holmes were both involved for the young Royals, having been among the substitutes for the first team away at West Bromwich Albion at the weekend.

After a dominant start at Hogwood, Reading were handed a penalty after a late tackle on Liddle in the area. The striker duly stepped up to dispatch his spot kick straight down the middle of goal and put Scott Marshall's side ahead.

A well-worked corner routine from Jazz Wallace and Cameron Green almost resulted in a second soon after, with Darren Sidoel the recipient on the edge of the box - powering a low strike at goal but the goalkeeper was level to it.

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Centre-back Andre Burley almost added his name to the scoresheet with an acrobatic overhead kick attempt from a corner narrowly clearing the crossbar.

The second for the Royals came from the spot once again. Wallace cut into the area and was caught late by the tracking defender, with the referee unwavering in pointing to the spot. The winger dusted himself off to take, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way and doubling the advantage.

Rinomhota showed his tenacity after getting fouled in midfield, but bouncing up while still in possession and powering towards the area - only for a last-ditch block to stop him as he looked to get a shot away.

Liam Driscoll was rarely troubled in the Reading goal in the first half, but had to be on form to save a low strike from the U's before diving at full stretch to palm away a free-kick that looked destined for the top corner.

The third goal was the pick of the bunch from Reading. Liddle received it in the box, but had to get away from his marker to find a yard and he rifled a cross-goal shot into the top corner from inside the area.

A fourth was added moments later, as an incisive pass from Moroyin Omolabi found Green advancing in the area. The left-back managed to cut the ball back across goal for scholar Michael Olise to tap in from inside the six-yard area.

Olise was one of several Under-18s to get match minutes in the higher age group on Tuesday, with Conor Lawless, Jack Nolan and Khalid Simmo all involved at Hogwood.

Liddle was pushing for his hat-trick, almost getting it after Nolan struck for the 'keeper to save, but the ball bounced up and Liddle headed on the rebound - skimming the bar on its way over the goal.

And it was Simmo who rounded off a fine friendly performance from the young side. Nolan found space and lofted a ball over the top of the Oxford defence for the attacker to chase. Simmo beat the goalkeeper to it, taking it away from the defence and coolly slotting in from close range.

Full-time | Reading U23 5-0 Oxford United

Reading U23: Driscoll, Howe (Balogun HT), Burley, Holmes (Odimayo HT), Green, Rinomhota (Olise HT), Sidoel (Lawless 62), Wallace (Nolan HT), Rollinson (Simmo HT), Liddle.
Goals: Liddle 7 (P), 58; Wallace 28 (P); Olise 61; Simmo 84.

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