The Royals’ Under-23 squad stretched their unbeaten run to seven games with a thrilling 3-2 away win at Middlesbrough on Friday evening.
A sole goal for Ben House and a brace for Josh Barrett – all in the second half – was just enough for Reading to get over the line and to rise to third in the Premier League 2 Division 2 table.
Kick-off was delayed initially due to a floodlight failure – when the game eventually began, it was hosts Boro that raced into a lead at Heritage Park when Ashley Fletcher made space for himself to fire the Teessiders ahead.
Despite the Royals’ best efforts, the advantage remained with the hosts until the break. But within a minute of the restart, House slotted in a leveller to put the Royals on terms.
And then five minutes later, the pendulum had swung completely in Reading’s favour when Danny Loader picked out Barrett, who converted coolly from an angle to give the Royals the lead for the first time.
Stephen Walker, an England U19 teammate of Loader’s, thought he had Boro level again but the assistant referee’s raised flag ruled his effort offside.
Instead, Barrett grabbed his second and Reading’s third when he was teed up by Tyler Frost in the final 20 minutes.
Billal Brahimi’s stunning strike from outside the box, eight minutes from time, gave the hosts hope of rescuing a result. But Scott Marshall’s charges stuck to task and took the points back home!
Our Under-23s return home this week – and it’s international action to look forward to, as Sparta Prague’s U23s visit in the Premier League International Cup. Kick-off is at 7pm on Wednesday 24th October.
Full-time: Middlesbrough U23 2-3 Reading U23
Middlesbrough U23: Konstantopoulos, Spence, Stubbs, Wood, Robinson, Tavernier, Leadbitter, Liddle, Chapman, Walker (Brahimi 74), Fletcher (O’Neill 85).
Unused subs: James, Guru, Ward.
Reading U23: Southwood, Howe, Medford-Smith, East, Burley, McIntyre (Odimayo 77), Frost, Sidoel (Coleman 77), House (Liddle 84), Loader, Barrett.
Unused subs: Driscoll, Rollinson.