Second-half goals by Danny Loader and Ben House helped the Royals Under-23 side to a 2-0 win over Southampton on Saturday afternoon at Madejski Stadium.
Three more points on the board for Scott Marshall’s side helped push our outfit up to third in the Premier League 2 Division 2 standings, leapfrogging the Saints on the way.
The Saints’ woodwork was rattled as early as the third minute of the match, as Tyler Frost’s wicked delivery from the right flank was diverted against the bar by the head of House and crashed to safety. Loader’s follow-up fell kindly for goalkeeper Jack Rose.
Southampton striker Michael Obafemi wasn’t able to capitalise on a loose back-pass midway through the first period, snatching his shot high and wide as he tried to beat Liam Driscoll with an early attempt.
Rose made a fine double-save on the half-hour, firstly denying Reading captain Ryan East as a long-range effort picked a gap in a crowded area, and then getting down low to prevent Loader converting a rebound.
Reading finally made the breakthrough midway through the second period, as Garath McCleary, who played 87 minutes of the match, strode forward and laid in Loader… the forward took one deft touch to make space, and a second touch to slot low into the corner.
And the result was wrapped up ten minutes from time when Ramarni Medford-Smith linked up with Callum Harriott down the left and delivered a pinpoint low cross for House to tuck in from six yards as he arrived unmarked.
Full-time: Reading U23 2-0 Southampton U23
Reading U23: Driscoll, Howe, Medford-Smith, Holmes, McIntyre, East, Frost, McCleary (Nolan 87), Harriott, House, Loader (Barrett 80).
Unused subs: Hillson, Osho, Shokunbi.
Southampton U23: Rose, Ramsay, Vokins, Rowthorn (Afolabi 80), O’Driscoll, O’Connor, Barnes (Hamblin 80), Slattery, Obafemi, Smallbone, Johnson (Tella 70).
Unused subs: Klarer, Parkes.