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Match Reports

U23s return to the top after triumph at Wolves

Royals come from behind in table-topping clash

14 January 2019

Goals from Adam Liddle and Ryan East sent Reading's Under-23s to the top of the Premier League 2, Division 2 table on Friday night.

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"We showed character - we kept our heads"

14 January 2019

Having gone behind to high-flying Wolves within the first minute, Liddle struck back three minutes later before East fired the Royals to three points on the night with a 2-1 win in Telford.

The Royals and Wolves were level on points at the top of the table heading into Friday night's clash, with Tom Holmes returning to the line-up after a lengthy injury absence.

15-year-old goalkeeper Coniah Boyce-Clark was between the posts for the Royals, with a three-man central defence in front of him of Holmes, Gabriel Osho and Andre Burley.

But the young 'keeper was to be beaten within the first minute of the match, as Niall Ennis got to the byline for Wolves and cut back for Sadou Diallo to finish.

Reading were not on the back foot for long in this table-topping clash, however. 

Despite the 4-5-1 formation set out by their opponents appearing hard to break down, Teddy Howe, deployed in a wing-back role, found joy on the right and managed to find Liddle in the area, whose low driven effort beat Andreas Sondergaard and put the young Royals level.

The margins were fine in a match that became a nip-and-tuck encounter between two teams at the sharp end of their league table - with both teams jostling for supremacy at the New Bucks Head.

Boyce-Clark came to Reading's rescue in the first period as Benny Ashley-Seal found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but the youngster got off his line quickly to deny the striker and ensure the teams went in level at the break.

Scott Marshall urged his side to have more patience in their build-up play as he gave his half-time team talk, with Wolves setting out as the aggressors in the second half - trying to press the Royals at every opportunity high up the pitch.

But the youngsters confidently dealt with all that the hosts could throw at them, managing to find gaps in their opponents' formation with players moving out of position to pressurise the player in possession.

Such was Reading's control of the ball in the second half, they kept their opponents at arm's length and grew into proceedings in Telford as the match wore on.

After several half-chances that never quite materialised into a goal, Reading had their second.

Cameron Green set off at pace on the left, finding the right pass at the right time to East, who capped off a busy seven days with his second goal in as many matches - rifling a strike hard and low to give Reading a deserved lead.

This result sent Marshall's men three points clear at the top of the Premier League 2 table. They can secure qualification to the next stage of the Premier League Cup in their next match, taking on Colchester United on Friday night.

Full-time | Wolves U23 1-2 Reading U23

Wolves U23: Sondergaard, Buur, John, Kilman, Molberg, Diallo, Watt (Paulinho 82), Giles, Goncalves, Ennis, Ashley-Seal.
Subs: Beasley, Sanderson, Samuels, Heredia.
Goal: Diallo 1.

Reading U23: Boyce-Clark, Howe, Holmes (Odimayo HT), Osho (c), Burley (Balogun 72), Green, East, Lawless (Olise 57), Barrett, Frost, Liddle.
Subs: Roberts, Nolan.
Goals: Liddle 4, East 77.


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