Despite the heavy defeat, Clive believes his players will take a lot from the encounter.
"From my point of view, in a bizarre way, it was a fantastic learning experience for the lads because it was as close to a Premiership game as they are going to get at the moment," he reasoned.
"That Reading side could certainly be fielded against Manchester United in the FA Cup at the weekend and we gave a good account of ourselves. What happened was we didn't take our chances and were punished for it.
"I am really disappointed with the result, while a lot of aspects of our game were very good and I was delighted with some of our football.
"Good players will punish you though and that is exactly what Reading did. I think our players will learn a big lesson from it.
"They were ruthless and that is the word I used to describe it after the game. They capitalised on our mistakes, they are Premiership players and they showed why they are.
"It was a fantastic test for our young players though."
Clive Allen believes his young team will have learned a lot from taking on a near Premiership side in Reading at Stevenage on Monday evening.The visitors included a wealth of players with First Team experience in their side, but our young side competed and created up to the point where Reading took the lead on 35 minutes. In the second half experience did tell and Reading were clinical in adding a further three to their goal tally.