A goal from Andrija Novakovich and a brace from Noor Husin – the first from the penalty spot – saw the Royals surge into a three-goal lead at their Hogwood Park training ground in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League.
Lloyd Ross mustered a reply in the second half, with substitutes George Marsh, Armani Daly and Charlie Hayford providing some fresh impetus as we upped our game in the closing stages.
Ultimately, though, we paid for our below-par performance before the break.
“The first half was extremely disappointing, mainly in terms of our ability and desire to defend set plays and passes played in behind,” said Under-18s Coach Kieran.
“That’s something we spoke about after the game and certainly something we’re going to have to do better going forward.
“In the second half I thought the three substitutes – George Marsh coming on as the latest Under-16s player to make his debut with Armani Daly and Charlie Hayford coming back from injury – all came on and brought something different to the game. The performances of those three were positives for us.”
Elsewhere, Academy forward Kazaiah Sterling continued his progress on the pitch this season when he scored his first international goal for England Under-17s in their 1-1 draw with Portugal on Sunday afternoon.
Drafted into the Young Lions’ starting line-up along with Spurs colleague Marcus Edwards for England’s second match at a tournament in the Algarve, Kazaiah opened the scoring in the 26th minute, bravely nodding home after Edwards’ free-kick was parried and the ball headed back across goal by Aston Villa’s Andre Green.
The outing represented a further step in the development of both Kazaiah and Marcus, the 16-year-olds having played and scored at Under-16 and Under-18 levels for us this season, in addition to impressing as substitutes in last week’s FA Youth Cup win over Manchester United at White Hart Lane.