Sam Smith finished off a counter-attack with less than two minutes played to fire the Royals ahead in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League and from there the visitors defended resolutely and added to the scoreline with some clinical attacking moves.
Marcus Edwards’ late free-kick was all we had to show for our efforts in a game that Under-18s Coach Kieran believes bore similarities to our previous home match against Fulham a fortnight ago, where the visitors ran out 3-0 winners.
“In the last two home games against Reading and Fulham, the boys have struggled to break down an organised defence and struggled in terms of stopping a fast, hard-running team from exploiting the spaces on the counter-attack,” he said.
“That’s something we’re going to have to improve on as we weren’t at the required level right throughout the game today.
“I thought the play was too predictable, we tried to play through the middle of them too often and when we got into the wide areas, the quality of the crossing and the movement in the box wasn’t good enough.
“The first two minutes were key where we had a big chance and they countered from that and scored a goal so the start set us back, but there is definitely an expectation that, even against a packed defence, the boys are be able to open them up better than what we did today.”