Leading 2-0 through goals from Cy Goddard and Shayon Harrison, we retained our two-goal cushion when Glover dived to his left to beat away Andrija Novakovich’s late penalty – the goalkeeper having previously saved a spot kick in last month’s match against Chelsea and also seen one onto the bar in the 1-1 draw at Aston Villa three weeks ago.
Although Novakovich did find the net in stoppage time, Under-18s Coach Kieran was largely pleased with the performance of a very young side – with a number of Academy regulars absent due to their winning exploits at the Premier League Under-17 Tournament.
“With the Under-17 tournament going on, we trusted some of the younger boys to come in,” Kieran said.
“We trust that they’re good enough and for them to perform in a tough Under-18s game was really pleasing.
“In terms of the end of the game, it’s not the first time Tom Glover has made a save from a penalty – he seems to be making it a bit of a speciality at the moment.”
Reflecting on our second consecutive Barclays Under-18 Premier League victory, Kieran added: “We created quite a lot of chances in the first half, Cy had a good reaction finish for the first goal and then Shayon did something we’ve been talking to him a lot about in getting across defenders in the penalty area and getting the first contact for the second goal.
“We were dangerous, especially down the sides as we got a lot of crosses into the box, but the second half was a different game. Reading came out, changed shape and tried to go very direct and it was tough to deal with.
“It was a good challenge for the players and I thought we handled it reasonably well, although it was disappointing in the last 10 minutes to give away the penalty and another couple of chances.”