Goddard’s instinctive effort had an element of fortune about it, while Harrison’s clever flick put daylight between the sides at the Training Centre.
Goalkeeper Tom Glover pulled off an outstanding late penalty save – one that turned out to be decisive as the Royals went on to reduce the deficit to a single goal in stoppage time – as we made it back-to-back wins in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League for the first time this season.
Joe Pritchard volleyed over the bar from Anthony Georgiou’s left-sided cross in the opening stages before getting himself into a position to meet another ball in from the same side, courtesy of Harrison, four minutes later. This time, though, he allowed it to run to Kyle Walker-Peters in space, whose effort ballooned off a defender and behind for a corner.
From that flag kick, taken by Georgiou, the ball fell to Anton Walkes and his skewed effort appeared to be heading past the far post – only for Goddard to instinctively stick out his foot and send it looping beyond the grasp of goalkeeper Lewis Ward and into the top corner to give us an eighth minute advantage.
Our second goal 12 minutes later was simpler in its build-up, however, with Harrison getting in front of his marker to convert Chris Paul’s cross from deep on the right at the near post.
Conor Davis tested Glover on 25 minutes after cutting in from the left and letting fly with his right foot in Reading’s first real glimpse at goal, while Goddard flicked wide from Georgiou’s cross as we went close to extending our lead.
Harrison was denied a second goal of the game on 29 minutes when the onrushing Ward threw his arms in the air at the edge of his box to prevent the striker from chipping him. That came after Harrison showed great composure and control to collect a route one ball through the middle from Glover.
Paul’s well-struck volley needed intervention from Andrija Novakovich to prevent it from sailing in and Goddard’s effort zipped just the wrong side of the post as we finished the first half in the ascendancy, while Pritchard’s free header from Walker-Peters’ centre flew over the top five minutes into the second period.
Jake Sheppard got the better of Paul and fizzed a right-footed effort marginally over Glover’s bar on 52 minutes, while a close-range header from substitute Harry Cardwell was easy for the home stopper on the hour mark.
An in-swinging Goddard free-kick was routinely gathered by Ward, before Reading were handed a lifeline with three minutes of normal time remaining. Walkes was sold short as he tried to collect a dangerous ball across our own back four and brought Cardwell down in the area as the Reading man tried to capitalise. Walkes escaped with a caution – and we escaped without conceding as Glover leapt to his left to tip away Novakovich’s penalty.
Novakovich blasted into the side netting shortly afterwards, but he did finally get himself on the scoresheet when he collected a cross-field ball and finished low into the far corner two minutes into added time.
There was still time for Harrison to go close for us, his shot from a central position being charged down by Noor Husin, as we finished the game with a number of younger players on the pitch including Tash Oakley-Boothe and Aremide Oteh, who stepped off the bench for their Under-18s debuts in the final 15 minutes.
Spurs U18s: Glover, Paul (Stylianides 54), Muscatt, Amos, Maghoma, Walkes, Walker-Peters, Pritchard (Oakley-Boothe 78), Harrison, Goddard, Georgiou (Oteh 78). Substitute (not used): Whiteman (GK).