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U18s pegged back by Royals

Our Under-18s drew 2-2 against Reading in a classic 'game of two halves' at Spurs Lodge on Saturday.

Our Under-18s drew 2-2 against Reading in a classic 'game of two halves' at Spurs Lodge on Saturday.

A fine first half display was rewarded by goals from Ronnie Hawkins and Ruben Lameiras and the lads looked in the driving seat 2-0 up at half-time.

However, the Royals hit back after the break and goals from Josh Webb and Craig Tanner made it a point each in the Premier Academy League encounter.

Hawkins handed the team the perfect start after five minutes. Shaq Coulihirst broke to the left byline and the midfielder arrived right on time to side-foot home his low cross.

Lameiras soon tested Reading goalkeeper John Henly, Victor Zapata-Caicedo fired wide and Lameiras played in Coulhirst, but Henly was there again to block with his legs.

Pressuring high up the pitch and making it difficult for Reading to play out, the team regularly won back possession and it was no surprise when they doubled their lead.

Kenneth McEvoy drove down the right and cut the ball back for Lameiras to dispatch in fine style from 20 yards, across Henly into the far corner.

u18s v reading

It all looked rosy at half-time but the roles were reversed in the second half.

It might have been a different story if Zapata-Caicedo's effort had found the net and not the crossbar early on, but the Royals started pressing the ball better and to take territorial advantage.

They pulled a goal back on 65 minutes after a scramble from a corner and then levelled in unfortunate circumstances when goalkeeper Billy Grainger's clearance fell to Craig Tanner, who slotted home for 2-2.

Both teams had chances after that - Zapata-Caicedo and Lameiras went close for us - but in the end honours were even.

"The lesson to learn for the lads is all about momentum in games," said coach Alex Inglethorpe.

"We did well in the first half and scored two excellent goals but Reading pressed us in the second half, pushed us back and we couldn't get out.

"The only disappointment was that in the end, our mistakes contributed to our downfall.

"Having said all that, if you flipped the halves around, we'd all be delighted. It's one of those games where coming from 2-0 down feels like a win, but losing a 2-0 lead feels like a defeat."

Spurs U18s (4-2-1-3): Grainger; Sheriff, Ball, Yeboah (A McQueen, 46), Modeste; Dombaxe (Ward, 70), Hawkins; Lameiras; McEvoy, Zapata-Caicedo (Michael-Percil, 86), Coulhirst. Unused subs: Gardiner, Priestley.