Manchester United’s u18s were beaten this afternoon by Reading at Hogwood Park Training Complex in closely fought game between the two young sides.
Reading had the first chance of the game when 28 goal Uche Ikpeazu brilliantly went past Callum Evans and Nic Ioannou near the cornerflag, but was unable to beat Sutherland from a tight angle.
Reading continued to press forward and Shane Long once again found space behind Evans, but Liam Grimshaw managed to block the low cross.
After 14 minutes United finally managed to create a decent opportunity when James Wilson picked up the ball just outside the box, went past 2 men but couldn’t get enough power in his shot and Lincoln easily saved the effort.
Ikpeazu continue to threaten United
Reading continued to threaten United again with the tall striker Ikpeazu proving a handful. He was hauled down in the 18th minute by Ioannou and from the resulting freekick Tanner curled the ball from the edge of the area onto the crossbar.
Reading hit the crossbar again after a well worked freekick almost looped over Sutherland, but the keeper touched the ball onto the bar and over.
Ikpeazu caused further problems on 25 minutes when Fosu-Henry set him up, but the big striker let the ball get away from him allowing Sutherland to gather it, but only after Ikpeazu crashed into him. The left side of the defence with Evans and Ioannou were struggling, looking vulnerable with every attack dangerous every time they attacked down their right hand side.
Wilson should have scored alone with the goalkeeper
United started to find their rhythm after 30 minutes and took charge of the game. Ben Pearson had a decent strike at goal that Lincoln turned around the post for a corner and then Wilson created perhaps the best chance of the game.
Reading fell asleep at the back and Pereira sent Wilson clear with a perfect pass but unfortunately Wilson’s finish was anything but perfect – if anything he had too much time to decide what to do, and ended up with a low strike straight at the goalkeeper. For a proven goal-scorer like Wilson, it was a really poor finish.
Ikpaezu lasted only 2 minutes of the second half. He came out into the second half heavily strapped but it was quite clear that he was not fit to play after his collision with Sutherland before the break.
Reading created the first chance of the second half when Murombedzi was allowed a free header following a freekick from the left, but the header completely lacked pace and Sutherland easily collect. Minutes later Pereira had a good attempt from 20 yards but it took a deflection off of a Reading defender and flew over the crossbar
Morumbedzi should have given Reading the lead on 62 minutes when he controlled a cross on his chest but panicked when Pearson closed in, and sent his shot over the crossbar.
Reading take the lead
The signs had been there and Reading took the lead on 65 minutes. A corner from the right was put in by defender Dominic Hyam from 6 yards out, escaping from Paddy McNair who slipped when he went to challenge Hyam.
United almost equalized 3 minutes later when Pereira had a fine strike from 20 saved by Lincoln blocked. The rebound fell to Byrne who teed up Pereira for a second chance but he blasted the ball high and wide from a difficult angle.
United came almost equalised in the 83 minute when Pereira’s freekick was headed towards his own goal by Cooper, but the ball went just over the crossbar and United failed to create anything from the resulting corner. Even if United looked much more in control in the second half, the lack of chances produced after the break must have worried McGuiness.
James Weir got 20 minutes after his injury but looked really short of match-fitness and gave the ball away easily several times. Barmby was introduced in the 87th minute, and perhaps he should have been given more time as he looked sharp every time he touched the ball
United’s star performer Sutherland pulled off the save of the match in injury-time when he did exceptionally well to block the Taylor-Crossdale’s effort aimed at the near post. Few outfield-players will have been happy with their performance, and when the referee blew the whistle after 94 minutes it was a deserved victory for Reading.
Manchester United: Jonny Sutherland, Donald Love, Paddy McNair, Nicolas Ioannou (Barmby 87), Callum Evans, Liam Grimshaw – Ben Pearson, Andreas Pereira, Mats Daehli – Sam Byrne, James Wilson (James Weir 73)
Subs: Rudge, O’Hara, Barmby, Weir, Rowley
Reading: Dan Lincoln – Shane Griffin, Sean Long, Dominic Hyam, Jake Cooper, Tarique Fosy-Henry, Jack Stacey, Aaron Kuhl, Shepherd Murombedzi, Uche Ikpeazu (Dejaune Taylor-Crossdale 48), Craig Tanner (Liam Kelly 79)