Report: Blues Under-18s 1-3 Reading Under-18s

Blues Under-18s were beaten by Reading in the Premier League South on Saturday lunchtime.

The Royals scored three goals within the space of 17 first-half minutes at Wast Hills Training Ground to put the contest out of reach by the break. 

Caylan Vickers took advantage of a spilt ball by City ‘keeper Alfie Brooks to tap home from close range in the 15th minute and Ajani Giscombe doubled the visitors’ advantage with a finish into the roof of the net five minutes later.

The Berkshire side found their third in the 32nd minute when Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan rounded off a counter-attack with a precise, low finish to give the hosts little chance to come away with a result.

Nonetheless, Blues remained positive and were able to find a late consolation goal through second-half substitute Ben Beresford.

Speaking to following the match, Martyn Olorenshaw shared his frustration with the defeat.

He said: “A really disappointing afternoon. I thought we started the game really well and settled into what we wanted to do. We looked good and then gave away the first goal which just rocked us. From that point we just capitulated and that’s really frustrating.

“The second and the third goal were counter-attacks which we spoke about all week because we knew that that’s what they [Reading] are good at, and we didn’t stop them. It was a tough first-half and by the time you’re 0-3 down, you’re out of the game almost immediately.

“We didn’t really get the reaction that we wanted second-half so that’s disappointing.”

Despite four goals, the contest saw limited chances for both sides, and Olorenshaw admitted Blues’ opponents were clinical.

“I think they probably had four shots and they scored three out of four and we had a couple of big chances and we haven’t taken them and that’s kind of been a little bit of us this season”, he admitted. “We’re still finding our feet and we’re finding that other teams have got that clinical nature and we’re still trying to find and develop that unfortunately and today it’s cost us.”

With a busy schedule to come before Christmas, the Lead Under-18s Coach explained what needs to be worked on to avoid similar outcomes in the near future.

“How we react to stuff, how we react to adversity when things don’t go our way”, he said. “I just felt today the team didn’t react the way we would expect them to and want them to, so I think we just need to build on that.

“Obviously delighted with our goal and the way it came, the way we worked it. But it’s difficult to take many positives from today.”

The defeat sees Blues in 13th place ahead of a trip to fellow West Midlands side Wolverhampton Wanderers next weekend in the Premier League Cup.

Blues: Brooks, Nguepissi, Barrett, Ogor, Patterson (Beresford 69), Oduka, Manton, Carsley, Bellingham, Rushton, Williams.

Substitutes not used: Mayo, Willis, Ellis, Mazwi.

Booking: Rushton 34, Manton 57.

Goals: Beresford 84.

Written by Dan Hargraves.