Fulham’s under 23s were disappointingly beaten by Reading this afternoon.
The result could have been very different had the in-form Jean-Pierre Tiehi converted a penalty awarded in the game’s early exchanges for a foul on Ben Davies. But the French forward failed to hit the target, firing wide of the goal, – and the Royals took full advantage.
Their opening goal just after the half hour was fortuitous as Ethan Bristow’s near post corner went straight in having bounced through a forest of legs and eluded Luca Ashby-Hammond. It was almost 2-0 immediately when Andy Yiadom’s clever chip was scrambled off the line by the retreating Lesley Duru.
Reading were on the front foot at the start of the second period and doubled their lead four minutes after half time. Jayden Onen fired home clinically after Fulham failed to clear their lines and things got decidedly worse when the attacking midfielder was caught by Luca Murphy and the referee pointed to the spot, despite the Fulham’s defenders protestations that the offence occurred outside the area. Ryan East emphatically smashed the spot-kick straight down the middle.
Tiehi was denied a consolation by a brilliant bit of decisive goalkeeping by Coniah Boyce-Clarke, who raced from his goal and timed his intervention to perfection.
FULHAM UNDER 23s: Ashby-Hammond, Duru, Fossey, McAvoy, Murphy; Davis, Harris, Hilton, De Havilland, O’Neill; Tiehi. Subs: Trialist, Aina, Pajaziti, Abraham.
READING UNDER 23s: Boyce-Clarke, Yiadom (Hewitt 64), Bristow, Luzon, Watson, East, Tetek (Leavy 64), Pendlebury, Onen, Camara (Lawless 73), Smith. Subs (not used): Holden, Ajose.