Reading's season got off to a winning start thanks to the Development Squad who beat Didcot Town 3-2 at Loop Meadow last night after first-half goals from Jordan Obita, Karl Sheppard and Ryan Edwards.
New signing Pierce Sweeney lined up alongside Michael Hector in central defence who recently committed his future to the club with a new two-year-deal. Lawson D'Ath started in central midfield with Jordan Obita on the left-wing and Ryan Edwards out on the right, while Dominic Samuel partnered Karl Sheppard up-front.
Didcot proved good opposition with the hosts enjoying much of the early possession. As the game went on the Royals were able to stamp their authority with Obita's opener coming after good work on the wing from full-back Niall Keown. Sheppard doubled Reading's lead shortly after a mistake from goalkeeper Marco Belloli allowing the Irishman to tap-in. The pick of the goals came just before half-time when Ryan Edwards delightfully chipped Belloli after an excellent move. The Australian midfielder was the pick of the players in the first-half in front of former manager Steve Coppell and Gillingham boss Martin Allen.
Coach Chris Cummings had the luxury of fielding different sides with returning defender Angus MacDonald captaining the side following his loan spell at Torquay United last season while the impressive Craig Tanner operated behind lone striker Gozie Ugwu.
Shortly after the interval James Clarke pulled a goal back for the hosts after his shot beat Stuart Moore. For much of the second-half it was competitive with neither side dominating. Didcot gave themselves hope just before full-time with Pablo Heysham effort but in the end it proved too little too late. It proved a good work out for the development squad in difficult conditions who continue preparations ahead of the new season.
Chris Cummings sees his side take on Ebbsfleet United next Tuesday before they face Basingstoke on the 21st July.
First-half 11: Henly, Keown, Griffin, Hector, Sweeney, Edwards, Obita, D'Ath, Trialist, Sheppard, SamuelOO
Second-half 11: Moore, Arnold, Partridge, MacDonald, Trialist, Losasso, Webb, Tshibola, Trialist, Tanner, Ugwu