The Reading FC Under 23s are without a win in three games in the Premier League 2 after slipping to a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea in Aldershot this afternoon.
Reading FC line-up: Southwood; Watson, Dickie, Andresson, Richards (Osho 74'); East, Rinomhota, Barrett; Novakovich, Mendes, Rakels (Smith 66')
The first half was a tightly contested affair, with Reading having the first clear cut opportunities of the game as first Andrija Novakovich had an effort saved after being played in by Andy Rinomhota and then from the rebound Omar Richards' fierce drive went wide.
In an end-to-end spell, Josh Barrett's shot from outside the box was blocked and then Chelsea's Charlie Wakefield fired wide in a similar attempt to Richards' just minutes earlier. But it was the Blues who took the lead around the 20 minute mark, and it was a tad harsh on Reading. Wakefield was again involved as he was sent through on the right wing before putting in a low cross that Luke Southwood could only parry. Axel Andresson was in the wrong place at the wrong time as the ball then rebounded off him and into the back of the net.
Martin Kuhl's side did respond well to going behind though as Tennai Watson made an overlapping run into the box but his drag back was cut out. Josh Barrett then found himself in a similar position and decided to shoot when perhaps there were better options available; Bradley Collins saved the 18 year old's effort at his near post. Reading's best chance of the half then came just before the break as Rinomhota's cross was cushioned back by Barrett and found Joseph Mendes, but the Frenchman volleyed over from just a couple of yards out.
It was a slow start to the second half for Reading and they were unfortunately made to pay as again a low cross into the box caused them problems, with Ike Ugbo on hand to tap in to an open net and double Chelsea's lead. The young Royals never really recaptured their rhythm from the first half as the Blues found theirs, largely through the impressive Charly Musonda. Luke Southwood was called into action twice in a minute to deny Dominic Solanke and Ugbo.
Mendes (twice), Barrett and Andresson all had opportunities to pull one back for Reading, but Chelsea keeper Bradley Collins was only called into action to deny the latter. It was a good end to the game for the visitors, and a single goal defeat may have been more representative of the game in general.