A Reading u23 side full of first team experience was held to a 2-2 draw at the Madejski Stadium last night by Leicester City. Senior players Deniss Rakels and Yakou Meite opened the scoring inside the first 10 minutes for the Royals, with Elliott Moore and Hamza Choudhury replying for the Foxes.
All the goals were scored in the first half, but both sides had chances in a lively second 45, with Reading and Leicester hitting the woodwork.
Martin Kuhl named a starting XI containing nine players who had appeared in a senior Reading squad:
George Legg, Tennai Watson, Omar Richards, Reece Oxford, Rob Dickie, Tiago Ilori, Danzell Gravenberch, Andy Rinomhota, Josh Barrett, Yakou Meite and Deniss Rakels.
Of the above, only Richards and Rinomhota are yet to be named in a senior match day 18.
The likes of Tennai Watson, Reece Oxford, Tiago Ilori, Danzell Gravenberch and Yakou Meite have all struggled for game time this season, with Reading having plenty of strength in depth across the squad.
Indeed, Meite has picked up a paltry league minutes total this season with just 257 under his belt. Similarly, Oxford (201), Ilori (128), Watson (98) and Gravenberch (12) haven't exactly forced their way into Jaap Stam's plans.
Nonetheless, it's always good to see talented squad players continuing to feature at some level, and an u23 game against a talented Leicester City side is not to be sniffed at. For Yakou Meite and Deniss Rakels, their goals will give them plenty of confidence going forwards.
One for the future
Impressively, 16-year-old Danny Loader featured on the night, coming on as a half time sub for Deniss Rakels. The youngster is highly thought of at Reading, and has already scored seven goals in 12 appearances for England's u16 and u17 sides.
Even just a 45 minute appearance alongside first team regulars is a big step for his development, and goes to show how big a talent the Royals have on their hands.
For a full match report from the game, you can read the official website's one here.