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Brighton & Hove Albion U21s 0-0 Reading (3-2 Pens): Player Ratings

Ross’ grades as the Royals crash out of the EFL Trophy.

Brighton and Hove Albion U21 v Reading - Bristol Street Motors Trophy Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Joel Pereira: 6

As involved as an unused substitute in the opening half hour but stayed alert to help Abbey clear up a potential one-on-one after that mark.

Looked more urgent when he did get a chance to be involved in buildup but it wasn’t much in the first half. Connected on a long ball to Azeez that started an attack and eventually saw Reading win a corner. Did scuff a clearance that almost resulted in a Brighton goal though.

Made a great save low to his left to keep Reading in the penalty shootout after three shots had been missed, but sent the wrong way for the final penalty.

Amadou Mbengue: 5

Found himself often very high up the field in the first half given Reading’s possession and the tendency to drop Wing to the right-back position in buildup. Put into a good position wide by Savage late in the first half but couldn’t drive it around the corner and was run out of play.

Booked in the second half for a late challenge that allowed Brighton to deliver into the box but made up for it a little later when he intercepted a ball and beat his man to get into the Brighton box. Withdrawn for Mola shortly after.

Tyler Bindon: 7

Switched the play well whenever the ball came back his way in the first half and saw a header glanced over from a corner.

Got into a bit of a manic patch around a half hour in when he repeatedly came through the back of a player and gave away two fouls, one right on the edge of the box. Won the ball back nicely in a dangerous looking situation soon after to calm his nerves.

Saved a goal early in the second half with a double block on two Brighton chances that were sure to go in without Bindon’s efforts. Made an absolutely fantastic and daring sliding challenge while on the run when Brighton were pretty much clear of the defence in our own box.

Smashed his penalty home despite the keeper’s fingertips.

Nelson Abbey: 6

Efficiently cleared up the first time Brighton broke Reading’s lines by sprinting back to dispossess the streaking Atom (real name).

Booked for a late trip on a Brighton attacker right outside of the box and was lucky the wall did its job to stop Reading from going in behind.

Did really well to nick the ball away from a Brighton midfielder and poke the ball through to Ehibhatiomhan with a clear run at goal.

Jeriel Dorsett: 5

He’s starting to become more important in helping Reading to build play successfully and operated well with Mukairu early on. For a centre-back playing out of position, he can move on the ball with similar agility to if not the direct speed of Abbey.

Did fade beyond his own half from in the tighter second period and failed to find any useful crosses into the box.

Michael Craig: 5

Needs to pass with a little more bravery to help with Reading’s dictation of tempo in buildup. It can get a little slow when the ball comes to Craig in possession.

Receives the ball better than he passes it, usually getting his frame in the way of the nearest player immediately after the ball reaches him. Didn’t do enough to

Charlie Savage: 5

Pushed very high early on and was a big part of Reading winning the ball back early and often in the opening stages. Saw several shots in the box blocked in the opening stages when trying to shoot low and hard.

Slipped Mbengue in with a lovely lifted ball on a first time pass from Azeez and generally looked pretty bright throughout. Drove a bouncing shot into the keeper’s arms late on from Vickers’ deflection.

Lewis Wing: 6

Very influential early on in Reading’s play on the ball as he was left with far too much time repeatedly by the Brighton defence.

Slipped Azeez free in the box within the opening 15 minutes and was unlucky to see Azeez miscontrol it.

Pounced on a ball from the goalkeeper within his own penalty box and had to score when one on one. The keeper made a great save, but Wing would hope to put that one away 9/10 times.

Won the ball back a few more times throughout the first half and dictated much of Reading’s play but couldn’t quite find the killer pass in the final third.

Has to get a good rating for his impact on the team in the first half but will have been disappointed to not have put the game away in that first half.

Paul Mukairu: 5

Won the ball back for Reading high up several times in the early stages. Used his running down the left wing to win a few set pieces and progress Reading down the field.

In one run used a few impressive little manoeuvres to wriggle between three men and switch the play and seems to have taken the feedback not to lose the ball so much to heart. Continued his play with a bright start in the second half before eventually being withdrawn for Vickers when the game slowed down.

Femi Azeez: 5

A little sloppy in the opening stages when the ball was played to his feet but warmed up as Reading had so much time on the ball. Stung the keeper’s palms with a pair of shots, but couldn’t quite find a cross to test Brighton.

Shot just over after the restart from Wing’s knockdown. Given a half chance one on one shortly after but couldn’t quite lift it over the keeper. Did better with a tricky cross just after to head a ball just wide and put a few others wide after that.

Found himself in double coverage for much of the rest of the game and he struggled to make his way through it. Missed his penalty high and wide. Not a night to remember for Femi.

Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan: 5

Helped Reading to win the ball back high and often in the first half but couldn’t run the channels effectively enough to find himself in space to be passed to.

Slipped into a position to shoot by Abbey of all people and didn’t stay alert enough to keep ahead of his onrushing defender, failing to get a shot away. A bit of a missed opportunity from Kelvin and withdrawn for Wareham.

Subs

Jayden Wareham: 5

Replaced Ehibhationhan with 15 minutes to go. Regardless of the man leading the line, Reading struggled to find him service, instead going wide in their later attacks. Put his penalty away knowing Reading were out if he missed it.

Caylan Vickers: 5

Went out to the same left-sided spot he started in against Exeter City, replacing Mukairu in the lineup. Made one notable venture in from that spot, smashing a shot into the defender before it was deflected out to Savage. Buzzed around both sides of the field in his short appearance and Reading were able to attack more once he came on, but he did miss his penalty.

Clinton Mola: N/A

Got high enough early on to make a pass within the Brighton box and help Reading maintain some late pressure.

Tivonge Rushesha: N/A

Found by Mola on the edge of the box, he couldn’t do enough to find an angle to goal for his shot, driving it into the blocker. Dragged his low penalty wide of the left post.


Average: 5.38/10

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