Fosu '90+4 (pen)
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-21s were beaten by Reading at Culver Road after two late goals.
Simon Ireland gave forward Chike Kandi his debut in the starting line-up after signing for the club last week, while the Royals had nine players with first-team experience in their starting eleven, including Anton Ferdinand and Danny Williams.
The game started on a rather cagey note with few chances for either side. The first fell to Reading forward Aaron Kuhl, who fired wide of the far post from the right-hand side.
Rob Hunt carried a threat for Albion down the left flank and he sent a strike from distance just over the upright from Shamir Fenelon’s cross-field pass.
The Royals came close to breaking the deadlock on two occasions before the interval, as Glen Rea inadvertently deflected Ryan Edwards’s strike towards goal, only to be saved by the outstretched hand of Josh Smith. A defensive mix-up also let in Dominic Samuel, but his shot hit the side-netting with Smith out of his goal.
The Seagulls also had a chance to get off the mark through Fenelon’s acrobatic shot, but the Reading defence cleared their lines.
Albion carried more of an attacking threat after the break as Fenelon forced keeper Mikkel Andersen into making a save.
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Dallison, Deen. Subs not used: Smith; Barry, Pappoe, Rea, Hunt; Harris (Doherty 90), starkey, Toko; Kandi, Fenelon (Cole 61), Sadlier (Muitt 72). ALBION:
Harry Doherty came on to face the penalty and was sent the wrong way by Fosu as the Royals claimed the points.
The drama did not end there, as keeper Smith was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Tariqe Fosu while Hunt was shown a second yellow card for what appeared to be dissent.
Ireland brought on Jimmy Muitt and George Cole for Fenelon and Kieran Sadlier to add fresh impetus to Albion’s attack, but just as the sides were heading for a share the spoils, Cooper headed home Kuhl’s corner in the 88th minute to give Reading the lead.
Next to come close for Albion was Jesse Starkey, who almost scored a carbon copy of his goal against Wolves, but this time his curling left-footed strike hit the roof of the net - deceiving a number of spectators inside Culver Road who thought the effort had gone in.
Fenelon was again involved in the thick of the action moments later, after being found in space inside the box by Kandi, but Andersen was on hand to deny the striker again.