- Albion’s unbeaten start ended by Reading
- Steven Alzate cancels out Josh Barrett’s opener
- Jordan Holsgrove scores from 25 yards in the final minute
- The Seagulls travel to MK Dons in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday
Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s fell to their first defeat of the season, after Reading scored in the dying stages to snatch a 2-1 win at the Amex this evening.
The Seagulls had drawn level through Steven Alzate after Josh Barrett gave the Royals a first-half lead, but Jordan Holsgrove struck from long distance in the 90th minute to secure maximum points.
Albion coach Simon Rusk made just one change to the starting line-up that beat Fulham 4-2 on Monday evening, as Billy Collings replaced Robert Sanchez between the sticks.
Barrett created the first opportunity of the game, as the Reading winger cut inside and pulled the trigger from just outside the box, but his curling effort fell the wrong side the top corner.
George Cox then tried his luck after surging towards the penalty area, however the lively full-back’s low-driven effort skimmed across the surface and narrowly missed the target.
The visitors took the lead in the 14th minute when Barrett cut inside off the left flank again, before picking out the bottom corner with a powerful right-footed strike.
Just like their opening two games of the season, Albion would have to come from behind to get a result, and Max Sanders looked for an instant response, but his 20-yard strike sailed straight into the hands of Reading goalkeeper George Legg.
Collings was then called into action at the other end, as he saved from Andre Burley’s close-range effort, before Jordan Davies tested Legg with a low effort after a swift break from the Seagulls.
The winger left the field with an injury moments later, after he landed awkwardly after heading wide of the target from Will Collar’s delivery from the right wing, meaning James Tilley was introduced to the action.
Albion knew an improved second-half performance was needed to overturn Reading’s narrow lead, and Rusk’s team managed just that as they drew level on 56 minutes, when Alzate poked home from Collar’s excellent cross into the penalty area.
Collar then went in search of a second goal, as the momentum swung in Albion’s direction, but Legg was equal to the full-back’s right-footed effort, which lacked the power and precision needed to beat the Royals shot-stopper.
Rusk’s side survived a scare with just ten minutes remaining, when Danny Loader beat Collings to the ball from just a matter of yards, however the striker’s shot rolled across the face of goal.
Connolly had a shot deflected just wide of the target in the closing stages, before Josh Kerr’s back-post header was cleared off the line and Collings made a fine one-handed save to deny Loader’s stinging effort.
But just as four minutes of stoppage time went up, Reading delivered a late sucker punch, as Holsgrove found the top corner with a swerving strike from 25 yards, to snatch all three points and end Albion’s unbeaten start.