Wolves 4 (O’Hara 4, 48, Ebanks-Landell 19, Forde 86)
Jamie O’Hara strikes early in each half, along with goals from Ethan Ebanks-Landell and Anthony Forde, saw Wolves under 21s home to a comfortable win over Reading and a fourth game unbeaten
Wolves forced the visitors back from the start and there was less than four minutes on the clock when O’Hara found the net. He won the ball in his own half and ran down the left before delivering a cross that found Jake Cassidy on the far side of the area.
O’Hara kept running and he was in position at the far post to slide the ball home after Cassidy had returned it back across the goalmouth.
A deep pass to the edge of the box from O’Hara almost resulted in a second Wolves goal as Cassidy knocked the ball down for Liam McAlinden to hit a low shot that Reading keeper Jon Henley turned away at full stretch.
After 17 minutes George Elokobi prodded the ball goalwards following Forde’s corner but Jake Cooper was there to clear off the line.
But the relief for Reading was to prove brief as just two minutes later Ebanks-Landell headed in from Zeli Ismail’s right-wing corner.
Wolves continued to pile on the pressure and McAlinden was only a foot wide with a low drive from 20-yards before O’Hara hit a powerful effort from the edge of the ‘D’ that Henley beat down before gathering.
Reading’s one notable effort of the half came three minutes before the break when Dominic Samuel cut into the area and pushed a pass to Gozie Ugwu whose powerful shot was pushed away by Aaron McCarey
Just as the game drifted into stoppage time O’Hara hit a volley that looked destined for the back of the net until it struck a defender.
Half-Time: Wolves 2 Reading 0
Just three minutes after the restart O’Hara struck again after Wolves were awarded a free-kick to the left of the Reading box. The visiting defence, expecting Forde to lift the ball into the heart of the six-yard box, were caught out as he pulled it back into the path of O’Hara who had lost his marker and netted with a shot on the turn.
McCarey made his second save of the night in the 58th minute – a full length dive to deny Liam Kelly who had shot from distance.
A minute later Elokobi was replaced by Jordan Cranston and after Lee Evans had smashed an angled shot against the support at the back of the goal, there were further changes to the home side with Eusebio taking the place of Ismail and Sam Whittall that of Cassidy.
Henley saved from McAlinden who burst through after taking a return pass from O’Hara and, at the other end, McCarey had to back-peddle to tip over a shot from Kelly that took a massive deflection and was dipping in.
The luckless McAlinden was foiled once more by Henley who saved the striker’s attempt to curl the ball home. But the keeper stood no chance as Forde made it four in the 86th minute with a low effort from 25-yards after he had taken a short pass from O’Hara.
In the dying minutes Evans and O’Hara were both shown the yellow card after fouls on Aaron Kuhl and Lawson D’Ath respectively. But the bookings couldn’t take the shine off an excellent performance from the under 21 team.
Wolves: McCarey, Foley, Elokobi (Cranston 59), O’Hara, Ihiekwe (capt), Ebanks-Landell, Forde, Evans, Cassidy (Whittall 70), McAlinden, Ismail (Eusebio 67).
Unused subs: Flatt, Kostrna.
Reading: Henley, Long, Griffin, Kuhl, Keown, Cooper, Murombedzi, Kelly, Ugwu, Samuel (Stacey 45), D’Ath (capt).
Unused subs: Sweeney, Moore, Hyam, Cardwell.
Referee: S. Plane.