Wolves 1 (Bancessi 40)
Reading 3 (Ugwu 9, 90+1, Tanner 33)
This Barclays Under 21s League Cup quarter-final turned out to be a real old fashioned cup tie which was a lot closer than the final score of 3-1 in Reading’s favour would suggest.
There was almost a dramatic start at the Buck Head as with just 70 seconds on the clock, Dominic Iorfa hit a low cross that fell to Bradley Reid at the far post. He looked odds on to score but Reading keeper Daniel Lincoln blocked superbly.
Wolves enjoyed all of the early play but were caught out in the ninth minute as Craig Tanner broke into the home area and hit an angled shot that Jon Flatt could only parry. The ball fell nicely for Gozie Ugwu who knocked it into the empty net.
Lincoln had a little more luck than Flatt when he beat away a 22-yard drive from Anthony Forde with the loose ball rolling to one of his defenders who cleared. Then, after the visitors had failed to deal with a Forde corner, Jordan Cranston was denied by Aaron Tshibola’s block tackle as he shot at goal.
Flatt was at his best as he turned behind a fierce effort from Shane Griffin who was stationed on the edge of the box, but he was beaten again in the 33rd minute. It seemed harsh on the keeper after he pulled off a fine save from Jack Stacey only for Tanner to prod the loose ball home in the scramble that followed,
Nothing seemed to be going for Wolves and when the ball broke for Albert Torras in the Reading box, a combination of a defender and the keeper blocked his effort.
Five minutes before the break Eusebio Bancessi deservedly cut the deficit as he forced the ball home at the far post after a Forde corner had carried through to him. However, it looked as if Reading were going to restore their two goal advantage just a minute later when Tariqe Fosu-Henry went down under a challenge from Iorfa.
Tanner took the spot kick but Flatt dived to his right and parried the ball before brilliantly smothering Tshibola’s follow up. Flatt performed more heroics shortly afterwards as he saved Fosu-Henry’s attempted lob.
Half-Time: Wolves 1 Reading 2
The second half began with some real end to end stuff which, given the heavy nature of the pitch which was cutting up badly, had hardly seemed likely.
Cranston was booked for shoving over Ugwu and whilst the referee was brandishing the card Korney Hause limped off to be replaced by Jim Kellerman.
Bancessi hit a first time shot wide after Reid had nodded down a Cranston cross, and penalty appeals were ignored when Reid chased a long through ball into the box and went down as Lincoln challenged and then collected.
Play switched straight to the other end and Ugwu cleverly sidestepped Jamie Tank before lifting the ball over the bar from near the penalty spot.
Forde was inches away from levelling the score in the 73rd minute when he unleashed a terrific shot from fully 30-yards out that flashed past the post with Lincoln a relieved spectator.
Robbie Parry for Bancessi and Carlo Erdei for Cranston were further changes for Wolves either side of a booking for Kristian Kostrna, for a late challenge, and a shot on the turn from Tshibola that was wide of the mark.
Lincoln was booked for time wasting as the game entered its final stages and as Wolves mounted a series of attacks on the Reading goal desperately searching for an equaliser, a break saw Ugwu wrap things up for the visitors in the first minute of stoppage time.
Wolves: Flatt, Iorfa, Cranston (Erdei 80), Whittall, Tank, Hause (Kellerman 53), Bancessi (Parry 73), Kostrna, Reid, Torras, Forde.
Unused subs: Jakobsson, Keita.
Reading: Lincoln, Long, Griffin, Tshibola, Sweeney, Keown, Stacey, Kuhl, Ugwu, Tanner, Fosu-Henry.
Unused subs: Hyam, Ward, Cooper, Fridjonsson, Kelly.
Referee: R. Jones.