Reading Academy Manager Eamonn Dolan has praised the spirit and endeavour his players showed as they bowed out of The FA Youth Cup on Wednesday night.
Reading gave everything, but lost 2-1 as two goals in two first half minutes proved crucial to send West Bromwich Albion through to the 5th Round.
In front of a crowd of 1,402, the Royals put in a good shift hitting the post through Dominic Samuel just before Albion scored two first-half goals in two minutes which ultimately proved decisive.
Reading fought back with a goal from Jake Cooper but WBA keeper Jake Rose denied them a last gasp equaliser with a vital save from Samuel in the eighth minute of added time. While the Royals were left to rue a lack of cutting edge in front of goal Dolan still found time to take positives from their display.
“The FA Youth Cup is about winning, so you can’t be completely proud when you don’t win, that’s our ethos throughout the club, but of course I was pleased with the way the lads set about the game,” Dolan told the club’s website.
“Credit must go to West Brom and their keeper. The two goals we conceded will disappoint us, particularly the second one.”
“Looking at the stats we had more crosses, shots, corners, all those things are normally important and the spirit was excellent – it just wasn’t our night in terms of hitting the back of the net.”
“Throughout the game I felt we could come back into it, right up until the whistle. It was epitomised with the chance for Dom at the end, it’s what good players do, he got a great chance, hit the target and it was a great save. That summed it up really.”
“I thought the crowd was remarkable, there was a great atmosphere and a real lift when we scored. 1,400 is fantastic and obviously the boys want to thank them, they’re just sorry they didn’t give them the win they wanted. But rest assured they will keep fighting to play for the club, they are hungry, committed and love this club.”