Smith’s brace helps U23s see off Cottagers
SAM SMITH bagged a brace as Reading Under-23s saw off Fulham 2-1 at Adams Park.
Smith, who made his first team debut earlier this season and scored in the second round of the Carabao Cup, netted either side of an Elijah Adebayo strike to earn a second straight Premier League 2 victory.
In what was the first game in charge for new U23s boss Scott Marshall, Reading handed minutes to a number of players who have played for Jaap Stam this season.
As well as Smith, Andy Rinomhota, Axel Andresson, Josh Barrett and Danny Loader all started.
Royals got the breakthrough on 25 minutes when Smith capitalised on a fumble from goalkeeper Magnus Norman to prod home.
At the other end, George Legg was called into action to deny Stephen Humphrys and preserve the lead going into half-time.
But the visitors did level when Humphrys played in Adebayo to lash past Legg.
However, Marshall’s men quickly retook the lead through Smith again, tapping in after Barrett’s effort was blocked.
“I really enjoyed it,” said Marshall.
“The boys worked really hard in getting around the ball and competed really well.
“Throughout the match they showed great desire and intensity, so that was good.”
READING: Legg, Holmes, Osho (c), Andresson, Medford-Smith, Rinomhota, Sheppard, East (Holsgrove 76), Smith (House 90+1), Loader, Barrett. Subs not used: Driscoll, Frost, Rollinson.
n READING’S U18s could not repeat the trick, going down 5-2 to Fulham at Hogwood.
The Royals goals came from Jazz Wallace and Ethan Coleman.
Sam Smith’s goals made the difference during their 2-1 win over Fulham U23s