Everton´s youngsters were hoping for a change of fortune after 3 successive defeats with a tough encounter against joint league leaders Reading at Finch Farm .

But neither side could find a breakthrough with George Green having Everton´s best chance having his shot saved from 6yards and Jack Stacey coming close for the visitors with his effort coming off the upright in a very entertaining goal less draw.

Before today Reading had won two of their opening fixtures scoring 4 each time so this was to be a tough test for bottom placed Everton. Ben McLaughlin recently signed from Dundalk made his debut at right back.

The sun was warm for a mid September fixture with the pitch in immaculate condition as joint top played the bottom club. Two interesting spectators amongst the faithful were two former Evertonians Matt Jackson and Martin Keown who´s son Niall was a member of the visiting team.

The early stages produced some good football with Reading very slick with their one touch passing and movement was well worked. Mason Springhtorpe made a very brave save to deprive an onrushing Reading forward and was injured in the process. Chris Long snatched at a shot but failed to find the target moments later.

George Green was very unlucky on 16 minutes being put through by Jones but the side netting was all he could master with his driven shot. Under 16´s player Ryan Ledson could only watch his effort dip over Dan Lincoln´s crossbar on 20 minutes.

The first twenty five minutes were starved of goal scoring opportunities with both defences resolute as both teams attacked.

Captain for Reading Aaron Tshibola brought out a good a save from Springthorpe who reacted well as the shot was hit from the 18 yard line.

Matt Pennington broke up a Reading attack with Ikpeazu closing in the box and it was evident as to why Pennington has been a featured for the U21´s this season.

Fosu -Henry was always a danger down the left, his ball was delivered into the area but only a half cleared by Everton which found Stacey who hurriedly hit his shot when he could have done much better.

The last threat of the half saw Keown put over his own crossbar after a pressurised cross from Gethin Jones from the right flank.



The Reading players assembled before the start of the second half to do their spirited huddle. The game flowed in the same manner as the first half but the pace had increased. George Green tested Linclon from distance gut the keeper´s claim was comfortable.

Everton almost broke the deadlock with their best chance to date as Pennington rose high meeting a Green corner but was just off target.

Dan Lincoln made his first real save with 18 minutes remaining as Chris Long instigated a move with a pacing run finding Jasper Johns on the left, his ball in fell to Green only 6 yards out but the Reading keeper denied the stocky midfielder who should have done better.

The tempo got faster which was amazing despite the warm temperatures surrounding Finch farm and once more saw a Chris Long shot rattle the side netting and a Green free kick comfortably saved once more from Linclon with clock ticking towards the 90.

It would have been an injustice if anybody was to lose this game with the end in sight then on 82 minutes Reading almost inflicted that as they constructed a good move with Tshibloa feeding Stacey only to see his shot come off the crossbar with Springhtorpe well beaten.

Everton responded with an immediate attack which resulted in Welsh international Gethin Jones shot being blocked on the line then his follow up was also blocked by the stubborn visitors defence.

Everton keeper Springthorpe almost made a hash of a clearance he repeated from the friendly at Villa 8 days ago where his clearance hit an opposing player which he managed to recover to save his embarrassment.
A point a piece was a fair result and a well earned point for Everton who finally get off the mark.



Everton: Springthorpe, McLaughlin (Joe Kenny 62), Touray, Pennington, Langton, Molyneux (C), Jones( Adelson 85), Ledson, Long, Green (Charsley 85), Johns. Unused Subs: Grifffiths (GK), Shannon

Reading: Taylor, Long, Griffin, Kuhl, Keown(Murombedzi 77), Cooper,. Stacey, Tshibola (C), Ikpeazu, Shama, Fosu-Henry (Amofah 70) Unused subs: Kelly, Moore, Hyam

Yellow card Keown 30 mins

Match Officials

G Kearney assisted by M Gallagher and S Morland

Everton U16´s were beaten by Reading after leading through a Joe Williams goal at Half time. They conceded two second half goals to lose 2-1

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