Tuesday 04 March 2014
Second-placed Liverpool could not close the gap on Barclays Under-21 Premier League leaders Fulham as they suffered their first defeat of 2014 on Monday evening.
Reading started brightly at Anfield and were ahead after only six minutes when Michael Hector fired home at the Kop end from Craig Tanner's cross. The match was all square just before the break, Jordan Lussey pouncing after Jordan Rossiter's drive had been saved, while Lussey hit a post at the start of the second half.
But it was Reading who had the final say with 10 minutes to go, Tanner's pass splitting the defence for substitute Harry Cardwell to fire into the bottom corner.
Liverpool are four points behind Fulham with two matches in hand, while Reading are 18th in the table with 17 points.
"As coaches we believe in this group of players," Reading U21 manager Martin Kuhl told the club website. "There's fantastic ability, a way of winning, determination and they believe in each other. The next objective is to get someone in the first team, break through, keep performing, let the gaffer see it and he'll put them in if they're ready."
A second-half strike from Conor McAleny gave Everton victory at the Reebok Stadium, as the Toffees ended a run of seven matches without a win.
The 21-year-old struck with a 25-yard curling shot into the top corner for his first goal since returning to action from a broken leg.
Lee Garbutt opened the scoring for Everton from the penalty spot after Courtney Duffus had been fouled in the area but Wanderers hit back with two goals from Georg Iliev. The forward, who scored a hat-trick in the last match against Spurs, had a simple finish on 39 minutes after a mix-up in the Everton defence, while he grabbed his second seven minutes into the second half.
Everton responded quickly, however, with Matthew Kennedy bundling home from close range. Wanderers had the chance to regain the lead soon afterwards when they were awarded a penalty but Josh Vela's spot-kick was saved by Mason Springthorpe, and it was McAleny who had the decisive say with his strike on 64 minutes.
The match also featured the return of Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden following a knee injury. The US international completed 23 minutes before having to come off.
Aston Villa moved up to 12th in the table with a clinical victory at the Riverside Stadium.
Graham Burke scored the opening goal on 31 minutes, finishing off a fine move, while the second arrived nine minutes after the re-start with Jordan Graham claiming another assist - this time for Janoi Donacien to head home.
Middlesbrough applied the pressure in the closing stages, substitute Lewis Sirrell having the best chance with a powerful shot that was saved by Benjamin Siegrist.
Rovers claimed their second win of the season as they beat Newcastle United at Ewood Park.
Paulo Jorge gave the hosts the lead on 12 minutes with a fierce strike that cannoned in off the crossbar but 18 minutes later, Rolando Aarons levelled with a calm finish from a neat Adam Armstrong through-ball.
Jordan Preston claimed the winner 10 minutes into the second half when he prodded home from close range and although Rovers went close with Luke Wall's strike, they could not grab a third.
Newcastle midfielder Gael Bigirimana completed a hour in his first match since suffering an ankle injury in January.
Bradley Reid scored the winner as Wolves moved clear of the bottom two with victory at the Ricoh Arena.
The away side started well with Reid hitting a post with 40 seconds on the clock, while Alex Jones had a shot blocked. Reid broke the deadlock on 25 minutes with a powerful header from a fine cross by Jordan Cranston.
Donervon Daniels and Mani O'Sullivan had chances for the Baggies in the second period but could not get on the scoresheet as Wolves hung on to claim their fifth win of the campaign.
Monday 3 March
Blackburn Rovers (Jorge, Preston) 2-1 Newcastle United (Aarons)
Bolton Wanderers (Iliev 2) 2-3 Everton (Garbutt, Kennedy, McAleny)
Liverpool (Lussey) 1-2 Reading (Hector, Cardwell)
Middlesbrough 0-2 Aston Villa (Burke, Donacien)
West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers (Reid)
7pm unless stated
Friday, 7 March
West Ham United v Liverpool, Rush Green
Saturday, 8 March
Midday Chelsea v Middlesbrough, Aldershot Town FC
Monday, 10 March
Aston Villa v Leicester City, Pirelli Stadium
Everton v Stoke City, Southport FC
Manchester City v Southampton, Etihad Stadium
Norwich City v Sunderland, Carrow Road
Reading v Bolton Wanderers, Basingstoke Town
Midday Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion, Venue TBC
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United, AFC Telford United