Colchester United's U233s have drawn 2-2 at Reading in the Premier League Cup
They came back twice to gain a deserved point, with Michael Fernandes, (pictured playing in an earlier U23s fixture), and Jake Hutchinson getting on the scoresheet.
In a break from their Development League fixtures, Richard Hall and the young squad’s first test was a trip to Berkshire, as they travelled to the Madejski Stadium to take on Category One side Reading.
The Royals were an opponent that the young U’s faced last season, but they were on the end of a 5-1 defeat after they had taken an early lead from the now Brighton and Hove Albion player Todd Miller.
It was always going to be a big test against the Championship side, and the hosts proved that as they took an early lead from their first attack of the game.
McLeary got to the byline and cut the ball back for Nevers to put away on nine minutes. To their credit, the U’s were not behind for too long, getting back on level terms nine minutes later.
Michael Fernandes was quickest onto a loose ball and after a bit of clever footwork, he shot into the top corner to make it 1-1.
It remained level when the whistle went for half-time, and after an entertaining forty five minutes, both sides’ coaches would have been relatively pleased with the performances.
After the break, the U’s went very close to taking the lead just after the hour mark, with the left foot effort by Louis Dunne drawing a superb fingertip save from home keeper Harvey Collins.
Chances were few and far between at both ends, before a late flurry saw two more goals.
The first went the way of the hosts, with the U’s conceding a penalty with ten minutes to play. Ollie Sims was adjudged to have pulled down Teddy Howe as he broke down the right hand side of the area and the whistle went for the spot kick.
It was duly despatched by Gabriel Osho who shot confidently to the right, whilst keeper Callum Coulter guessed wrong and went the other way.
A young U’s side, made even younger by the involvement of some players in the first team squad, didn’t let their heads drop and got their reward in the third minute of injury time.
A right wing cross found its way into the Reading area, and prolific youngster Jake Hutchinson prodded it home to level things up at 2-2. Unsurprisingly, there wasn’t time for a winner from either side and the points were shared.