Whittaker makes return in Madejski defeat
STEVEN Whittaker, Jacob Butterfield, and Ryan Bennett all featured as City’s Under-21s development squad slipped to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of a strong Reading side at the Madejski Stadium on Monday night.
Jordan Obita opened the scoring in the first half, before a second half brace from Dominic Samuel sealed the three points against Scott Marshall’s young side.
The Royals also named several senior players in their line-up – Adam Federici, Alex Pearce, and Ian Harte all starting.
City started the game brightly with striker Jamar Loza having a great effort well-saved by Reading ‘keeper Federici early on, whilst Simon Church fired narrowly wide for the home side.
With the game seemingly evenly-balanced, it was Reading who took a 27th minute lead through Obita – the winger making the most of a moment of good fortune to fire in from close range after his own left-wing cross fell into his path.
The resilient Canaries could easily have been level going into the break however, as Whittaker – who is yet to make his City debut after suffering an ankle injury in pre-season, rattled the crossbar with a superb header.
HALF-TIME: Reading Under-21s 1, Norwich City Under-21s 0
Just as City were looking to re-establish themselves in the match they were hit with another blow as the Royals made it 2-0 just eight minutes into the half.
Goal scorer Obita grabbed the assist – bursting forward down the left and picking out Samuel in the middle, who finished first time past Declan Rudd.
The Canaries’ ‘keeper made a couple of excellent saves to maintain City’s hopes of a comeback, but Samuel made the three points secure shortly after as he turned inside the box and fired a shot into the corner of the net to give the hosts an unassailable 3-0 lead.
FULL-TIME: Reading Under-21s 3, Norwich City Under-21s 0
READING: Federici; Arnold, Harte, Pearce, Morrison; Tshibola, Taylor, D'Ath, Obita (Lossaso 65); Samuel, Church.
SUBS NOT USED: Webb, Henly, Macdonald, Keown.
CITY: Rudd, McNeil, Barker, Whittaker, R. Bennett, Sheriff, Hall-Johnson (Morris 75), Clunan, Loza, Butterfield, King.
SUBS NOT USED: Gafaiti, Matthews, Browne, Hodd.