Tuesday 1 April 2014, 7:00pm at Madejski Stadium, Reading
Reading U18s
Dickie 20'; Fosu-Henry (pen) 33'
Fulham FC
Fulham U18s
Hyndman (pen) 61'; Roberts 74'

20' Goal

Rob Dickie

33' Penalty

Tarique Fosu-Henry

76' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Noor Husin
Off:Samuel Kari Fridjonsson

87' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:George McLennon
Off:Nana Owusu

61' Penalty

Emerson Hyndman

74' Goal

Patrick Roberts

32' Red Card

Marek Rodak Card was given for a foul

32' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Magnus Norman
Off:Dean O'Halloran

59' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Joshua Smile
Off:Moussa Dembele

89' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Noe Baba
Off:Emerson Hyndman

Ten-man Fulham came from 2-0 down to draw at Reading in the FA Youth Cup.

Ten man Fulham showed great character to come from two goals down to earn a draw in their FA Youth Cup Semi-Final First Leg away to Reading.

The Royals took control of the encounter early on at the Madejski Stadium, and went ahead with a bullet header from a corner, before doubling their lead in an incident that saw Marek Rodak sent off.

The Fulham keeper wiped out the Reading attacker and his replacement, Magnus Norman, was unable to keep out the subsequent penalty kick.

But the Whites didn’t let their heads drop and an Emerson Hyndman penalty and Patrick Roberts finish, both in the second half, ensured the spoils were shared, leaving Fulham much the happier of the two sides.

Steve Wigley was able to name a strong side for the tie, with Moussa Dembélé and Roberts both involved from the off after featuring for the First Team against Everton two days ago.

The home side got things underway and caused concern in the Fulham penalty area within 60 seconds when a long throw by Sammi Fridjonsson found its way into the six yard box, but evaded everyone much to the relief of the visiting defence.

Aaron Kuhl then flicked a ball onto Harry Cardwell on the edge of the box on four minutes, but the forward’s first time strike deflected off Liam Donnelly and behind for a corner.

Reading were dominating the opening stages and threatened again when Nana Owusu’s cross was cleared only as far as Tariqe Fosu moments later, but the winger curled his strike over the bar.

And the Royals should have gone one up in the ninth minute. More positive stuff from Owusu saw him leave Ryheem Sheckleford for dead before he cut the ball back to Cardwell, but Donnelly was perfectly positioned to clear his goalbound shot from off the line.

The first decent opportunity for the Whites then presented itself when Roberts fed George Williams who had made a good run down the left, and his ball fizzed across the face and beyond the outstretched boot of Dembélé.

Rob Dickie then headed over from a corner, before Liam Kelly volleyed wide from 20 yards as Reading continued to increase their shot count, but they were still yet to test Rodak in the Fulham goal.

A lovely move involving Kelly and Jack Stacey on 16 minutes culminated in the latter firing in a dangerous cross, but Cameron Burgess was on hand to deal with the danger at the expense of a corner.

That set-piece saw Stacey connect with a powerful header, but Rodak was in place to tip it over for another corner – this one came to nothing, though.

But they did take the lead on 20 minutes, and it did arrive courtesy of a corner. Kelly drilled over the dead ball from the left and Dickie rose highest to power the ball inside the far post.

The Whites – in their red away strip – looked for an immediate response and a marauding run from Williams saw him beat three defenders but Dean O’Halloran was unable to get a shot away after being fed the ball as a recovering Royal punted it out for a corner, which Donnelly ended up heading wide.

A trademark mazy run from Roberts saw him get away from a flurry of stripped shirts as he wove into the box, but his shot was deflected away in the 25th minute.

A rapid counter attack then saw Fosu burst through one on one, but Donnelly recovered impeccably to get a toe on the winger’s shot which saw it trickle wide.

More neat play between Williams and Roberts presented the England youth international with another glimpse of goal, but his strike lacked power and it was comfortably claimed by Reading goalkeeper Lewis Ward.

Reading were handed a massive boost just after the half hour when a threaded through ball from Kuhl sent Stacey in on goal. He rounded Rodak who was adjudged by the referee to have been the last man as he brought the Reading man down and was subsequently sent off.

O’Halloran was the man sacrificed as Norman came on to face Fosu from 12 yards, but the winger calmly planted his spot-kick into the top left hand corner of the goal.

And the same man almost extended the lead 10 minutes before the break when he let fly from 30 yards, but Norman reacted well to tip the fierce effort over. The substitute keeper needed to be at his best again moments later when Fosu found space in the box and fired in from a tight angle only to be denied by Norman.

A deftly hit Roberts strike on his weaker left foot almost caught Ward out in the 41st minute, but the keeper was able to chest behind for a corner.

Reading were able to counter from that and hearts were in mouths for Fulham when Norman raced out to try and avert the danger 25 yards from goal. He only half cleared the ball and was left exposed but Kelly – urged to shoot by the home fans – sent his 40 yard effort fractionally wide.

A brilliant start to the second half saw Jordan Evans play Williams in behind the defence but Ward made a fine sprawling save to push his low drive behind for a corner, from which Donnelly headed down into the ground and over the bar.

Reading had the ball in the back of the net once more five minutes after the restart when Fridjonsson crashed home, but the strike was ruled out for offside.

The Royals had found their feet again and Dickie went close to grabbing his second of the night when he connected firmly with a corner, but Burgess was on the line to hack away.

And, moments later, their lead was again nearly extended – this time when Owusu drew a good save from Norman at his near post.

Wigley made his second change of the evening shortly before the hour mark with Dembélé – who played 81 minutes against Everton on Sunday – replaced by Josh Smile.

It was Fulham’s turn to win a penalty a minute later when Roberts showed incredible skill in the area to beat his man before being wiped out. Hyndman stepped up to emphatically smash the penalty into the same spot that Fosu had chosen earlier in the tie.

And the American went close to equalising in the 65th minute when he lashed in a strike from an acute angle that Ward got good hands to.

Both sides were carving out chances and it was the Royals’ turn next on 70 minutes as Kelly rifled one in that looked as though it was arrowing into the top corner until it swerved away at the last minute.

Fulham secured a brilliant leveller on 74 minutes. Good running by Evans ended with him finding Williams in the box, his shot was blocked but Roberts showed real composure to drag the ball back away from the goalkeeper before calmly slotting beyond the recovering defenders and into the empty net.

The good work was almost undone in the 77th minute when Donnelly’s back pass evaded Norman but the stopper managed to catch up with the ball and poke it behind for a corner.

A clever free-kick two minutes later saw Kelly clip a cute ball into Stacey but his volley over his shoulder sailed some way wide. Kelly went much closer moments later, though, when his looping header required an agile intervention from Norman to tip over for a corner.

Fulham made their final change with a minute remaining of normal time as Noe Baba came on for Hyndman.

No more chances were forthcoming, though, and Fulham will be delighted to kick off in the Second Leg at Craven Cottage next Monday on an even keel.

Match Information

Competition: The FA Youth Cup

Date: Tuesday 1 April 2014
Kick-off: 7:00pm

Venue: Madejski Stadium, Reading

Reading U18s

Line-up: Ward; Watson, Dickie, Hyam, Owusu (McLennon 87'); Stacey, Kuhl, Fridjonsson (Husin 76'), Fosu-Henry; Kelly, Cardwell

Unused substitutes: Gogic, Shaughnessy, Taylor-Crossdale

Fulham U18s

Line-up: Rodak; Sheckleford, Donnelly, Burgess, Evans; Hyndman (Baba 89'), Sambou; O'Halloran (Norman 32'), Roberts, George Williams; Dembele (Smile 59')

Unused substitutes: Leacock-McLeod, Redford

Reading U18s (4-4-2)
  • 1Lewis Ward
  • 2Tennai Watson
  • 5Rob Dickie
  • 6Dominic Hyam
  • 3Nana Owusu
  • 7Jack Stacey
  • 4Aaron Kuhl
  • 8Samuel Kari Fridjonsson
  • 11Tarique Fosu-Henry
  • 10Liam Kelly
  • 9Harry Cardwell
  • 12George McLennon
  • 13Aleks Gogic
  • 14Noor Husin
  • 15Conor Shaughnessy
  • 16De'Juane Taylor-Crossdale
Fulham U18s (4-2-3-1)
  • 1Marek Rodak
  • 2Ryheem Sheckleford
  • 4Liam Donnelly
  • 5Cameron Burgess
  • 3Jordan Evans
  • 8Emerson Hyndman
  • 6Solomon Sambou
  • 7Dean O'Halloran
  • 10Patrick Roberts
  • 11George Williams
  • 9Moussa Dembele
  • 12Magnus Norman
  • 13Noe Baba
  • 14Joshua Smile
  • 15Mekhi Leacock-McLeod
  • 16Aaron Redford
  • A heroic comeback by the ten-man Whites, through Hyndman's penalty and Roberts' strike, keeps our FA Youth Cup Final hopes alive going into next Monday's second leg.
  • 90' Four minutes time added on.
  • 89' A Whites changes, Leacock-McLeod comes on for Hyndman, and Reading switch McLennan for Owusu.
  • 86' Sustained pressure from Reading is being soaked up well by the Whites, who are defending deep. Another Royals corner is headed over by Dickie.
  • 82' The Whites are defending deep and in numbers with Roberts the only real forward outlet. Hyndman gets in a crucial tackle on the edge of the six yard box.
  • 79' Clearly not content with a draw, the Royals are piling on the pressure to retake the lead. The ball flashes across Norman's goal a couple of times, he then stretches to push a glancing header out for a corner.
  • 76' A first change for Reading, Husin on for Fridjonsson.
  • 74' The ten-man Whites are level! A superb pass from Williams plays in Evans, the left-back's strike is blocked and Roberts pounces on a loose ball, creating space for himself to smash in the equaliser!
  • 72' Committed defending from the ten Whites is making Reading work hard for any sort of opening. Fosu finds space on the Reading left and his cross whistles across goal.
  • 69' The Royals are trying to take the sting out of this Whites resurgence now, keeping hold of possession and slowly moving forward. Sheckleford blocks well from Fridjonsson and Kelly slams a shot over from 25 yards.
  • 65' More skills by Roberts running at the Reading defence and, amid another penalty appeal, he wins a corner. Hyndman reacts quickest to the corner and drives a shot at goal, which is well saved by Ward.
  • 61' Hyndman steps up confidently and places the ball high to the goalkeeper's right, and the ten-man Whites are back in the game!
  • 60' Incredible ball control from Roberts takes him past one defender and, as he enters the penalty areas, he's sent tumbling by a rash challenge. It's a penalty!
  • 59' That's all for Dembélé. After an hour of hard work, he's being substituted for Smile.
  • 58' Reading are nearly caught short at the back as Dembélé breaks away. Sambou and Williams are with him in support, but Hyam makes a vital interception.
  • 57' Another good save from Norman, getting two strong hands on the ball to palm Owusu's firm 12-yard strike wide.
  • 56' With nine men camped inside the Whites half, a fine twisting turn on the edge of the area sets Sambou off on the counter. He runs the length of the pitch and almost finds Dembélé with a delicate ball.
  • 54' Some last-ditch defending from the Whites denies Reading a third. First Sheckleford's block stops an 8-yard strike then Burgess clears off the line from Dickie's header.
  • 51' Fridjonsson turns on the edge of the Whites penalty area and slams a shot in the corner, past Norman's dive. The Reading midfielder thinks he has scored but a flag is up for offside.
  • 49' Roberts is again trying to make something happen on the edge of Reading's penalty area and weaves between two tackles as he's knocked to the ground. The Whites appeal but the referee waves play on.
  • 47' It's agonisingly close for the Whites. The resulting corner is driven to the far post and met by Donnelly. The ball bounces in the six yard box before drifting just over the crossbar.
  • 46' What a chance for Williams after 30 seconds of the second half. Evans threads the winger in superbly, Williams bears down on goal but the fingertips of keeper Ward divert the ball wide.
  • Out come the Whites and the ten men get us kicked off in the second half, with Dembélé the lone striker and Roberts playing on the right of a 4-4-1.
  • The Whites have a mountain to climb, finding themselves two goals behind with ten men following keeper Rodak's red card, but Steve Wigley's boys will be desperate to keep the tie alive going into the second leg.
  • 42' The Whites are living dangerously as a long ball over the top almost catches out keeper Norman. He races out and just about gets a tackle in, before Kelly's 40-yard effort finds him stranded but the ball drops over.
  • 41' Hyndman's silky pass cuts out the full-back and finds Williams at the by-line. His cross is too deep for Dembélé but Roberts collects the ball and hammers in a shot, which Ward has to stretch to save.
  • 39' There's no way the Whites are giving up on this one and Roberts leads the charge, running at Readings defenders but his 20-yard shot is blocked.
  • 37' Norman is calling into action twice early on, first reaching to palm Fosu's drive over the bar then reacting with his legs to deny Fosu's rifled shot from an acute angle.
  • 33' Fosu steps up and sends Norman the wrong way. His first touch will be to pick the ball out of the net with the Whites two behind and down to ten men.
  • 32' O'Halloran is the man sacrificed as sub goalkeeper Norman faces the spot-kick.
  • 31' Stacey squeezes his way in behind the Whites defence and goes around keeper Rodak. He jabs a shot wide as he tumbles but the referee has awarded a penalty, and sent off Rodak.
  • 28' An excellent move on the edge of the box returns to the orchestrator Roberts, via Dembélé and Williams' quick passes, and the 17-year-old stings the hands of Reading keeper Ward low down.
  • 25' The Royals stand firm to clear the corner and Fosu collects a through ball on the counter. Hyndman forces him wide but his low drive across goal still only just skims wide of the post.
  • 24' A couple of scares for Reading, first from Williams cutting in from the left and almost opening the Royals up, then Roberts powers through the middle but is blocked out for a corner.
  • 20' Reading have the breakthrough from Dickie's towering header. Kelly's corner is delivered deep to the far post and the centre half leaps highest to power the ball in.
  • 17' Good reflexes from Rodak keeps Fulham level. After Burgess clears for a corner, the delivery is flicked on twice, and the Slovakian keeper has to adjust to fingertip Stacey's header over.
  • 15' The Whites have been under pressure in the opening quarter of an hour but Burgess and Donnelly, who cuts out another Reading cross, have been faultless so far. Kelly slices wide from 20 yards.
  • 13' Another important interception from Burgess keeps Reading at bay, clearing for a corner. Dickie climbs highest but can't angle the header on target.
  • 11' Much better from Fulham, with Williams taking on Royals right-back Watson. He gets away from his marker and drills low across the face of goal, but the ball skims to safety.
  • 9' The Whites have their hearts in their mouths at the other end, as Owusu races behind Sheckleford and cuts back for Cardwell six yards out. The striker doesn't catch all of the shot and Burgess slides the ball off the goal-line.
  • 8' The Whites made headway into the Reading defence with Hyndman's driving run but the American is crowded out.
  • 6' A crucial interception from Burgess denies Reading as Owusu shows good pace and fires across the penalty box, Fosu curls the resulting shot over.
  • 4' A smart Reading move opens up the Whites and finds Cardwell in space to volley from the edge of the area. It's deflected wide off Donnelly.
  • 1' Reading start quickest, and Fridjonsson's long throw causes problems in the Fulham penalty area. Hyndman reacts quickest to flick the ball to safety.
  • Reading get us kicked off, with both teams looking to establish a strong position going into next week's second leg at Craven Cottage.
  • Out walk the teams at the Madejski Stadium. Fulham are decked out in their red and white second strip, with the hosts in their traditional blue and white hoops.
  • Moussa Dembélé and Patrick Roberts return from Whites first team action to spearhead the U18s attack, with Manager Steve Wigley naming an unchanged side from the quarter final victory over Huddersfield.
  • Fulham U18s: Rodak; Sheckleford, Donnelly (c), Burgess, Evans; Sambou, Hyndman; O'Halloran, Roberts, Williams; Dembélé. Subs: Norman, Baba, Smile, Leacock-McLeod, Redford.
  • Reading U18s: Ward; Watson, Owusu, Kuhl (c), Dickie, Hyam, Stacey, Fridjonsson, Cardwell, Kelly, Fosu. Subs: McLennan, Gogic, Husin, Shaughnessy, Taylor-Crossdale.
  • Steve Wigley and his boys will be part of Whites history this evening, as the first Fulham team to compete in an FA Youth Cup Semi Final.
  • Following the U21s 2-1 triumph over Liverpool at Craven Cottage this afternoon, our U18 Premier League champions will aim to make it a pair of wins for the young Whites Teams.
  • We'll bring you live updates from the Madejski Stadium as Fulham U18s play Reading in the FA Youth Cup Semi Final First Leg.