Reading U23s 2 Norwich City U23s 2: Todd Cantwell strikes late to salvage a Premier League Two point
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Todd Cantwell kept his cool to slot a late penalty at 10-man Reading on Monday afternoon, to stretch the Canaries’ unbeaten run to three games in Premier League Two.
Matt Gill’s side were heading for a defeat, following Sam Smith’s brace for the Royals, but Savvas Mourgos rifled hom a free kick prior to the break to cut the deficit and Cantwell levelled from the spot a minute from time after a foul on Glenn Middleton.
Russell Martin was again on duty for the development squad, playing 90 minutes as he stepped up his comeback from a course of injections that saw him miss three days of training last week.
Gill made just one change from last Sunday’s Carrow Road league draw with Blackburn Rovers’ U23s - Aston Oxborough replaced Paul Jones in goal.
Smith rose highest in the penalty area to nod past Oxborough inside the opening five minutes. Pierre Fonkeu almost set up Cantwell to equalise before Smith doubled the home side’s advantage, but Mourgos hit back for the young Canaries when he clipped a free-kick past George Legg.
Mourgos went close to an equaliser on the hour mark, again from a set-piece. Middleton was introduced for the final quarter and unleashed two long-range efforts before he was upended by Axel Andresson inside the Reading penalty box, who picked up a second yellow card. Cantwell made no mistake from the spot.
• Reading U23: Legg, Holmes, Medford-Smith, Osho, Andresson, East, Sheppard, Frost, Barrett (House 74), Loader (Holsgrove 74), Smith. Subs (not used): Driscoll, Howe, Shokunbi.
• Goals: Smith (3, 29)
• Norwich City U23: Oxborough, Sambu, Aarons, Phillips, Martin, Odusina, Cantwell, Mourgos, Abrahams, Fonkeu (Higgs 64), Aransibia (Middleton 54). Subs (not used): Hallett, Wallis, Payne.
• Goals: Mourgos (43), Cantwell (89)