After two successive defeats Alan Stubbs’ team swept aside Reading U21s on home turf in a 3-1 victory on Monday. The first and second goals of the season for Chris Long and a collector’s item goal from Tyias Browning ensured the Everton youngsters of victory going into halftime. Aaron Tshibola added a consolation goal for the Royals in the 70th minute.
Following Francisco Junior’s loan move to Vitesse Arnhem on deadline day for the following season, captain Tyias Browning was used in an unfamiliar defensive midfield role as oppose to his usual centre half or right-back positions. After the game Alan Stubbs did say that it had crossed his mind to use the defender in that position to add an extra element to his game and allow Browning to develop into a defender that is comfortable and composed on the ball.
It was Browning in the 22nd minute that exchanged passes with Shane Duffy, making his first appearance of the season, and then picking out the four-timed capped England U17 striker Chris Long to open the scoring.
It was John Lundstram to set up Long six minutes later to score his second of the game and second of the new 2013/14 season. Being deployed in a holding midfield role, Browning broke down a lot of Reading’s play and forced many of their players into mistakes. This was the case in first half stoppage time when the England U19 international intercepted a back-pass heading to Reading keeper Jonathan Henly and then remained composed and collected enough to slot home even past the defender on the line into the visitors’ net.
After the halftime interval a change in formation for the young Toffees lead to a rather disappointing second half and the Royals began to take control of the fixture. Twenty-five minutes after the restart, Reading grabbed a goal that, at the time; looked to set up a nervy final 20 minutes for the Blues. The goal came after Mateusz Taudul parried a free-kick to Aaron Tshibola who was able to convert the rebound.
However that anxious 20 minutes never came and Taudul only had to deal with a low shot in stoppage time which he turned around the post before the final whistle. A win was important for the young Blues who now have six points from their first four games heading into their next encounter; an away fixture at Newcastle next Monday evening.