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16:30 30th April 2013

by @OfficialQPR

R's surrender lead in Royals friendly defeat ...

QPR surrendered an early lead as Reading came from behind to steal victory in a reserves friendly on Tuesday.

Mo Shariff’s opener capped a one-sided first half which saw the R’s create countless opportunities on a frustrating afternoon at Harlington.

The woodwork twice denied Rangers before three quick-fire goals from the visitors completed an unlikely second-half comeback.

Yun Suk-Young, Samba Diakite and Tal Ben Haim were all named in the starting XI as Marc Bircham named an otherwise youthful line-up for the Royals visit.

Bircham welcomed back youngsters Bruno Andrade, Michael Harriman and Tom Hitchcock for the first time since returning from their loan spells in the Football League alongside Max Ehmer, who featured from the substitutes bench.

Harriman wore the captain’s armband as Rangers made the first move through Andrade’s surging run down the right. His cross narrowly evaded Hitchcock at the back post, though, as Reading cleared the early danger.

The woodwork came to the Royals rescue two minutes later as Frankie Sutherland came within inches of firing the R’s ahead. The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international’s 25-yard free-kick seemed destined for the top corner until Jon Henly's fingertips pushed the ball onto the crossbar and away for a corner.

Respite was shortlived for the visitors, though, as Rangers were rewarded for their positive start from the resulting corner. Sutherland’s centre found Mo Shariff unmarked six yards out, who made no mistake with a powerful header into the roof of the net.

Shariff had the chance to double his tally five minutes later but dragged his effort wide after being teed-up by Diakite. Rangers threatened again on 20 minutes as Hitchcock rounded the Royals goalkeeper before seeing his goalbound shot hacked off the line.

Bircham’s side remained in the ascendancy for the remainder of the half and the crossbar denied the R’s again seven minutes before the break. Another fine, flowing move released Shariff down the right as his sweeping cross bounced back off the crossbar to safety.

Rangers found themselves on the backfoot from the re-start, though, as Dominic Samuel went close with a crashing long-range drive. 

It proved a sign of things to come as the Royals netted with their next attack. A corner from the right eventually found Jake Taylor, who steered his header past Radek Cerny in the R’s goal.

Andrade almost provided an immediate response but was left cursing the R’s luck as his superb, curling effort cannoned back off the far post.

Reading were enjoying the better of possession and made their dominance count by edging ahead on 68 minutes. A neat through ball released substitute Gozie Ugwu, who finished clinically past Cerny.

Rangers remained on the backfoot thereafter and only a couple of excellent reflex saves from the Czech custodian denied the Royals a third goal.

Cerny was helpless ten minutes from time, though, as Reading sealed victory with a quick counter-attack. After dispossessing the R’s in midfield, Gozu combined with Samuel before drilling his second goal of the afternoon into the top corner.

QPR: Cerny, Harriman, Trialist (Sendles-White 60), Ben Haim (Ehmer 60), Yun, Diakite, Trialist (Champion 77), Sutherland, Andrade, Shariff, Hitchcock.

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