DANNY Loader converted a 95th minute penalty as Reading FC Under 23s snatched a late victory against Brighton & Hove Albion Under 23s in Premier League 2.

Last night’s clash at Madejski Stadium looked to be heading for a draw when Henrik Bjordal cancelled out Akinwale Odimayo’s opener for the Royals.

But Seagulls conceded a penalty for handball deep into time added on and teenager Loader held his nerve by blasting the spot-kick past Bailey Vose to earn Scott Marshall’s youngsters all three points.

Loader, just 17, was a constant thorn in Brighton’s side, winning an early free-kick which Jordan Holsgrove played to Tom Holmes who could only stab wide.

But the hosts were let off the hook when Aaron Connolly’s header missed the target from a George Cox cross.

Loader’s finishing also let him down after the youngsters had skipped past a couple of defenders to find a decent shooting position near the half-hour mark.

A decent spell followed for the visitors, but Max Sanders powered a header over the bar from an Archie Davies assist before Bjordal’s well-struck effort was saved by Royals keeper George Legg.

Bjordal threatened again after the break, slicing a volley wide from a decent position in the Reading area.

But Royals hit back and Loader was an inch away from converting a teasing Teddy Howe cross.

Chances continued at both ends, Davies hitting the side netting after a slick counter by the visitors then Royals skipper Gabriel Osho dragging one wide from a threatening corner.

Marshall’s men finally broke the deadlock in the 75th minute when Odimayo latched on to Holsgrove’s cross and sent a clinical volley past Vose.

But celebrations were swiftly cut short when Brighton equalised almost immediately, Bjordal stabbing home at the back post from an Alex Mateju knock-down.

However, Royals refused to give in and were a whisker away from regaining the lead when a Ben House thunderbolt rebounded off the post, onto Vose’s head and an inch wide of the woodwork.

Yet Reading’s rewards came deep into injury time when Adrian Popa’s free-kick struck Bjordal’s arm and Loader made no mistake with a superbly-struck penalty to snatch all three points.

Reading U23: Legg, Howe, Medford-Smith, Osho, Holmes (Odimayo 46), East, Shokunbi (Frost 57), Holsgrove, Popa, Loader, House. Subs not used: Driscoll, Green, Rollinson.

Brighton U23: Vose, Mateju, Cox, Hutchinson, Hall, Dallison (Moore 46), A.Davies (Gyorkeres 69), Sanders, Connolly (Ahannach 80), Alzate, Bjordal. Subs not used: Collings, J.Davies.