READING FC Under 23s extended their unbeaten run to 14 matches in all competitions with a 2-1 victory over Fulham in the Premier League Cup.

Goals from Adrian Popa and teenage substitute Conor Lawless - both set up by Remarni Medford-Smith - put Royals in command before Nicolas Santos Clase pulled one back.

And there was more good news for Paul Clement as full-back Omar Richards made his first appearance since September after recovering from injury.

Monday night’s ‘home’ clash at Woking took a while to warm up as the sides cancelled each other out for the first quarter.

Fulham’s Luca De La Torre shot wide from 20 yards before Popa tested Taye Ashby-Hammond at the other end.

U23s boss Scott Marshall was forced to make an early change between the sticks with Coniah Boyce-Clark replacing Liam Driscoll.

Reading Chronicle:

Adrian Popa also found the net against Fulham.

The U16s stopper was immediately called into action by blocking a shot from Santos before saving a Seven Sessegnon effort with his legs.

Reading’s Tyler Frost went close at the end of a goalless first period as Richards was withdrawn at the break for Jazz Wallace and Lawless came on for Ben House.

The hosts stepped it up as Frost and Wallace both threatened before Popa broke the deadlock on the hour when his free-kick took a wicked deflection and beat Ashby-Hammond.

They doubled their lead just two minutes later with a close-range finish from 17-year-old Lawless, whose eye-catching form saw him travel with the first-team squad to Wigan and Leeds recently.

Fulham hit back but saw De La Torre strike the post before Lawless went close again with a shot that tested Ashby-Hammond.

The woodwork came to Royals’ rescue again soon after when Jayden Harris was denied before the visitors did manage to grab a late consolation through Santos Clase.

Reading hope to cement their spot at the top of Premier League 2 Division Two when they travel to West Brom this Saturday (1pm).

Reading U23: Driscoll (Boyce-Clark 30), Balogun, Richards (Wallace 46), Odimayo, Burley, East (c), Holsgrove, Frost, Popa, Medford-Smith, House (Lawless 47). Subs not used: Omolabi, Green.

Fulham U23: Ashby-Hammond, S Sessegnon, Mundle-Smith, Harris, Davies (c), Atkinson, Kelly (Davis 74), O'Riley, Santos Clase, Francois, De La Torre. Subs not used: Jenz, Stahl, Carvalho, McAvoy.