READING FC Under 23s dropped to third in the Premier League Two Division 2 table after a 2-0 home defeat to Newcastle United Under 23s.

The result saw Royals lose second spot to Wolves who have three more points and have played one fewer game.

Magpies’ victory also kept them in the hunt as they are now just two points behind Royals in fourth with one match in hand.

Reading mad the majority of the possession but struggled to break down a resolute Newcastle defence.

And they were dealt at early blow at Adams Park last Friday when fit-again Tom Holmes could only divert a corner into his own net while under pressure from Kelland Watts to give the visitors a lead.

Royals fought for a way back, but Josh Barrett and Danny Loader found Magpies keeper Nathan Harker in top form.

Even so, the home side were presented with an excellent chance to equalise in the 89th minute when Mo Sangare handled in the box, but Harker guessed the right way and saved Barrett’s penalty.

To add to Reading’s frustration, Newcastle scored again in stoppage time when Tyrique Bartlett fired home after Jokull Andresson had saved Rosaire Longelo’s initial effort.

U23s boss Scott Marshall said: “We created good opportunities and played good combinations. We could have had the lead with some better finishing or if not for their goalkeeper’s saves.

“We kept making opportunities but were picked off on the counter-attack. I’m really pleased with the performance, but we needed to take our chances. They took theirs but we didn’t.”

Next up for Royals is a Premier League Cup away clash against Fulham at Motspur Park this Friday (2pm ko).

Reading U23: Andresson, Balogun, Green, Holmes, Burley, East, Holsgrove (Olise 65), Rollinson, Barrett, Loader, Liddle. Subs not used: Roberts, Odimayo, Pendlebury.

Newcastle: Harker, Cass, Watts, Bailey, Young, Longstaff, Longelo-Mbule, Barrett, Sangare (Juanito 90), Allan, Toure (Bartlett 63). Subs not used: Huuhtanen, McEntee.