DANNY Loader scored a hat trick as Reading FC Under 23s defeated Manchester United Under 23s to reach the Premier League International Cup semi finals.

Scott Marshall’s youngsters claimed a memorable 3-1 win at Leigh Sports Village last night to seal their place in the last four of the Europe-wide competition where they could face Tottenham, Bayern Munich or Villarreal.

Loader, who was on the bench for the 1-1 Championship draw with Rotherham United on Saturday, took just 12 minutes to make his mark when he fired the visitors into the lead.

The 18-year-old striker increased Royals’ advantage with his second of the night 14 minutes later.

Ricky Sbragia’s United cut the deficit three minutes before the break with a Dylan Levitt penalty as the hosts threatened a second-half comeback.

But Reading – with 15-year-old keeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke between the sticks – proved difficult to break down.

And Marshall’s side calmed any nerves when Loader slotted home a penalty on 78 minutes to seal the victory.

Royals now face a wait to find out who they will play in the semi finals, with the remainder of the quarter finals still to be played.

Tottenham U23s host Dinamo Zagreb II tonight (7pm ko), while Leicester City U23s host Bayern Munich this Sunday and Southampton entertain Villarreal U23s next Wednesday.

Last night’s victory was hailed by a number of Reading players on social media.

Cameron Green tweeted: “What a feeling!! 3-1 win against Man United, boys were unreal!! Semi finals pending!!! Congrats Danny Loader on the hat-trick”

Ryan East added: “Unreal win tonight from the boys against United. Danny Loader on fire. Onto the semi finals.”

Manchester United: Kovar, O’Connor, Ercolani, Bernard, Williams (Tanner 76), Levitt, Barlow, Bohui, Traore (Stanley 72), Ramazani, Burkart (Galbraith 62). Subs not used: Fojticek, Olosunde.

Reading: Boyce-Clarke, Balogun, Green, East, Burley, Holmes, Frost, Holsgrove (Liddle 76), Loader, Olise, Barrett. Subs not used: Odimayo, Desbois, Lawless, Pendlebury, Rollinson. Booked: East 18, Green 74.