TEN-man Reading FC Under 23s came from behind to seal their place in the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup final after beating Maidenhead United on penalties at York Road.

Royals were forced to dig deep against the hosts last night after seeing goalkeeper Myles Roberts sent off in the 15th minute before falling behind to a Mike Fondop goal before the break.

But Scott Marshall’s youngsters showed tremendous spirit with Teddy Howe levelling eight minutes from time to send the tie straight to penalties where Josh Barrett struck the decisive spot-kick after saves from replacement keeper Coniah Boyce-Clark.

Reading now face the winners of the other semi final between Marlow and Slough Town which takes place next Tuesday night, with the final due to be played on May 6, most likely at York Road.

As expected, Marshall named a side bursting with Academy players as well as first-team youngsters Tom Holmes and Tom McIntyre.

National League Magpies flew out of the traps with Ayo Obileye heading wide.

And the visitors were a man down with a quarter-of-an-hour gone when Roberts was shown a straight red for bringing down Fondop outside his area to deny the striker a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Marshall threw on 16-year-old Boyce-Clark and sacrificed Oli Pendlebury, but Magpies remained on the front foot and almost went in front when Ryan Upward volleyed against the post.

However, the pressure finally told when Alan Devonshire’s men broke the deadlock four minutes before the interval when Fondop raced clear before chipping Boyce-Clark.

Reading regrouped and kept their hosts at bay before Marshall threw on Ramarni Medford-Smith and Howe for Ethan Coleman and McIntyre on the hour mark.

Luck was on their side soon after when Magpies striker Ryan Bird saw a goal ruled out for offside.

But Royals hit back with Cameron Green shooting narrowly wide before they equalised with eight minutes to go.

Jamal Balogun burst through midfield and laid the ball off to Howe who, spotting Nick Hamann off his line, dinked a delightful chip into the net from 20 yards out.

With neither side able to find a late winner, the semi-final tie went straight to penalties.

Maidenhead had the early advantage when Green’s spot-kick was saved by Hamann.

But that was quickly wiped out when Boyce-Clark dived low to save Harold Odametey’s effort and Holmes made no mistake to make it 1-1.

Maids then saw Seth Twumasi miss the target before Tyler Frost converted to nudge Royals ahead.

Former Royals youngster Nanu Owusu scored Magpies’ fifth penalty, but Barrett held his nerve with the next spot-kick to send Marshall’s men into the final.

Maidenhead United: Hamann, Clerima, Steer, Odametey, Obileye, Massey (c), Owusu, Upward, Bird (Farren 76), Fondop, Alves. Subs not used: Pentney, Dirkin, Gardner, Wayborn. Booked: Upward, Odametey.

Reading U23: Roberts, Balogun, Green, Odimayo, Holmes (c), McIntyre (Medford-Smith 62), Pendlebury (Boyce-Clark 15), Omolabi, Coleman (Howe 62), Frost, Barrett. Subs not used: Nditi, Nevers. Booked: Coleman, Holmes, Green. Red card: Roberts.