Departing Reading youngster Matt Carson issued an emotional goodbye message to supporters after making his final appearance in a Royals shirt.

21-year-old Carson made 17 appearances in his first senior season as a first-team player, including making 10 League One appearances.

However, the full-back has been released by manager Ruben Selles and will look to continue his career development elsewhere.

Given one final bow in a blue and white shirt, the defender scored a sumptuous free-kick to put Noel Hunt's Under-21s ahead in the PL2 semi-final against Sunderland in front of almost 2,500 supporters.

However, Graeme Murty's Black Cats struck back and it was to be heartache for Carson and Co. in the dramatic 4-3 defeat at the SCL Stadium.

Reflecting on his short time in Berkshire, the Lancastrian commented: "I’ve loved it here. Everyone has been brilliant- all the staff, Hunty, Ruben [Selles], Scotty [Peter Scott], JOP [James Oliver-Pearce], Toby [Tobias Loveland]- I can’t thank them all enough for everything they have done for me.

"The debut, Stevenage, Cheltenham- those games were brilliant. Tonight, and finally scoring at RG2, it’s been a whirlwind. It’s disappointing how we’ve ended it but the lads, and especially myself, can all look back with positivity."

Popular with supporters, especially for his set-piece delivery, the former Accrington Stanley youngster had a message for the Royals fans.

"The fans have been so welcoming to me when I came into the team and have helped me get through some tough times. Coming out tonight and supporting everyone, it’s so good to see them and make some noise. They were the 12th man towards the end and we really wanted to win that."