READING FC Under 23s kept a clean sheet against Arsenal as their Premier League International Cup clash ended 0-0.

Scott Marshall’s side kept the Gunners at bay at Boreham Wood last night to maintain their impressive form of late.

The U23s have won seven of their last night Premier League 2 fixtures and the stalemate against Arsenal helped them bounce back from their defeat to Porto in the first round of the International Cup.

Marshall, an ex-Gunners defender, handed fit-again Tom McIntyre his first start of the season following a long injury lay-off, while Tennai Watson got another half-hour of pitch-time as he also continues his recovery.

Royals faced a strong Arsenal line-up that contained no less that six players who have featured for Arsene Wenger’s first-team this season, four of whom have been involved in Europa League action.

But it was Marshall’s men who threatened first when teenage striker Danny Loader forced a smart save from Matt Macey.

The Gunner responded when Eddie Nketiah fired wide from Vlad Dragomir’s cross, then moments later Royals keeper George Legg denied Nketiah.

Reading went close again when Joel Rollinson was a whisker away from connecting with Josh Barrett’s centre.

But Legg was forced to make another important save on the stroke of half time to keep out Chuba Akpon’s curling shot.

Royals’ keeper was proving a thorn in Arsenal’s side, denying Reiss Nelson with his legs in the second half.

And the Gunners were cursing their luck when Nketiah tucked away a rebound after Legg had blocked Josh Dasilva’s drive, only to see the offside flag raised.

Reading’s next match in the competition is home to German giants Batern Munich at Adams Park on Friday, December 8.

Arsenal: Macey, Osei-Tutu, Dragomir, Sheaf, Debuchy (Smith Rowe 65), Pleguezuelo (c), Nketiah, Dasilva, Akpom (Medley 65), Willock, Nelson. Subs not used: Bola, Keto, Gilmour. Booked: Sheaf, DaSilva.

Reading: Legg, Holmes, Osho (c), McIntyre, Richards (Medford-Smith 64), East, Watson (Sheppard 30), Holsgrove, Barrett, Rollinson, Loader. Subs not used: Howe, Shokunbi, Rosario, Green, Nolan. Booked: Loader.