DANNY Loader scored a sensational hat-trick to fire Reading FC Under 18s into the quarter finals of the FA Youth Cup with a 4-1 victory at Colchester United.

Royals had to do it the hard way on Tuesday night, though, coming from behind after Callum Anderson gave Colchester the lead.

Reading hit back with Loader taking down down an Imaria Samuels cross and firing home, before he put his side in front by holding off Billy Cracknell and finishing smartly.

Jack Nolan – called up by England U17s for the Algarve competition against Portugal, Holland and Germany this week – extended the advantage after the break with a well-placed finish into the bottom corner, before the ever-impressive Loader completed his treble by rounding off a fine team move.

Reading reward for reaching the last eight is a home tie with seven-time winners Arsenal.

A depleted young Royals side had less success in the U18 Premier League last Saturday, losing 4-0 at Fulham.

Reading U18: Desbois, Wilson, Akinwale, Holmes, Samuels, Buchanan, Faniyan (Nevers 82), Coleman, Loader (Hanson 88), Holsgrove, Nolan (Simmo 82). Unused subs: Hillson, Stevens.

  • ANDY Rinhomhota and Sam Smith started for Reading Under 23s as they continue to come back from injury, but Royals lost for the first time in six Premier League 2 games as they went down 2-0 at Norwich on Sunday.

A Tristan Abrahams penalty and a Savvas Mourgos strike did the damage for the Canaries, while Tyler Frost hit the woodwork for Royals.

Meanwhile, Ryan East has been nominated for the January Premier League 2 Player of the Month award.

Reading U23: Driscoll, Howe, Osho, Medford-Smith, Rollinson, Kelly, Frost, East, Smith (Simmo 66), Rinomhota (Shokunbi 46), House. Unused subs: Desbois, Green, Davis.

  • READING women crashed out of the FA Cup after losing 1-0 to Birmingham City at Adams Park on Sunday, a first-half Marissa Ewers strike proving the difference between the sides.

Reading: Earps; Scott (Green 57), Williams, Pearce, Furness, Allen, Bruton, Chaplen, Harding (Linnett 68), Potter, Rowe. Unused subs: Moloney; Fletcher, Clifford

  • READING’s home Championship game with Sheffield United will now be played on Tuesday, February 27 (8pm), due to FA Cup commitments for the Blades next week.