CALLUM Harriott and Joseph Mendes made their long-awaited injury comebacks as Reading FC Under 23s beat West Brom Under 23s 2-0 in Premier League 2 Division Two.

Harriott had not played a competitive match for more than a year before last night’s clash at Wycombe’s Adams Park.

The 24-year-old winger had two operations on his hamstrings during his spell out, but is now nearing full-fitness and pushing for a place in Jaap Stam’s first-team.

Striker Mendes has been sidelined with a knee injury since September but has also made a full recovery.

The 26-year-old Frenchman didn’t take long to make an impression when he fired narrowly over the West Brom bar after good work by Ryan East.

The visitors replied when Callum Morton’s shot was blocked by Akinwale Odimayo, but Reading threatened again when 17-year-old forward Danny Loader narrowly missed the target from 20 yards.

Harriott’s night ended with a little more than 30 minutes on the clock as he was taken off as a precaution.

Scott Marshall’s hosts remained on the front foot with East going close before Mendes tested Baggies keeper Alex Palmer from a Jake Sheppard cross.

Reading Chronicle:

Joseph Mendes has recovered from a serious knee injury.

It was Mendes’ last involvement as he was replaced by youngster Jack Nolan at the break.

Royals finally broke the deadlock near the hour mark with a fortuitous goal from Sheppard, whose cross to the back post caught Palmer cold and flew into the net, with Nolan bearing down but failing to get a touch.

Marshall’s men looked to build on their lead as Jordan Holsgrove fired a free-kick into the side netting, Sheppard saw a close-range effort saved then Tyler Frost’s follow-up deflected behind for a corner.

West Brom’s Alex Bradley threatened to equalise in the 75th minute with a dipping shot that keeper Liam Driscoll watched fly over the bar.

But Royals made the points safe two minutes later thanks to a clinical strike from Frost from outside the area after Remarni Medford-Smith and Loader had linked up in midfield.

Sheppard almost added a third at the death with a rasping effort that Palmer somehow plucked out of the top corner.

The win leaves Reading third in the table and still with an outside chance of gaining promotion.

Reading travel to Aston Villa next Monday (7pm ko) where a victory would see them leapfrog their hosts into second place.

Reading U23: Driscoll, Sheppard, Osho (c), Odimayo, Medford-Smith, East, Loader, Holsgrove, Mendes (Nolan 46), Frost, Harriott (Rollinson 32). Subs not used: Green, Rosario, Shokunbi. Booked: Harriott, Odimayo, Sheppard.

West Bromwich U23: Palmer, Meredith, Harmon (Pierce 71), Ferguson, Martinez, McCourt, Bradley, Harper, Morton, Leko, Clayton-Phillips (Brown 80). Subs not used: Pryzbek, Azaz, Wilding. Booked: Martinez.

Referee: Graham Parsons.