Boro's Under-23s were beaten by a late Reading turnaround on Friday afternoon.

It took just six minutes for Boro to make the initial breakthrough, a well-executed corner kick routine ending with captain Jack Robinson sweeping home through a sea of bodies from close range. 

That was the only real chance of a nip and tuck early period save for a volleyed effort from right-back Joe Gibson on the edge of the area which was well held.

But then, with five minutes to play in the first half, the youngsters bagged a clinical second. After nice hold-up work from striker Rumarn Burrell, Isaiah Jones danced into the area and returned the favour, Burrell striking across goal and affording Alberto Balde an easy finish into the unguarded net.

And Balde could have had another shortly after, Hayden Hackney going through the gears in midfield before playing in the forward, whose cross-shot was stabbed away on the goalline.

The visitors were fortunate to end the half with all eleven men. An errant touch from defender Jeriel Dorsett gave Burrell a sniff at goal before being brought to ground by his marker - but the referee took no action.

Early in the second half, Sol Brynn was called into significant action for the first time, spreading himself well to smother a shot from the feet of Nahum Melvin-Lambert. Brynn thwarted the striker again soon after, holding on to his near post header.

A hopeful ball upfield from Cain Sykes caused problems for the Royals and after Balde tried to put Burrell in on goal, Harry Green lashed over first-time.

Back at the other end, Brynn was the Royals' nemesis again, climbing high to tip away skipper Ryan East's free-kick which looked destined for the top corner. 

But Reading did reduce the deficit soon after when Jayden Onen struck low into the bottom corner.

Smelling blood, the visitors were level four minutes later. As was the case with Boro's first, a corner kick provided the chance, with Tennai Watson climbing highest to head home.

Reading completed the reversal late on when, after another corner was headed back off the upright, Melvin-Lambert scrambled in.

There was one more opportunity for Boro to rally and regain a point, but while Hackney's deflected free-kick disorientated goalkeeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke, ithe ball landed onto the roof of, not into, the net.

View photos from the game above.