READING FC Under 23s ended Middlesbrough’s perfect start to the Premier League 2 season with a nailbiting 4-3 victory at the Riverside.

Scott Marshall’s men edged a seven-goal thriller in the north east on Sunday afternoon to move up to third in the table.

Boro had won all of their opening six games, but they went behind in this one after three minutes when Ben House converted Ramarni Medford-Smith’s cross.

Royals doubled their lead around the half-hour mark with House on the scoresheet again.

The youngster picked Boro defender Nathan McGinley’s pocket before lofting the ball over keeper Aynsley Pears.

And Marshall’s side went 3-0 up shortly after the interval when Josh Barrett raced down the left before crashing a shot in off the inside of the post.

That was the start of a strong Boro fightback as George Miller headed home at the back post to reduce the arrears.

And shortly after that Marcus Tavernier hit a 20-yard drive past Royals keeper George Legg to make it 3-2.

But the visitors settled any nerves by notching a fourth 10 minutes before time thanks to a smart Ryan East finish on the angle.

Even then Boro refused to give in, with Lewis Wing pulling another one back with five minutes to go.

But the hosts were then reduced to 10 men when Tavernier was shown a straight red for a nasty foul on House deep into injury time as Royals held on.

In another boost for Reading, Tom McIntyre came off the bench in the closing stages after a year out through injury.

Middlesbrough U23: Pears, Coulson, Reading, Liddle, Cook, McGinley, Tavernier, Wing, Miller, Armstrong (Curry 64), Malley (O’Neill 78). Subs not used: Hemming, Dale, Caliman.

Reading U23: Legg, Holmes, Osho, Burley (McIntyre 78), Medford-Smith, East, Sheppard, Frost, House, Holsgrove, Barrett. Subs not used: Rosario, Rollinson, Howe, Shokunbi.