READING FC earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Manchester City in the Under 18 Premier League Cup.

The result did little to raise either team’s hopes of reaching the next round of the competition as both had lost their opening games.

But Southern Division Royals will have learned some valuable lessons from the experience of taking on the Northern Division Blues at their Academy Stadium.

The deadlock was broken in the second half when Jack Buchanan snaffled up a chance from close range after City failed to defend a corner.

But Royals’ hopes of a memorable victory were dashed when Sky Blues were awarded a dubious penalty which Felix Nmecha converted.

Nevertheless, Royals U18 coach David Dodds insisted there were plenty of positives to take.

“We stayed at a hotel and the schoolboys joined in with the analysis which was interesting for them,” he explained. “The scholars looked at the opposition and made notes which we added into the game-plan.

“Jordan Holsgrove made a difference coming back into our group. He played an hour because he’s got quite a heavy schedule coming up with Scotland.

“We had equal possession which was pleasing and it was a pretty even first half.

“We rejigged it after about an hour with the shape and a couple of subs.

“Jack Buchanan scored a really well-taken goal and we had a couple of chances to make it two.

“So their goal was unfortunate for us – it was sliced half-volley from a long distance that was going well wide, and it hit one of our defenders on his upper arm, and the ref gave a penalty.

“Even after that we still had chances to win it but couldn’t quite take them.

“Man City is a very strong Academy. We put in a pleasing performance which made it a shorter journey back.”

Manchester City U18: Scott, Frimpong, Garcia, Rosler, Corrigan, Pozo, Ogunby, Doyle (Dele-Bashiru 79), Simmonds (Touaizi 60), Nmecha, Poveda. Subs not used: Robinson, Thomas, Devine.

Reading U18: Desbois, Balogun, Odimayo, Burley, Dorsett, Buchanan, Nevers (Wilson 75), Coleman, Moore (Lawless 60), Holsgrove (Pendlebury 60), Nolan. Subs not used: Roberts, Nditi.