Reading Under-23s 6 Newcastle United Under-23s 0
- Scott Jackson
Newcastle United Under-23s suffered a heavy defeat in their opening Premier League 2 fixture of the season, losing 6-0 to their Reading counterparts.
Andrija's Novakovich's hat-trick, Thierry Nevers' brace and a goal from Tyler Frost sealed a comfortable victory for the home side, with United captain Owen Bailey receiving a red card to round off a forgettable afternoon in Berkshire.
United faced Reading on four occasions last term, losing just once against their Premier League 2 opponents but faced a Reading side containing a number of senior squad members including Chris Gunter, Wales' most-capped footballer, and experienced duo Garath McCleary and Jordan Obita.
The visitors trailed by three goals in the opening 45 minutes at Hogwood Park, with goals from Tyler Frost, Andrija Novakovich and Thierry Nevers punishing Neil Redfearn's young side.
The home side broke the deadlock in the 12th minute as Frost completed a clinical counter-attack by poking the ball beyond goalkeeper Jake Turner from close range.
The Royals doubled their advantage after the hour mark as United centre-back Oisín McEntee was dispossessed on the edge of his own penalty area by Nevers, before the Reading youngster teed up Novakovich who drilled his effort into the far corner.
With half-time approaching, United were dealt a further blow as Nevers turned from provider to goalscorer, with Novakovich providing a neat pass into his path and, with time and space, calmly finished by slotting the ball home to open up a three-goal cushion.
Despite a brighter start to the second half, United conceded a fourth as Novakovich found the target for a second time. After Jordan Holsgrove's strike was pushed onto the post by Turner, the ball fell kindly to Novakovich, who tucked the ball into an empty net.
United's afternoon worsened as Bailey received his marching orders, picking up a second yellow card after a late foul.
Reading grabbed their fifth goal as Gunter's low cross landed into the path of Nevers, who cleverly flicked the ball into the far corner before Novakovich grabbed his treble as the American controlled a threaded through ball before tucking his effort into the bottom corner.
Newcastle United Under-23s: Jake Turner, Lewis Cass, Oisín McEntee, Kell Watts, Oliver Walters, Owen Bailey, Mo Sangare (Jack Young 61), Tom Allan, Kyle Scott, Victor Fernández (Rosaire Longelo 46), Elias Sørensen (Luke Charman 80).
Subs not used: Ryan Barrett, Dan Langley.
Photograph courtesy of Josh Hemphrey