Sunderland U21s 2 Reading 1: Forgotten man Valentin Roberge grabs a winner

Valentin Roberge
Valentin Roberge
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Forgotten man Valentin Roberge grabbed a winner for Sunderland Under-21s, as they came from behind to beat Reading 2-1.

Roberge has not featured for Sunderland since August 2014, but remains on the club's books after the collapse of a loan exit last summer.

But the French centre-half - who Sunderland will again look to offload in January - sealed victory for the U21s at Eppleton CW after a second half comeback against Reading.

The Royals were on top for the first half and went ahead four minutes before the interval through Harry Cardwell.

But Sunderland were much-improved in the second half with Rees Greenwood and Martin Smith both going close to a leveller.

It was winger Greenwood who eventually equalised in the 65th minute after evading a challenge before slotting the ball into the far corner.

With 15 minutes to go, Andy Welsh's side got their noses in front when Roberge headed home.

Sunderland then had the chance to extend their lead from the penalty spot when Andrew Nelson was fouled, but skipper Liam Agnew sent his spot-kick wide of the mark.

But a third goal wasn't necessary, with Sunderland extending their lead at the top of the U21 Premier League to eight points.

SUNDERLAND: Stryjek, J Robson, Ledger, Roberge, T Robson, Smith (Wright 65), Agnew, Mavrias (Lawson 76), E Robson, Greenwood, Nelson (Brady 90). Subs not used: Purvis, Pybus

READING: Moore, Keown, Sweeney, Cooper, Griffin, Barrett, Owuso (Semedo 77), Rhinomoto, Shaughnessy, Cardwell, Liburd. Subs not used: Watson, Ward, Lawal