Southampton's youngsters claimed a deserved 4-3 win over Reading on Tuesday afternoon in what proved to be a lively clash in the Under-18s Premier League.

Saints started on the front foot but fell behind when a rapid counter attack from the hosts saw David Nyarko square the ball and give Jahmari Clarke a simple finish into an open goal.

However, the next attack from the visitors saw them force a corner, defender Jem Hewlett was on hand to fire home as the ball fell to him at the back post on five minutes.

A lively opening to proceedings then saw Reading presented with an ideal opportunity to go back ahead, when Hamid Abdul-Salam was tripped inside the penalty box, but Harvey Maunder saw his resulting spot-kick well saved down low by Oliver Wright.

Saints were piecing some nice moves together and they duly took the lead when Fedel Ross-Lang finished calmly with his left foot after being put through on goal by Sam Bellis.

The visitors had looked more confident on the ball but good pressure from Reading stole possession back in a promising area – Jordan Hamilton wasting a good chance to put his side back on level terms.

There was still time for Saints to push for more goals of their own before the break though, with Ramello Mitchell heavily involved in the latter stages.

First the winger saw his low cross flash across the face of goal before he then cannoned a powerful drive off the near post from close-range in the next attack.

Into the second-half, both teams battled for control in the early stages with the next goal potentially crucial in the final result.

Royals forward Nyarko spurned a good chance when he found himself with just Wright to beat, but did not connect with his shot well enough to trouble the advancing Saints goalkeeper.

With 18 minutes left, Saints had their third of the afternoon. Mitchell speeding past his marker on the right flank, before pushing on towards the penalty area and shifting the ball onto his left foot, then finding the net smartly.

Just three minutes later though things were back in the balance one more, when Royals forward Hamid Abdul-Salam turned home a cutback from close-range.

Wright had to be alert to keep a firm strike from Harvey Maunder out late on but, with the game stretched, Saints grabbed a fourth.

Good defensive awareness from Lewis Payne saw him cut off an early ball forward from Reading goalkeeper Matt Rowley and he then played Ross-Lang into space on the left, allowing the winger to confirm the win for his side with an excellent finish across goal.

The hosts were able to claw one more goal back in the dying stages as Louie Holzman found the net from a corner but Saints held on for what was a deserved win in the end.