It was back to winning ways yesterday for City in a win that showed great fight and desire to come back from behind in a top of the table clash against Fairford Town. It was also great to win in the fashion they did facing an identical situation as the last game against Shrivenham where after City scored they relaxed which allowed Shrivenham back in, but this game they remained focused and got the winner.
Reading City started strongly with good energy and pressure, especially from the front two of Joe Pilling and Tyler D’Cruz who pressed the defence persistently. The early chances for the Cityzens came from the ever-reliable Lazarchuk long throws. Eddie Lazarczuk found Tyler D’Cruz consistently with his threatening long throws, Tyler D’Cruz won the headers flicking towards the back post. From the first one, Tyler D’Cruz’s header had to be cleared off the line, and then just three minutes later, he headed over the bar from the same situation.
Despite some encouraging early play from City, it was Fairford Town who got the opener with a textbook counter-attacking goal. A long pass from went out to the right-winger Danny Gudger who turned on the gas to beat the defender before he delivered a superb low cross to Ross Langworthy at the back post who tapped home, Reading City 0-1 Fairford Town.
Just a handful of minutes later the Fairford danger man almost got his second. City failed to deal with a long ball and Langworthy was allowed dribble almost to the six-yard box dancing through multiple City defenders before he fired over from a tight angle.
City showed positive signs of fight following the goal. Tyler D’Cruz was played into a dangerous position and was heading into a one on one, but got brought down forcing the heavily scrutinised referee into making a decision. He decided against giving a card to the fouler, much to the amazement of Reading City players and management. The subsequent free-kick was shot over the bar by Michael Butcher.
The positive signs continued with some great play down the right side. Lazarczuk played a through ball to Davies who cut the ball back to Bebb, he hit a shot first time which was heading for goal, but a defender got in front of it, and the danger was cleared.
Going into half-time it was quite an even half, Reading City having more of the chances but Fairford with the lead. What was definitely even was the discontent with the refereeing decisions, which continued for the full 90 minutes as every decision got scrutinised by players, management and fans.
Fairford came out of the blocks fast as Langworthy came inside from the left and looked to beat Michael Butcher, but the City centre-back jockeyed him well before making a great tackle to dispossess the striker and prevent a one on one with Charlie York if he had been beaten.
Fairford really should have extended their lead in the 51st minute when Grudger was played into a great position but his angles were shut down quickly by Charlie York, and Grudger missed the target with his shot.
Just a few minutes later, the hosts had a great chance to take the lead. Tyler D’Cruz broke down the left and delivered a low cross into a City player, it was then carnage in the box, much like the traffic on the roads leading to the game which caused the kick-off to be delayed, as no City player was decisive enough amongst the multiple of them to just shoot, so the promising attack ended up in disappointment.
Fairford continued to come close to extending their lead, Gudger had a free-kick not far from the edge of the box. He shot under the wall, and it took a slight deflection and headed towards the bottom left corner, York reacted quickly to make a great save.
Reading City found their breakthrough in the 73rd minute through young substitute Will Okine-Peters. A long ball was played out to him on the right side, he used his pace to keep it in and beat his man, he then cut back to lose his man again and dribble inside before releasing a shot as he fell which rolled as far into the far corner as possible, so much so that it seemed the goalkeeper didn’t even think it was heading in, Reading City 1-1 Fairford Town.
Just seven minutes later, City took the lead! Charlie York showed superb initiative and urgency as he rushed out to the left side of his box to stop the ball going out of play following a blocked shot. From this he sparked a great counter-attacking goal with a long kick to the other City substitute Kai Stubbs, he battled with his defender even bringing each other down, but the City striker got back up quickly firing through the keeper’s hands to give his side the lead which would bring them a crucial three points, Reading City 2-1 Fairford Town.
The visitors pushed everyone forward, and City kept everyone back for the rest of the game as Fairford pushed for a goal to tie the game. Fairford had a barrage of set-pieces late on, but City stuck in and saw out the game to win all three points.
It was a tremendous team performance to get the three points as the Cityzens stuck together and fought to get the two goals, and this was especially seen late on to see the game out.
The next game for the Cityzens is a HUGE one. The local derby, the Rivermoor derby, it’s Woodley United vs Reading City! And we want to see you there! Saturday 10th September, 3pm kick-off, at the Rivermoor, in the FA Vase. Make sure to follow @ReadingCityFC on Twitter and Instagram for all the build-up to the big game.
You can also see the JMA boys in action tomorrow, when representing us as Reading City U18s in the FA Youth Cup against Fleet Town at the Rivermoor. 7:30pm kick-off and follow along with the game on twitter @RCFCYouth.