• Ryan Sheehan

Citizens in hard fought battle with Shrivenham

The Citizens travelled to Shrivenham in the Hellenic League Premier Division yesterday in a clash that would see Reading City in fourth place take on Shrivenham in third place, both teams would have been looking for a win as they look to extend their unbeaten runs. An early goal from Alfie Grant put the Citizens ahead but our hosts equalised in the second half after Robertson put the ball past Charlie York leading to both teams come away with a point after a hard fought battle.

The Citizens started brightly against Shrivenham and would find themselves going a goal up in the third minute of the game as Alfie Grant headed the ball past Meare in the Shrivenham goal at the near post as it came in from the corner.

In the eighth minute there was a break in play as City's Adam-Cashin Murray received treatment, but was given the OK to continue and the game was resumed.

City continued to lead throughout the half but were put under pressure by Shrivenham who seemed to lack the ability to finish as they almost found their equaliser in the eighth minute with a shot from Ballard, however it skimmed the bar. Our hosts went for goal again in the twenty seventh minute after Allan was clear through but he blasted it over the bar rather than troubling Charlie York in goal for the Citizens. Shrivenham had another chance to equalise in the 29th minute as they kept the pressure up, Allan went for goal again but the ball was just over.

As Shrivenham continued to dominate the game they would again go for goal in the thirty second minute with another effort from Allan but rather than troubling Charlie York in the City goal. Shrivenham's Zac Skinner who made his first Hellenic League Premier Division in this fixture went for goal in the thirty sixth minute in what was probably their best chance of the game so far, however Charlie York was quick to act and made a superb save to maintain our 0-1 lead as half time approached.

There was a short break in play in the forty first minute as Shrivenham's Skinner went down injured and received treatment, play resumed in the forty fourth minute and Skinner was given the OK to continue. As play resumed Allan went for goal again for our hosts but the ball was just over as he attempted to lob the ball over Charlie York.

After four minutes of added time the referee called time on the first half and thanks to that early goal from Alfie Grant the Citizens went in at the break leading by a goal, Shrivenham 0 v Reading City 1.

With the second half underway our hosts started brightly as Robertson went for goal in the fiftieth minute but didn't trouble Charlie York who was able to easily catch the ball that was headed straight at him. In the fifty fifth minute Robertson bundled the ball in from a corner to finally give Shrivenham the goal they'd desperately been looking for.

In the fifty sixth minute the Citizens would make their first substitution as Adam-Cashin Murray went off injured and was replaced by Samuel Tucker. In the fifty eight minute our hosts were shown the offside flag as Robertson went for goal again, a huge let off for City as the ball had found it's way into the back of the net. The Citizens were looking for the winner and had a good shot on goal just past the hour mark, but Meare made a good save to stop Shrivenham going behind again. In the seventy fifth minute Shrivenham appeared to have scored the winner as Allan put the ball in the net, however the referee awarded a foul as he dived in on Charlie York and the goal was disallowed keeping the score at 1-1.

In the seventy fifth minute the Citizens made their second substitution as Ezio Touray replaced Sam Bell. In the eightieth minute Shrivenham also made a substitution as Hale replaced Allan.

In the eighty ninth minute Shrivenham would go down to ten men as the referee sent Stanley to the sin bin for dissent.

In the ninety third minute the Citizens nearly scored an own goal to put our hosts ahead but we were able to clear the ball off the line.

After four minutes of added time the referee called time on the afternoon's proceedings and the Citizens headed back to Berkshire with a point after a hard fought draw, the Citizens now sit in fifth place in the Hellenic League.

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