On Boxing Day we welcomed local rivals Binfield to the Rivermoor for the much anticipated Berks El Clásico. Like all local derbies our game against Binfield became quite feisty especially late on as the Citizens battled against a good Binfield side. Binfield came away with the win after nicking a goal right at the end.
Match Report by Nick Bird
The citizens had the ball in the back of the net after just ten minutes. Steve Lee played a long ball for Josh Blackwood who ran with it down the right towards the corner, and he then cut the ball back to Adam Cashin-Murray who turned his man allowing him room to cross the ball to the back post where Sam Bell headed it in with a diving header. However, the goal was pulled back for a close offside.
A quarter of the way into the game Binfield had an excellent chance to take the lead. Arthur Furness was dispossessed on the turn by Binfield’s right-winger, he then played a through ball to their striker who looked like he was through, but Alfie Grant made a superb slide tackle to win the ball in the box.
Five minutes later Adam Cashin-Murray won the second ball from a free-kick and showed great ball control to keep it before laying it off to Dan Davies who cut inside onto his left foot to shoot, but it was straight at the goalkeeper for an easy save.
It was an even first half, but with lots of complaints to the referee and linesman, especially from Binfield’s forwards.
The citizens started the second half well, and Davies had a good chance following Le Paih intercepting a pass on the halfway line and passing it out to him on the left. Davies cut inside upon receiving the ball, and tried to bend his shot into the far corner, but slipped slightly when taking the shot, and it went wide.
Soon after Dan Davies was away down the left again, he was closed down as he got into the box but was able to play a pass to Blackwood who hit a shot on the turn which was saved by the keeper.
Binfield went up the other end and had two good chances back to back where they probably should have scored. The first came from their left-winger who was played in behind the City defence, he dribbled inside from the left and forced a good save out of Charlie York. The ball came back to him, and he passed it to his side’s striker on the edge of the D who had a shot which their right-winger tried to run across and turn in, but he put it wide from the 6-yard box.
Not long after their last chance, Binfield were forward again. Their striker received the ball in the right side of the box, he played a low cross inside, but the Binfield player failed to hit the target with their shot.
The citizens had massive appeals for a penalty denied ten minutes into the half when Arthur Furness passed to Josh Blackwood who was then taken down with a slide tackle right in front of the linesman but neither he or the referee decided to award it.
Binfield had a spell following the penalty appeal where they threw everything at the Reading City goal, but the City players put everything on the line blocking shot after shot and Charlie York making some great saves. One of Binfield’s midfielders had a low driven shot heading for the bottom right corner which Charlie York got down to well.
The citizens struggled to get anything going after that as they couldn’t get a good amount of possession to create chances.
With just more than fifteen minutes left one of Binfield’s forwards won the ball from the City defence, but Alfie Grant recovered well and jockeyed the right-winger shutting down his shooting options, and he ended up putting it over.
Binfield went close from a corner. The first shot got blocked, and a Binfield player got to the rebound first and was denied a goal by a good save from Charlie York.
In the last ten minutes, the game got more aggressive. Binfield got a sin bin in the 82nd minute after persistent complaining. In the 84th the Binfield striker received a yellow card after taking out Dan Davies as he went up to win a header. Dan Davies retaliated a few minutes later with a reckless challenge on the man that previously fouled him. Following that foul Davies was rushed by five Binfield players, and there were almost the entire teams of both sides pushing and shoving. It took about six minutes for the referees to defuse the situation as much as they could and then make a decision on the outcome which was a yellow card for Dan Davies and a yellow card for one of the Binfield defenders who started the pushing and shoving.
In the 95th minute, the Binfield striker got into the Reading City box and forced a superb save out of Charlie York with a shot across goal.
Then in the 98th minute, Binfield won the game with a ball over the defence from just inside the City half which was won by substitute Jemel Johnson, Charlie York had rushed out to try and win the ball but wasn’t able to, and Johnson put it past him and in to win the game for the visitors, Reading City 0-1 Binfield.
It was a heartbreaking way to lose for the Citizens, especially under the circumstances.
First Team Manager Simon Johnson shares his thoughts following our narrow victory:
"Always gutting to lose to a late winner, boys battled brilliantly against a very good side. At least Binfield won with class".
City had to try and recover in time for a game versus Easington Sports two days later where they, unfortunately, lost 1-0 with ten men after conceding a penalty.
The next game for the Citizens is at home to Flackwell Heath on the Saturday 4th January at The Rivermoor.