Saturday saw the Cityzens take on Woodley United in the fiercely contested Rivermoor Derby and the record crowd. In front of a paying crowd of over 200 spectators, both teams battled well and a total of five goals were scored, but it's City who head into the FA First Round Proper thanks to a Tyler D'Cruz hat-trick.
It was Woodley United who had the first chance to go ahead in the Rivermoor derby as Tyrese Corbin-Chandler delivered a great free kick in towards the box, but Dan Davies was able to get up and attempt to head it away from danger, however Lamin Ceesay was able to get back on the ball but the city defence was able to deal with him easily and any hope of getting close to goal fizzled out.
City began to find their way game in the game as we approached the ten-minute mark and started to cause Woodley United's defence problems. Our first proper chance for a goal came in the twelve-minute when Will Okine-Peters got fouled out on the wing. Lewis Bebb took the free-kick and delivered a dangerous ball into the box, however it wasn't enough to trouble Woodley and the score remained 0-0.
Woodley came to close to a goal in the fifteenth minute after some good link-up play, however Imani Lakita made a good interception just in time to prevent Charlie York from being troubled
City had another chance to take the lead in the twenty-first minute, again this was from a free-kick. Michael Butcher stepped up to take this one and put a great ball towards goal, beating the wall but not Perry Howard who was able to get it to it and made a good catch.
It was an end to end game here at the Rivermoor and in the twenty-third minute, it was Charlie York being troubled after a ball was initially cleared from a corner kick, only seconds later Charlie York was forced to make a save.
Twenty-five minutes in and there was a brief stop in play as Perry Howard went down injured, prior to that he made a great sliding save to get to the ball as Dan Davies put the ball towards the box. With Perry Howard getting the all-clear to continue he got proceedings underway with a goal kick in the twenty-sixth minute.
On the twenty-eighth minute, Ellis Cowd made a great clearance to stop Max Laschok in their tracks. Following the clearance, Woodley were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box, but it was off target.
As we passed the half-hour mark it remained 0-0 in the Rivermoor Derby and there was another break in play as Imani Lakita received treatment. Sadly Imani Lakita wasn't able to continue in the game and on the thirty-third minute was replaced with Eddie Lazarczuk.
The deadlock was eventually broken in the thirty-fifth minute after City were awarded a penalty, Tyler D'Cruz stepped to take and sent Perry Howard the wrong way, earning his first goal of the afternoon. Woodley United 0 v Reading City 1
On the fortieth minute, City were awarded another free-kick after Lewis Bebb was fouled on the edge of the box, Lewis Bebb took the free-kick himself and although he put a great ball towards goal it didn't trouble Perry Howard.
As we moved into added time, City would extend their lead from a free-kick As Lewis Bebb delivered another great ball into the box, Tyler D'Cruz got a head on it, earning his second goal of the afternoon. Woodley United 0 v Reading City 2
Then came half time and the Cityzens would go in at the break leading 0-2 thanks to Tyler D'Cruz's brace.
Not long after the first half started the Cityzens would go further in front as Tyler D'Cruz continued to cause Woodley United problems. In the fiftieth minute, he earned himself a hat-trick as Lewis Bebb delivered a great from a corner kick, he met it with his head and there was no way Perry Howard was going to stop that bullet of a header. Woodley United 0 v Reading City 3
Three goals clearly weren't enough for Tyler D'Cruz and in the fifty-fourth minute, he would try and go for goal again, however, this time Perry Howard was able to deny him.
In the fifty-fifth minute play was stopped as Kai Stubbs-Alleyne received treatment for what appeared to be an injury to his arm, unfortunately, he wasn't able to continue and was replaced with Brad Farren in the fifty-eighth minute.
Just passed the hour mark Tyler D'Cruz almost added to his goal tally, A great throw-in from Eddie Lazarzuk saw the ball find Dan Davies, who then put a great good cross into the box which Tyler D'Cruz latched on to but Perry Howard denied him by plucking the ball out of the air.
In the sixty-fifth minute, City made their final substitution as Marco De Sousa replaced Nathan Jones. As Nathan Jones was captaining the side for this fixture he handed the armband to Michael Butcher for the remainder of the game.
In the sixty-seventh minute, we saw another great free-kick from Lewis Bebb, however, Perry Howard saw it coming and dived low to parry it away. Eddie Lazarczuk then got on the second ball but he put too much power in his shot.
In the seventieth minute, the heavens opened at the Rivermoor and as the record crowd of over 200 looked for cover. Max Laschok pulled a goal back for our hosts Woodley. Woodley United 1 v Reading City 3
In the eightieth minute, Max Laschok attempted to goal for goal again but the ball was cleared and Woodley earned a corner, following the corner Charlie York was forced to make a superb save as Jordan Carter who hadn't been on the pitch that long having come on in place of Edward Thomas, tried to make it two.
In the eighty-first minute, Max Laschok found his second of the afternoon, meaning that this game would have a fantastic finale. Woodley United 2 v Reading City 3
In the eighty-third minute, City almost extended their lead after Lewis Bebb delivered a great ball from a corner kick but Woodley were able to clear.
We went into added time with only a one-goal advantage and you could sense the level of excitement throughout the ground as no one knew how this game would finish.
With the clock running down Marco De Sousa tried to put us further ahead but Perry Howard flew out of the traps and denied us a fourth goal.
Perry Howard would have his work cut out as minutes later Tyler D'Cruz who had terrorised Woodley United all game forced a save out of him.
Woodley United almost found the equaliser deep into added time but thanks to some stupendous goalkeeping from Charlie York which saw the crowd gasp, the ball was pushed out over the bar, and Woodley were awarded a corner which came to nothing.
Then in the last chance saloon, Will Okine-Peters went goalwards but was flagged offside.
The referee eventually brought the game to a close and the Cityzens could breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the job was done and they'd move on to the First Round Proper in the Buildbase FA Vase. Full time: Woodley United 2 v Reading City 3