• Ryan Sheehan

#CityU18s | Young Citizens progress to first round proper of the FA Youth Cup

Wednesday night was a historic night at The Rivermoor as our Under 18s progressed to to the first round proper of the FA Youth Cup for the first time in the club's history after a goal in the first half by Tyrese Weekes and a second half goal from George Brevet saw us win 2-0 against Wealdstone, they'll now face Oxford United Under 18s in the first round proper on Wednesday at Rivermoor.

Match report by Nick Bird

It took Reading City U18s a while to settle into the game following a delayed start, and I’m sure the pressure of not only potentially going into the first round proper of the FA Youth Cup but playing against a League One side in Oxford United’s U18s brought a few nerves. Due to this, there were a few early chances for Wealdstone, their 10, who was a tall striker got through Jordi Wilson didn’t quite get the ball cleanly but did enough to allow Marco De Sousa to clear it before someone else could get there. The clearance only went as far as a Wealdstone player on the edge of the box, he dribbled down the left side but was dispossessed and then fouled De Sousa which relieved the pressure. Soon after Wealdstone had a free-kick from the left side, it was flicked on towards the back post but Jordi Wilson rose highest and claimed the ball confidently.

Despite Wealdstone’s early chances, it was Reading City who almost got a lucky opener as the Wealdstone’s goalkeeper clearance kick hit Ezio Touray and the ball looked like it was going to roll in but it went wide of the left post.

City had settled now and Ben Lambourne was denied by a great save from the Wealdstone goalkeeper after he won the aerial battle from a corner. The goalkeeper collided with the post due to the save but fortunately was able to continue. A few minutes later Wade Muttitt went close with a shot from about twenty yards out go barely wide of the post, it looked like it was going in until it went past the post. Reading City were controlling the game well at this point, the defence were continually catching the Wealdstone offside which continued for the whole game.

It took just under twenty minutes for the next chance to come and it was a good one as Jude Van Spall got the ball on the right and drove towards goal before shooting, the shot hit the post and then rolled across the line before being cleared away by a Wealdstone defender.

Wealdstone went up the other end and their left-winger dribbled into the box and then went to ground following a tackle, they appealed for a penalty but the referee sent away the players appealing.

Three minutes later Reading City got the breakthrough goal, Tyrese Weekes got the ball outside the box from Ezio Touray, he shaped up to shoot and bent his shot into the top right corner, it was a tremendous goal to open the scoring just before half-time, Reading City U18s 1-0 Wealdstone U18s.

At half-time both sides knew they had a big forty-five minutes to come to get a place in the first round of the FA Youth Cup.

It was a quick start from both sides, City trying to extend their lead, Wealdstone trying to get back into the game. A loopy shot from Wealdstone in the first minute went barely over the bar, but was awkward for Wilson to deal with. Straight after Tyrese Weekes almost bagged a second as he was one on one with the goalkeeper and forced a terrific save out of the goalkeeper as he pushed the shot onto the bar and out for a corner.

Not long after Harvey Pope tried to catch out the goalkeeper with a driven shot from the left side, but the shot went just over the bar.

Just before the hour mark, Jordi Wilson was called into action in what was a fairly quiet game for him. A low shot from a Wealdstone midfielder on the edge of the box went on target but it was a comfortable save for Wilson as it was almost straight at him.

In the second-half Reading City’s offside trap worked countless times and it irritated the Wealdstone attack and bench as they believed they weren’t offside every time it was given.

Wealdstone went close again when their 8 shaped up for a shot but was tackled, the ball rolled to 4 who had a shot but missed the target from outside the box.

Both sides were defending well in the second half, a couple of blocked shots from the Reading City defence and a good offside trap, and the Wealdstone defence weren’t allowing much through their backline either.

Neither side could create a good chance to score for a good amount of the second-half until the ninetieth minute when City were defending in numbers as Wealdstone were pushing for a goal. Ben Lambourne, who had a great game in defence, got the ball and dribbled out of defence he then played a sublime through ball down the left side for Ezio Touray who won it in a 50/50 battle with one of Wealdstone’s defenders who was left on the floor after trying to win it which allowed Touray to go forward into space, he drew the last two defenders and goalkeeper towards him which opened space for substitute George Brevett near the back post, he squared the ball to Brevett to tap in and confirm the victory for Reading City and the elation in the celebrations following the goal showed how much it meant to the players, Reading City U18s 2-0 Wealdstone U18s.

The elation continued after the final whistle was blown for Reading City as they were into the first round of the FA Youth Cup and were going to play Oxford United U18s.

It was a great performance from them and they proved that they deserved to be in the proper rounds of the FA Youth Cup.

Their game against Oxford United U18s is next Wednesday (6/11/19) at The Rivermoor and it would be great to see as many people there as possible to support the Under 18s as they look to progress as far as possible in the cup.

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