• Ryan Sheehan

#CityU23s | Honours even in Finchampstead Clash

Updated: Oct 19, 2019

Deano Jones and our young citizens travelled to Finchampstead in the Thames Valley Premier League, but would find themselves level at full time and sharing the points with their hosts, leaving them no doubt feeling frustrated that they didn't win as they controlled possession.


A frustrating game on Saturday afternoon at the Memorial Ground for Reading City U23s, they controlled possession, played the majority of the game in the opposition’s half, but lacked a spark, a moment of brilliance or someone to take the game by the scruff of the neck and lead the team to victory.

Despite that, Reading City had a chance within a minute as Jehmeil McNeil received the ball on the right side and drove towards goal but sliced his shot wide.

Early on the Finchampstead left-winger was causing issues for the backline of Reading City U23s as his runs were allowing him to get in behind the defence. These runs lead to two chances for Finchampstead, one on the edge of the D where a half volley was sent just past the top corner and another a few minutes later where the visitors struggled to clear the ball in their 18-yard box, but City managed to clear the danger eventually.

It was after those chances when City started to get control of the possession and create a few opportunities to score. Harry Peters cut back on the left side onto his right foot and crossed into the danger area; then a Finchampstead defender sliced the cross in an attempt to clear the ball which sent the ball spinning up and towards his own goal, luckily for him his keeper had it covered to prevent an unfortunate own goal. One of Reading City’s best chances of the game came soon after when the goalkeeper scuffed a pass to one of his defenders when City’s forwards were putting on pressure high up the field, Ollie Wilson was the interceptor and with his back to goal passed it to Ben Lambourne on the edge of the box, Lambourne hit it the first time, and it narrowly went past the left post as the goalkeeper scrambled to get back in position.

City then struggled to create a good chance for 20 minutes until Marco De Sousa crossed the ball from deep on the right side for Harry Peters who was open near the back post, he looked sure to score but leant back too much, and the shot went over from close range, it was a let-off for Finchampstead.

Only minutes later though Finchampstead had the best chance to score for either side of the half when a low cross was put into the 6-yard box from the right and shot towards goal, however, Jordi Wilson made a great save to keep the scores level.

The Citizens had their first shot on target only two minutes before half time when Nathan Jones got it outside the box and saw a gap open up in the defence to have a go, but his shot was straight at the goalkeeper. A couple of minutes later De Sousa had a shot from the edge of the box as well when he received the ball in the air, took a touch and then shot without letting the ball touch the ground, it was a great piece of skill, but the volley went over the bar.

The chances died down a lot in the second half as Finchampstead defended with a deep line and defended well. City U23s couldn’t find a way to get past the defence consistently, and it meant they only had a handful of chances in the second half.

Finchampstead had three free-kicks in the 2nd half from the halfway line which caused issues for Reading City U23s each time as everyone seemed to wait for someone else to clear the ball. The first one saw a shot from very close sent over the bar as the ball went past everyone. The second was dealt with the best but was still awkward, and the third came with only six minutes to go in the game, Jordi Wilson came to punch it and did so but the ball went behind him to a Finchampstead player who headed it towards goal but hit the bar, on another day City would have been punished for their poor use of possession with this chance but luckily got away with it this time.

Reading City U23s had three chances that troubled the goalkeeper in the second half. The first came when Tyron Bah crossed from the left side to the back post where Kris Tuffour tried to head it but couldn’t quite get close enough to make good contact and send it goalwards. The second and third attempts came back to back, De Sousa shot from about twenty-five yards out and almost caught the goalkeeper off guard as he could only parry the shot away. The parried chance came to Mohammed Drammeh Kabba, he passed it to Kris Tuffour who drove a shot towards the bottom left corner, but the keeper got down and made the save.

The game ended 0-0 with Finchampstead the much happier side to take a point as City U23s dominated the game but lacked creativity and didn’t challenge the goalkeeper nearly enough as he parried shots most of the times City had a shot on target.

The next game for the U23s is away on Saturday 5th October vs Mortimer at Alfred Palmer Memorial Recreation Ground, 14:00 KO and you can follow the game, as well as all U23s games, on twitter @RDGCityYouth.

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