Updated: May 16
Our Under 23s bounced back from defeat to Windlesham United with a convincing victory away to Wraysbury Village.
Despite tough conditions due to the wet weather which also affected the playing surface, the game went ahead and goals from Jude Van Spall and Marco De Sousa saw our young citizens win 1-2 win to see them stay top of the Thames Valley Premier League.
MATCH REPORT BY NICK BIRD
Wraysbury started well as their number ten had a few attempts, but none challenged Jordi Wilson much. In the twelfth minute, one of the Wraysbury centre midfielders found himself in some room on the edge of the box and had a shot, but it went wide of the left post. Almost straight after the number ten also put a shot just wide of the post.
Despite a few early chances for Wraysbury, Reading City U23s got the first goal of the game. A long ball from midfield fell for Jude Van Spall on the edge of the box, the ball settled nicely for him to hit it on the half volley and the ball sailed its way into the left side of the goal and gave Reading City U23s the lead with a tremendous goal, Wraysbury Village 0-1 Reading City U23s.
There was a lot of battling for possession for most of the half and trying to create some chances, but neither side could find the final ball they needed to allow them to score.
The next chance came fifteen minutes after the goal as Marco De Sousa was just inside the box and tried to double his sides lead, but the shot lacked power and was a comfortable save for the goalkeeper.
Just before half-time, Wraysbury's number ten found himself with an excellent opportunity to get in a one on one with Jordi Wilson as he got in behind the defence. Still, Nathan Mindoumba showed a high work rate to get back and make a recovery tackle to win the ball back and take away the chance for Wraysbury.
City had the lead at the break, but it wasn't the most comfortable as Wraysbury knocked on the door a few times in the first half but lacked a bit of quality when the chances did come for them.
Reading City U23s came out much better in the second half and were in control of the game.
Early on the trio of Jude Van Spall, Marco De Sousa and Jas Le Paih were passing in triangles up the left side of the pitch retaining the ball superbly, but unfortunately, the great piece of play came to nothing.
Jude Van Spall had an almost perfect chance to grab his second soon after as Kris Tuffour was on the left side and crossed to the back post for Van Spall, but his shot was straight at the goalkeeper if it was pretty much anywhere else it would have been 2-0.
Straight from that clear cut chance, Wraysbury went up the other end and found themselves with an excellent opportunity to score, but a block was enough to make the shot an easy save for Jordi Wilson. That chance was the start of a few chances in quick succession for Wraysbury, the right-winger attempted a bicycle kick from just inside the box which went high and was loopy, but Jordi Wilson still caught it under pressure from a Wraysbury player. Then Wraysbury had their own clear cut chance as a shot came in from the right again, Jordi Wilson palmed the ball away only as far as the left-winger who hammered a shot towards goal only for it to be blocked and then cleared away, it was very close to becoming 1-1.
They had a good attempt well saved from a free-kick on the hour mark as it looked to be going into the far post, but Jordi made the save and held it. Jordi distributed quickly up the field for a perfect counter-attack, the ball was played forward again to Marco De Sousa on the edge of the box in a three on one in the visitor's favour. De Sousa took it himself and fired his shot into the bottom right corner to double the visitors lead, Wraysbury Village 0-2 Reading City U23s.
It was almost 1-2 only a minute late, Jordi Wilson's goal kick was poor going straight to a Wraysbury player, he dribbled his way into the box to have a shot, but Denis Haxhiu got back to make a last-ditch tackle in the box to deny the Wraysbury forward a chance to score.
Wraysbury eventually found a way through, a cross came from the right-winger and went past everyone to the back post for the opposite winger to tap in and bring the hosts within one. There were some appeals for offside for the crosser, but they were dismissed by the referee, Wraysbury Village 1-2 Reading City U23s.
Wraysbury's new front three for this second half were causing the defence a lot of issues. The striker came close to tying the game as he went along the edge of the box looking for a gap to shoot through and eventually did so, but Jordi Wilson made a save to prevent a goal. They soon got in behind the defence again, but Nathan Mindoumba got back made the tackle and then used his strength to retain the ball and get past the man he dispossessed to take the ball out of defence.
The visitors were getting sloppy with their passing by now often giving the ball away, leading to chances for the home side. However, in the last ten minutes, they played much better and were able to close the game out, they kept the ball in the opposition's half and defended well when Wraysbury did get the ball.
With the win Reading City U23s stay top of the Thames Valley Premier League and they showed good bounce-back ability following last weeks loss. They currently lead the table by three points, but teams below do have some games in hand, so City U23s will have to keep up the superb form they've demonstrated since the start of the season.