Reading City U23s picked up their first 3 points of the Thames Valley Premier League season on a chilly evening in Woodcote against a good Woodcote team who finished 3rd last season and had won both of their opening games to the season.
Match report by Nick Bird
It was a promising start from City U23s as they were playing in the opposition half for the majority of the first 30 minutes. Jehmeil McNeil saw a shot go just wide of the post in the first 9 minutes. The Citizens had several good passages of play but struggled to find that final ball.
The good play from Reading City U23s was rewarded with a goal in the 24th minute when City counter-attacked down the left. Tyrese Weeks and Shomari Bridgewater played a great one-two with Bridgewater’s pass finding Weeks in space to put a cross into the box. The cross caused issues for Woodcote and the goalkeeper ended up turning it into his goal surrounded by players to give the visitors a deserved lead, Woodcote FC 0-1 Reading City U23s.
There were multiple chances for City to extend their lead with two very notable ones falling for striker Jehmeil McNeil. McNeil had a great one on one chance with the Woodcote goalkeeper but he tripped on the ball which allowed the opposition defence time to recover and clear the pressure. Another great chance came in the 35th minute when McNeil got on the end of a long ball that went over the opposition's defence and he was in another 1 on 1 chance, all signs pointed to a goal but the goalkeeper did well to make the save; the save wasn’t held though and instead was rebounded to Tyrese Weeks who’s shot was also parried by the keeper, who did well to recover quickly from the first save; this time the ball fell for McNeil who had a chance to redeem himself for his earlier miss with a second attempt at goal, but the defence had retreated in time for one of them to head the ball off of the line and subsequently clear the danger.
Woodcote got on the ball late in the half when City started playing high, long passes instead of keeping it on the floor which allowed the taller Woodcote side to intercept these passes. Although they got more of the ball they struggled to create any significant chances. The closest Woodcote came to a goal in the first half was with 3 minutes to go until half time when they had a free-kick go wide of the right post.
Reading City U23s went in at the break with a well-deserved lead but had reason to be dissatisfied as they should have gone in with a bigger lead.
Woodcote started the 2nd half strongly and had a shot almost dip over City goalkeeper Jordi Wilson, but it was just over hit and went over the bar. Wilson was put into action only a couple of minutes later when Woodcote had a powerful shot from close range prevented by a good save from the goalkeeper.
Tensions rose in the 2nd half between both sides which resulted in yellow cards for two Woodcote players and one City U23 player.
Both sides struggled to find the final ball again which would allow them to score for a lot of the second half. The most noticeable chance during the middle part of the half came when Harry Peters cut in from the right onto his left foot and fired a shot at goal, but it was blocked.
After some substitutions, City grabbed another goal started by another beautiful ball down the left touchline by Shomari Bridgewater to Tyron Bah, who had moved from right back to left-wing, who spotted Kris Tuffour with room on the edge of the box, he cut the ball back to the captain who placed his shot into the bottom right corner and double the visitors lead much to the elation of Deano and the travelling fans, Woodcote FC 0-2 Reading City U23s.
It was only 3 minutes later when Kris Tuffour found himself in pretty much the same position as he was for his first goal, he received the ball there, this time from the right, and put it away in almost identical fashion into the bottom right corner and seal the victory for Reading City U23s, Woodcote FC 0-3 Reading City U23s.
A very deserved three points for City U23s and hopefully the start of a long winning run. Another clean sheet as well for Jordi Wilson who was reliable as always when called upon and another promising performance up top where we could have scored even more goals.
The next game for the U23s is on Saturday 7th September at home for the first time this season vs Mortimer FC.
You can follow every U23s game live on twitter @RDGCityFCYouth
Under 23s Manager Deano Jones had this to say following his sides win:
"After a disappointing point on Saturday, massive relief for our U23’s to get our first win vs a strong Woodcote FC. They will be in the shake up for honours at the end of the season for sure, so credit to Darren Seal and the lads".