It was a disheartening defeat for Reading City, who were league leaders at the time, this weekend when they played Shrivenham, who were bottom without a point. City were never at the races but may have deserved more from the game as they did have the majority of possession, but the final ball lacked quality every time.
We must thank our Head Groundsman Dave Wyeth as the game remained on despite the heavy rain the days and nights prior showing the quality of the pitch thanks to the great job that he’s done at the Rivermoor.
Shrivenham had the opening chance of the game but struggled to create opportunities for a while after. Their danger man up top Kieran Scott dribbled down the left into the box and fired high towards the goal forcing Charlie York to make a great stop as he pushed the ball over the bar.
After that, City’s chances then started flowing. Two huge chances to take the lead came in quick succession for City. Dan Davies made his way down the left side providing a low cross for Brad Farren who beat the keeper to the ball, but his finish was poor, and it rolled out to the right-wing. From there Eddie Lazarczuk collected the loose ball and delivered a great cross for Kai Stubbs who headed narrowly wide.
Eddie Lazarczuk was the deliverer for the next chance as well as he swung another good ball in from a corner this time which was met by Ellis Cowd at the back post, but he couldn’t quite find the target.
Another huge opportunity came soon after when City had numbers breaking forward, Dan Davies played it out right for Joe Pilling but Cavanagh rushed out of goal and beat Pilling to it and cleared the ball. If Joe Pilling had beat Cavanagh to it City certainly would’ve been 1-0 up.
Just a minute later, Nathan Jones tried to replicate his goal from the week prior. The ball was cleared away from a corner to him on the edge of the box, he fired a shot through the traffic, but the ball pinballed its way towards the corner slowing the shot down, and Cavanagh was able to make the save.
The momentum switched at the end of the half as tensions started to rise. Dan Davies put in a very late challenge on a Shrivenham player and was probably lucky to get away with just a yellow card. In the aftermath, a pushing and shoving match started, and somehow only Kai Stubbs came out with a yellow card when both sides were heavily involved.
Kai Stubbs was fired up after the yellow card and made a great run down the middle and won a free kick for Eddie Lazarczuk. Eddie Lazarczuk struck the ball well towards the bottom left corner and forced Cavanagh into a save to make sure it wasn’t going in.
Kai Stubbs ended up in the sin-bin with five minutes to go after a foul when trying to win the ball from a Shrivenham defender. He reacted saying “**** off”, it seemed harsh as it was just a heat of the moment initial reaction but the complaints from Shrivenham players maybe forced the referee’s hand.
Straight from the sin-bin decision, Shrivenham got the opener against the run of play. Left-back John Gregory whipped a cross to the back post where Kieran Scott fired into the top right corner, Reading City 0-1 Shrivenham.
At half-time City likely felt hard done by, some questionable decisions from the referee had allowed Shrivenham to take the lead, and now City would have to fight back from behind after being the better team.
City’s best chance of the game came ten minutes into the half. An Eddie Lazarczuk long throw caused havoc, as usual, the goalkeeper came to win the ball and missed it, the ball fell for Dan Davies who snatched at the chance on the volley and saw his shot go over the bar of the empty net.
Then ten minutes later, City thought they had the lead. Will Okine-Peters dribbled down the left in space and played a pinpoint low cross for Dan Davies who had made a great run and tapped the ball in past Cavanagh. The crowd erupted, only to be disgruntled moments later as the flag had gone up for offside against Davies.
However, the Cityzens did find the tying goal a matter of minutes later. Lazarchuk delivered a free-kick to the back post where Ellis Cowd headed back across goal to his centre-back partner Josh Blackwood who headed into the corner, Reading City 1-1 Shrivenham!
After the goal, City seemed to lay back and think the game was there for the taking and straight away Shrivenham upped their game. It only took the visitors three minutes to retake the lead. It was an accurate delivery from the corner on the left to Scott, who made a superb run completely untracked and met the ball perfectly heading home for his and Shrivenham’s second, Reading City 1-2 Shrivenham.
It was almost 3-1 soon after when Connor Walden got in behind the defence but fired over the bar.
The hosts had two chances to make it 2-2 from two Lazarczuk long throws. The first throw to D’Cruz was denied by a sublime save by Cavanagh as he got down to his right quick. The second straight after got past Cavanagh, and all it needed was a touch by a City player to tie the game, but nobody could get there, and Shrivenham cleared the danger.
Another big chance came with two minutes remaining when City broke with numbers. Kai Stubbs played a low ball from the right to Dan Davies who received the ball with his back to goal and shot on the turn, but it was a weak shot which was saved easily by Cavanagh.
Shrivenham went up the other end and had a late chance to make it three. A long ball up to substitute Bridges who brought the ball down in the box superbly with his chest then shot across goal, and it was deflected just wide of the far post. From that corner, Shrivenham killed the clock to see out the game.
Reading City weren’t clinical enough with their finishes or generally when attacking, whereas Shrivenham put away most of their chances when they had them. The big switching point was when City seemed to relax after scoring, allowing Shrivenham to retake the lead.
The next game for City is tomorrow, 6/11/20, at home to Fairford Town at 19:45. There’s also extra Reading City viewing this week as we welcome the JMA Reading boys who represent Reading City U18s in the FA Youth Cup 2nd Qualifying Round at the Rivermoor against Fleet Town on Thursday (8/10/20) at 19:30.
Make sure to follow us on Instagram (@ReadingCityFC) and Twitter (@ReadingCityFC) for updates on Reading City. You can also find the links for @RCFCU23s to be up to date with our U23s. @RCFCDevelopment to be up to date with our new Development Team. And @RCFCYouth for all things youth.