Saturday 12th saw the Cityzens 2020/21 Uhlsport Hellenic Premier League Campaign commence with a long trip to Lydney Town in Gloucestershire, the furthest based team in the League. Despite a tiresome journey, the Cityzens were full of energy on the pitch and Simon Johnson will be happy that his side made a perfect start to our campaign.
The Cityzens started the game brightly and with six minutes on the clock, captain Alfie Grant but the team ahead. Two minutes Tyler D'Cruz almost put us further ahead but Lydney had other ideas and put in a great defensive block to deny us another early goal.
The Cityzens continued to dominate the game and it wasn't long until we would go for goal again, Mo Davies capitalised on a defensive error from Lydney who passed the ball back towards the keeper and went on one with the goalkeeper to put us further ahead.
As City continued to press the opposition Joe Wigmore was shown yellow by the referee for a foul on the halfway line. As we approached the half-hour mark we saw some fantastic attacking play from the Cityzens and we nearly had a third goal after the ball was crossed from the left-hand side into the box, City tried to send the ball back post but sent the ball over the bar instead.
Tyler D'Cruz went one on one with the Lydney keeper on twenty-seven minutes following more fantastic attacking play from the Cityzens. However, the Lydney keeper was able to keep it out and keep the score at 0-2.
With thirty-one minutes on the clock, Joe Wigmore found Joe Pilling who then attempted to go for goal, Joe couldn't quite get a shot on it and the ball went wide.
The referee brought the first forty-five to a close, The Cityzens would go into the second half with a two-goal lead and there's no doubt that Simon Johnson was thrilled with how his side had started their 2020/21 campaign.
The Cityzens started the second half brightly as we continued to press Lydney rather than resting on our laurels.
With fifty-seven minutes on the clock, Mo Davies almost earned himself a brace. Mo was waiting in the box and after some good link-up play from Joe Pilling and Nathan Jones, the ball found him but the shot is an easy catch for the Lydney keeper.
With sixty-three minutes gone Simon Johnson introduced a fresh pair of legs to the game as Joe Wigmore made way for Lewis Bebb. A second substitution followed in the seventy-second minute as Joe Pilling made way for Will Okine-Peters.
Within minutes of being on the pitch, Will Okine-Peters opened his account for the season with an absolute peach of a goal, sitting down Lydney defenders with some fantastic footwork before slotting it past the keeper. With seventy minutes gone the score was now 0-3.
With seventy-seven minutes gone, Simon Johnson introduced another fresh pair of legs as Nathan Jones made way for Matt Stockill. In the eighty-third minute, Will Okine-Peters was causing Lydney problems again as he delivered a great ball into the box which Matt Stockill met, but couldn't quite get a shot on it and the ball goes wide.
In the eighty-fifth minute, Lydney finally managed to penetrate our defence having scored from a corner. Sadly they left their fight back a little late and this would be nothing but a consolation goal for our hosts. Score 1-3.
With eighty-nine minutes Lydney tried to spoil the party by going for goal again, but Josh Blackwood kept them out with some great defensive play and helped ensure we'd return to Berkshire with three points.
After four minutes of added time, the referee finally brought proceedings to a close in Gloucestershire and City would be bringing three points back to Berkshire. Final score 1-3.
Saturday's man of the match as voted for by the players, management team and club officials was Alfie Grant who was superb in defence. Congratulations to captain fantastic.
First team manager Simon Johnson was very jubilant after a perfect start to our 2020/21 Uhlsport Hellenic League Premier Division campaign and said:
"Opening day win on a long away day, nothing better".
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