Match Report by Nick Bird
Reading City had never beaten Wokingham & Emmbrook before going into this game and Deano’s U23s looked to end that in this friendly at Rivers on Thursday evening.
The referee gave a penalty to Wokingham & Emmbrook after just three minutes. Their penalty taker put it to the right but the Reading City goalkeeper guessed correctly and saved it to keep it 0-0.
Seventeen minutes in and Reading City U23s were counter-attacking, a through ball was played for the forward to run onto and he put it away only for the referee to pull it back for offside.
Reading City U23s dominated the first half in terms of possession and chances but couldn’t finish them to give themselves a lead. However, this changed in the 33rd minute when midfielder Bobbie got the ball from the striker who drew two defenders in leaving a gap behind him around the penalty spot where Bobbie received the ball as the striker backheeled it to him and he finished the chance to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
The lead only lasted a minute though, a long ball out of the Wokingham & Emmbrook Reserves defence led to a race for the ball between their striker and the Reading City U23s goalkeeper but unfortunately for the home side the striker won the race allowing him to put it into an empty net and tie up the game, 1-1.
The game was only tied for three minutes as a Wokingham & Emmbrook defender gave away a penalty after a handball. Captain on the night Kris Tuffour stepped up to take the penalty and calmly put it down the middle to reinstate his sides 1 goal lead, 2-1.
The score remained the same going into half time. The home side was in complete control in the first half with Wokingham & Emmbrook struggling to get on the ball for long enough to create many chances. Reading City could easily have been up by a three or four at half time but if they can start finishing the chances going into the Thames Valley Premier League season they will be a tough side to beat.
The second half was a much more end to end affair but few chances challenged the keepers enough.
The biggest chance for Reading City U23s of the 2nd half came as one of the forwards got past the defence and was in a 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper who came out to shut down the angles and did well to make the save as he tried to keep his side in the game.
There was almost a repeat of Wokingham & Emmbrook’s first goal as there was another race for the ball but this time the Reading City goalkeeper came out on top.
The game ended Reading City U23s 2-1 Wokingham & Emmbrook Reserves which meant that Reading City had their first-ever win over Wokingham & Emmbrook and it was a deserved one. A very strong showing from the home side, if they can continue this form into the season it will be a very positive season in the Thames Valley Premier League.