Match Report by Nick Bird
Reading City U23s had their last friendly before they kicked off their Thames Valley Premier League campaign vs Eldon Celtic in what was intended to be a tough match against big opposition that would help City prepare for similar teams in the TVPL.
It was a slow start from City as Eldon kept possession well which made it hard for City to get out of their half in the first 15-20 minutes. Eldon only got one really good chance from this spell however, the striker got on the end of a long ball from midfield but the City keeper did well to come out and close the angles which forced the striker to put it over the bar.
Reading City began to get a foothold in the game though with good use of the flanks. It was the use of the flanks that got them a chance. Bobbie was out on the left when Kris found him with a through ball, once he'd received the ball he attempted to go around the keeper but instead was brought down by the keeper and the referee awarded a penalty. Kris calmly placed the penalty into the bottom right-hand corner to give Reading City U23s the lead, 1-0.
It was only three minutes later when City striker Jehmeil chased down a long ball and got in behind the Eldon defence, the goalkeeper came out but Jehmeil kept his composure and went round him to slot it into an empty net, 2-0.
Bobbie had a chance to double his goals tally for the night in the 37th minute after a cut back from Kris but his shot from just outside the box went over the bar due to him slipping when he took the shot.
Reading City grabbed their 3rd goal of the game with a great team goal. The play started from their 18-yard box with the defence and passed the ball up the field. The ball ended up on the left-wing, a low cross was whipped in and Jehmeil was there to tap it in, 3-0.
It wasn’t the best start to the second half for City when Eldon Celtic were awarded a penalty only five minutes into the half. Mo lunged in with a poor tackle that brought down the Eldon right-winger. However, City were lucky as the Eldon Celtic penalty taker failed to hit the target. The keeper also went the correct way and it looked like he would have saved it even if it was on target.
A couple of minutes later Reading City played another long ball from their half for Jehmeil to chase. Jehmeil reached the ball first before cutting back to lose his defender, he had a shot at goal but the ball fired just over the bar.
Eldon Celtic were trying to cause trouble in the second half with long balls, their number 14 continually looked to switch play with a long ball to the left-winger but the defence was dealing with it well.
Reading City had a great passing play in the 69th minute when they passed the ball up the pitch on the counter with a brilliant string of one-touch passes, the ball ended up with George on the right in space but he couldn’t finish the move as his shot went over, the move definitely deserved a goal. Although it didn't end in a goal this piece of play did show the type of football they are capable of.
Eldon pulled a goal back with 15 minutes to go when the left-winger had a shot hit the post and one of their midfielders was able to reach the rebound and who put it into an almost empty net due to the keeper going out to try and shut down the first shot.
City stopped Eldon’s potential for momentum quickly though, Tyrese ran down the left and crossed the ball into Harry who fired his shot into the top right corner.
Eldon’s best chance came in the 85th minute when their right winger put a low cross in which passed through everyone to their left winger, he hit it first time but the City goalkeeper did incredibly to get across and make the save. The Reading City keeper didn't have a lot to do during this game but when he was called upon he did well to keep the ball out of his net.
City added their 5th goal of the game in added time when Bobbie received the ball and decided to have a go at goal and the ball soared into the top right corner.
City performed well against a rough and loud side in Eldon Celtic and will look to continue their good form going into the TVPL season.