- Last Active
Back in Reading for a couple of days, so took a trip to Woking FC to see this PLC game. We went down to a narrow 1-0 defeat in a game with plenty of chances for both sides. Swans blooded more youngsters: Will Rickard & Ali Al-Hamadi started up front either side of Liam Cullen. Jack Evans skippered the side in a 4-3-3 formation.
We enjoyed lots of first half possession but the final ball was often lacking & unfortunately what chances we created tended to fall to our least experienced players.
Reading took the lead on 41 minutes when they passed their way through to enable Boyé to score from close range. He’s the Argentinian striker who played - and should’ve been dismissed - in the first team fixture at The Liberty this season. Barrett, another with first team experience, struck the bar in the 2nd half. Lewis Webb made several stops, including a cracking point blank save to deny House. We had a late rally with Josh Thomas & Marc Walsh on the pitch, but couldn’t find an equaliser. In fairness, that might’ve been hard on a Reading side that passed up lots of chances. My MOM was Lewis Webb. Entertaining match on a bitterly cold day.
Went along to the U18s game v Charlton yesterday at Landore. Lost 3-1 to a stronger side after being 1 up. No teamsheet & it was my first time at the academy, so I was largely guessing identities. Mass substitutions disrupted the rhythm, but Al Ahemedi strengthened an otherwise lightweight midfield. Our right winger (Bradley Gibbings?) got a decent opener. Josh Thomas centre forward, Will Rickard left midfield, McKendry & Butler centre backs. Although he’s listed in the U23 squad v Carmarthen, I’m pretty sure Jacob Jones played right back at Landore (small, blonde, have we got another Jacob on the books?). Tyler Reid’s brother came on at right back, a mirror image of his brother. Jones (if it was him), Gibbings (if it was him!!) & Al Ahemedi looked the brightest of the bunch. Looking forward to seeing more games - and recognising more players! - at this level.
Cabango wasn’t in last Friday’s squad, he could of course have taken a knock or been protected. On the wider point RGD rightly raises, the relegated U23s shed a fair number of ‘regulars’ in the Summer (e.g. Maric, Reid, King, A Lewis) so some continuity might be helpful while youngsters step up this year. Having said that, I recognise these players clearly can’t stand still. Of the names mentioned, I’m imagining Dhanda & Asoro are expecting to be part of this season’s first team set-up. J Evans & Garrick might prefer to stay close to the club to get an opportunity. For the others, if a loan is on, it’s also a case of going to the right team to have the chance to shine - witness Connor Roberts’s contrasting fortunes at Yeovil and Bristol Rovers/Middlesbrough respectively. Hopefully, these players will each get the right chance to prove themselves, either here or elsewhere.