Mens 1 Reading 5 Canterbury 3
Sat 27 Sept
Reading 5 Canterbury 3
Written by Dave Wright - Reading Post
JONTY CLARKE took just 90 seconds to fire Reading towards their first NOW: Pensions League win of the season.
Within a minute, impressive midfielder Dan Shingles doubled their lead and soon afterwards Blues were awarded a penalty stroke, only for Clarke to strike the left-hand post.
Two minutes later, a superb long and accurate ball out of defence by Richard Mantell led to Jack Clee making it 3-0.
Canterbury pulled a goal back two minutes later through Harry Roberts; so it was 3-1 – and the game was only 12 minutes old.
James Spain scored again for the visitors in the 26th minute to put Reading under pressure and it needed a flying save from keeper Tommy Alexander to prevent Canterbury player-coach Kwan Browne equalising.
But Blues always looked to have the measure of their opponents, who, like their hosts, had come into this game on Saturday evening having lost their opening two games of the season.
Reading regained a two-goal advantage with two strikes in quick succession.
Simon Mantell helped set up Clarke for his second and Reading’s fourth in the 48th minute and then Tom Carson converted Blues’ first short corner of the game to make it 5-2.
Ben Hare notched a third for the Kent side on the hour mark.
Blues’ coach Andy Watts said: “We had performed pretty well in our previous two games without getting a result, so it was nice to get the first three points under our belts.
“We got the sharp start we wanted to impose ourselves on the game, but then we switched off a bit and conceded two quite soft goals.
“We need to be a bit more calm and hold on to the ball a bit more.”
Watts confirmed that Chris Newman, who was playing his first game since arriving back from Australia last Tuesday, has taken over the captain’s role from Richard Springham.
Explaining the change of armbands, Watts said: “Chris has been involved with the club for a number of years. With him coming in as captain and me as coach, we are looking to freshen things up.
“He is an important player for us and I am looking to him to drive things forward.”
Reading are home again on Sunday, when Southgate are the visitors to Sonning Lane (2.30pm).