RHC 1As vs Maidenhead 2-1
A strong Reading side fought back from a goal down to see off a spirited Maidenhead team in this 2nd XI cup match.
Reading were the side playing the more cultured hockey throughout, but Maidenhead’s punt and press tactics made it difficult for Reading to clear their lines effectively.
Reading gave a full debut to Katie Goddard who looked ‘to the manor born’, coping well with anything Maidenhead threw at her and making a number of good stops with her pads.
There was also a ‘re-debut’ (I made that word up) for Chloe Lyons, back after a long injury lay off. The rest has obviously mellowed Chloe as we were at least 10 minutes into the 2nd half before she had her first real moan at the umpires.
The first half saw few clear cut chances, but Reading were in control, with half backs Sophie, Holly and ‘Turbo’ Shannon pushing up well to exploit any space and the midfield of Alys, Laura, Georgia and Poppy all showing well for the ball and moving it on into good areas.
Reading had one PC, but looked most dangerous from open play, with Fen, Rachel and Sophie attacking good crosses at the back post. However it remained goalless up to half time.
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first until the Maidenhead press forced an error in the Reading defence and the attacker rounded Katie to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
This seemed to stir Reading into action. They attacked with more pace and the attacking line started making some excellent runs, with Keely setting the standard.
Good work on the left saw the ball enter the ‘ugly zone’. Time seemed to stand still as Rach reacted, picked the ball up, shined her nails, primped her hair (ok – I made that bit up, but she could have), and then casually flicked the ball into the net for a well deserved equaliser.
Damon then pushed the excellent Maz into centre half to give Poppy some company and to deal with Maidenhead overloading that area. From then on reading looked the only side likely to win. That the winning goal was such a beauty was an added bonus. Poppy picked the ball up in midfield and played Chloe through on the inside right channel. She made good ground and fired a deceptive pass (I thought she’d mishit it!) into the path of the onrushing Georgia, who, despite doing a passable impression of Bambi, controlled the ball brilliantly, gathered her composure and flicked the ball goal-wards, only to see her moment of glory thwarted by the post. Sophie Shakes reacted quickest and popped the ball into the open net. 2-1 to Reading.
Reading then saw out the rest of the game professionally, keeping the ball in their opponents half and minimising Maidenhead chances.
Now lets hope we get a nice draw for the 3rd round.