A cold January day after the Christmas break, the boys were eager to get back to their League campaign.
An even start to the match saw both sides playing the whole pitch and our defence needed to be on their toes from the start. Seven minutes in, a short corner was blown for us and Max put away the shot emphatically for a 0-1 lead.
Getting into our stride and starting to link up well, another goal nearly followed from Fraser sending the ball to Marcus who passed to Isaac who found Nick in the circle but the shot went wide. More opportunities like this and we were about to start a goal scoring trend. However...
We were not disciplined enough and maybe thought it was easier than it really was; a Reading man got the ball on the edge of the D (passed to him from his teammate in front of goal) and he put away a scorcher to equalise seven minutes after our goal.
A PC for them and three for us all went fruitless (deflection saved, injection missed, flick slightly high), so the half ended 1-1.
Our work cut out for us and specific things to work on from Coach Dan, we started the second half with purpose. However...
Three minutes into the half, Reading somehow got in with a shot and then managed to lob over our all GHC players in the vicinity to go up 2-1.
Alex then made a number of excellent saves to keep us close while we sustained the pressure and got ourselves back on a more positive footing. We needed to work harder in midfield and get the ball passing quickly forward into the circle. While the plan was all about passing, sometimes the opportunity arises to take the ball forward and when Isaac spotted the chance, he outran the Reading midfield and snaked through the defenders to bring us equal at 2 all.
This seemed to inspire the team and in a phase of super passing and linking, Tom G got a lovely ball in to Charlie in the circle who put it deftly past the keeper's right side to go ahead again. And a few minutes later Isaac got one to Charlie who sent it to Max for 2-4.
With seven minutes still to play we then had to work really hard to make sure that the ghost of OH (or Worthing) didn't turn up. Some excellent work indeed by all who played in the back and the midfielders helped out as well.
With two minutes left on the clock, Reading got a PC which we defended well and got the ball up to our end in a brilliant, quick counterattack. However…
It was not to be as Reading then tackled for the ball and did their own counter which got through to goal and they clawed one back for 3-4. Two seconds later the final whistle blew along with a few sighs of relief from the GHC side-lines.
Competitive match played in good spirit – many thanks to Reading for hosting including a special mention for the post-match hot waffles. And to the Berkshire umpires who also seemed to have enjoyed the match (excellent behaviour and skillful play from both sides).
Tom E, Fraser, Ollie S, Marcus, Ollie G and Will K were solid in the back with some particularly good clearances when needed. The midfield of Max, Isaac, Freddy with Tom G got better and better as the match progressed. Charlie, Josh and Nick all ran tirelessly up front with support from Will K and Max. And Alex made some critical saves to help with the winning scoreline. Well done.