Reading United’s unbeaten start to the 2014 season came to a crashing end as they fell to their Mid-Atlantic Division foes, the Long Island Rough Riders by a 2-1 final score. United looked to have overcome an uneven start to the match with Nick Surkamp scoring a scrappy goal in the 35th minute. The Rough Riders showed their resolve to fight their way back into the match, scoring two goals in nine minutes to close out the first half.
The match against Long Island was United’s third in five days and Reading Head Coach David Castellanos took advantage of his team’s depth making eight changes to the starting line-up that faced Ocean City on Friday night. Only goalkeeper Alex Bono, centerback Rob Sagel and midfielder Michael Holzer retained their starting spots.
The opening thirty minutes of the match were fairly even, punctuated by some sloppy midfield play that led to giveaways from both sides. The first opportunity to score fell to Reading in the 31st minute, as forward Nick Surkamp raided down the left flank and picking out Manolo Sanchez with a cross. Sanchez took the ball down well, but blasted his shot inches over the Long Island crossbar.
Just a minute later, Reading’s starting right back Jack Webber had to be subbed off after picking up an injury to his lower leg. Castellanos subbed on Wes Charpie, who ignited the United attack with several well timed runs down the right sideline. In the 35th minute, it was a cross from Charpie that led to Reading’s goal. The right back hit a ball into the area that deflected off of several bodies before being parried by Rough Riders goalkeeper Joe Martin. The rebound fell to Surkamp who made no mistakes to hand United a 1-0 lead.
The goal brought Long Island to life. Off the restart, Rough Riders veteran Keith Detelj charged right at United’s back line. The forward hit a low cross from the right that United was unable to clear. Glen Reid made a late run into the box and powered home the equalizer. With the scoreline knotted at one goal apiece, the matched became stretched as each side went searching for an advantage.
A seemingly mundane play led to Long Island’s second goal. Bono made a routine save on a Rough Rider’s free kick and threw the ball out to the right towards Charpie, who had acres of space to move forward. The ball took an odd bounce and hit Charpie’s outstreched arm while he was still in the penalty area and referee Darth Newman quickly blew the whistle and awarded Long Island a penalty kick. Dom Sarle stepped up and sent Bono the wrong way to hand Long Island the lead at the stroke of halftime.
Coming out of the half, Castellanos made two changes, inserting forward Darius Madison and midfielder Owen Griffith into the match. The switch added more bite to the United attack, but the home team was not able to break through for the tying goal.
The final thirty minutes of the match became increasing cynical, resulting in seven yellow cards on a combined nineteen fouls. Long Island closed out the match, picking up three points and jumping over Reading into second place in the Mid-Atlantic Division.
After the match, Castellanos gave credit to the opponents stating, “Hats off to Long Island. They had a clear game plan and on our part, it just wasn’t good enough.” When asked what his team could do to improve on their performance, the Reading boss said, “So much. Composure, when teams just sit back there and they’re chippy, how to play your way through it. A lot of it is maturity. Long Island is a PDL team with a bunch of older guys on it and we’re on the younger side and these are lesson we have to learn as a group.” Castellanos continued, “We’ve got to find a way to fight, no excuses.”
Reading United hit the road for a match against F.A. Euro on Wednesday night before returning to Wilson High School’s Gurski Stadium on Sunday, June 29th for a match against Mid-Atlantic Division leaders, the Jersey Express. Kickoff is set for 6:00pm. Tickets are available at www.readingunitedac.com.
Reading United also offer 2014 Game Day Youth Packages, Group Discount Packages, Birthday Parties and Fundraising Ticket Packages. Contact our ticket sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org for all your group needs.
Reading United Starting XI: GK – Alex Bono, DEF – Jack Webber (Wes Charpie 33′), Rob Sagel, Skylar Thomas, Quincy Thomas, MID – Michael Holzer (JeVaughn Vance 73′), Andrew Morales (“Nacho” Maganto 59′), Alex Olofson (Owen Griffith 46′) F – Manolo Sanchez, Nick Surkamp (Guillermo Delgado 65′), Max Touloute (Darius Madison 46′)
35th Minute – READING – Nick Surkamp (Wes Charpie)
36th Minute – LONG ISLAND – Glen Reid (Keith Detelj)
45th Minute – LONG ISLAND – Dom Sarle