After being dealt their first loss of the season last weekend by the Long Island Rough Riders, Reading United gave Jersey Express a taste of that same medicine. Coming off a 2-2 tie against FA Euro, Reading looked to begin a new winning streak at home as they took on USL-PDL Mid-Atlantic Division leaders Jersey Express. In the end, Reading defeated Jersey Express 2-1 behind a second-half penalty kick.
The hosts wasted little time pressing the visitors who were on very short rest after defeating Ocean City Nor’Easters 4-1 on Saturday evening. Wes Charpie played a beautifully placed ball over the Express defense. Manolo Sanchez found the ball in open space, calmly placing the ball low and to the far post to stake Reading to a 1-0 lead two minutes in. Two minutes later Sanchez almost doubled the lead, but Jersey’s goalie came off his line to prevent another opportunity.
Ansgel Otto found his own goal and leveled the game in the 15th minute. The streaking attacker weaved his way easily through Reading’s defense and found an open opportunity on net and placed the ball past Alex Bono. After his first goal, Otto again would have another chance, but this time Reading prevented him from putting Express ahead.
At the half, Reading and Jersey remained tied 1-1. With both teams deploying an attacking style of play, it seemed that the tie would not last through ninety minutes.
Out of the half, both teams battled within the midfield with neither gaining much of an edge possession wise. Darius Madison found a nice ball from overhead but his heavy touch prevented any threatening goal scoring opportunity from developing. In the 59th minute, Reading’s corner kick opportunity was headed over the crossbar by Guillermo Delgado. A minute later United’s second corner kick chance of the second half was cleared out of danger before a shot could be taken.
The hosts continued to press as they substituted in fresh legs. Nick Surkamp came on in the 61st minute, while Max Touloute was brought on in the 65th minute. Touloute found space moments after coming on but his shot went wide.
Jersey countered after Touloute’s chance with a handful of chances to take the lead. Alex Bono was forced to run to the edge of the box to prevent a 1v1 opportunity in the 70th minute before pushing a shot wide two minutes later. The subsequent corner kick was cleared out of danger and Reading made a dash off the counter attack.
Surkamp was taken down in the box quickly after. Initially, the middle official signaled play on and did not call for a penalty kick. However, the far sideline assistant referee adamantly waved his flag signaling to the spot. Ignacio Maganato stepped up, waited for the referee’s whistle, and cooly buried the penalty to the right side.
The penalty put Reading up 2-1 and brought life to a game that seemed to be slowing down. Both teams had chances down the stretch, but Reading’s defense played strong against an attack-minded Jersey Express squad and held on for the victory.
Reading United’s league match at Wilson High School’s Gurski Stadium will be played on Saturday, July 5th at 7:00pm when the Northern Virginia Royals come to town. Tickets are available at www.readingunitedac.com. Reading United 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.