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Reading Men Win Season Opener 2-0

Reading Men Win Season Opener 2-0

By Art Auchenbach, 05/18/24, 10:30PM EDT


Reading Men Win Season Opener 2-0

The drizzle and dreariness that covered most of eastern PA Saturday was lifted when Reading United’s USL2 squad stepped onto the field for their 7pm season opening clash with Lehigh Valley United at Whitehall HS soccer stadium.  

The visitors started brightly and Reading’s early pressure forced an early 6th minute foul in a dangerous spot 30 yards out from the LVU goal. Captain Tim Timchenko’s bending cross forced a 50/50 ball between Reading’s Sam Hershey and Lehigh keeper Matthew Link. Hershey showed his strength to win the ball & Link tumbled to the turf and the ensuing scramble found the ball in the path of the crashing Dominik Topolosky who slotted home to open the season scoring for Reading. The rest of the first half was a fairly even match with Reading enjoying large spells of possession. The best opportunity for another Reading goal came in the 36th minute when a Reading corner found the head of a streaking Tim Timchenko but the ball glanced barely wide. At the half Reading maintained their 1-0 lead over the hosts.

The second half had the Reading team showing no letup.  They applied continued pressure on the LVU backline and if they lost possession were easily able to recover and start another attack.  In the 60th minute Reading was awarded a free kick near midfield and an alert Tim Timchenko spotted the LVU keeper well off his line and attempted an audacious long range effort that had the keeper beat but the shot was saved by the crossbar and bounced over for a goal kick.  But Reading didn’t have to wait long as in the 62’ Giampaolo Nardi threaded a pinpoint accurate through ball for Sam Hershey to run onto in stride, have a touch, and deposit a well placed strike into the far corner to give Reading a comfortable 2-0 lead.  

Reading didn’t let up and continued their stout defensive performance, with centerbacks Ammit Bhogal and Jack McDaid keeping any LVU attack thwarted and limiting Lehigh to only one shot on goal the entire game.  Reading goalkeeper Keiran Brown earned the shutout and managed the team well from the back to keep the clean sheet win.

The Reading men will return to USL2 action next Saturday at 7PM against nearby nemesis West Chester United.  Reading’s women kick off their 2024 WPSL campaign on the road Monday May 20th at Hershey FC.

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