It was a cold January day, though with the blue skies foreshadowing a mood of optimism in the U15 side as we warmed up for the 10 o’clock kick off. We were playing Hull Collegiate U15s at home with a skeleton crew, so no injuries or red cards would be tolerated!
We were stable in the first half, with Diljit Singh and Harry Woodall staying strong in defence. With a good level of pace Singh kept Hull’s striker at bay, not allowing him to use his blistering pace effectively against us. Owen Harker opened the scoring with a focused ball through from Jackson Gray which quickly put us in the lead. Soon after scoring our first goal, Gray was able to capitalise and score two in quick succession. Our probing attacks were putting the Hull defence under great strain, primarily with Jackson’s pace and Harker’s vision in centre midfield. Singh had a number of subsequent good runs, allowing us to put their defence on the back foot, such that we were playing mostly in their half of the pitch. We finished the half with a 3-0 goal lead.
Morale remained high for the start of the second half. However, we let our guard down during a conceded corner which enabled a messy scramble in the box to generate a Hull goal. Soon after, we were able to reassert control of the game with a further two goals: one scored by myself with a well-positioned drive into the bottom corner of the net, the other by a lucky deflection off Will McLaughlan’s knee!
The match finished a satisfying 5-1 to Read, a good game and actually a closer one than the scoreline reflected.