Just like the Yuletide traditions of hanging up your stocking and leaving a carrot out for Rudolph, Shinfield have developed their own dubious tradition this year and gave our tough opponents the regular 2 goal head start almost from the off. Caught dozing like Father Christmas in front of a roaring log fire, Shinfield’s defence were ripped apart by quick, incisive movement and finishing…. With the boys scratching their heads in bewilderment and Will anxiously pacing the touchline, Shinfield had given themselves a mountain to climb….
But as with most games this year, Shinfield seemed to jolt awake and decided to make a game of the fixture. Luke in particular, caught the eye in midfield. He started to track down attacks and snapped in tackles and pushed his team forward. Sam was a willing outlet and found himself in front of goal but hit the post. South Reading’s keeper was very brave and alert and often came out to smother danger. But it was a touch of pure class from Will to get the team a foothold back in the match with an exquisite swivel shot from a tight angle that dipped perfectly over the stranded keeper. It was a goal to grace any game, both home and away supporters applauded and surely it deserves an extra roast potato on his Christmas dinner plate! Shinfield had the ball in the net again but it was ruled offside, they were much more impressive in this period of the game and they went into the second half knowing a victory would be possible if they continued to play this way…
The second half started brightly with the orange team on the front foot, Sam made a real nuisance of himself and hassled the South Reading defence – this pressure resulted in a dangerous free kick and a penalty to Shinfield from the ensuing play..Super Sam stepped up and smacked the ball in the bottom left corner and at last it was all to play for….
Well who knows what happened next…???
Having done the hard work, Shinfield seemed to have no response to South Reading who were stung by their opponents comeback. They are a strong, committed team with lots of pace. Their desire to win saw them pull away again with some delightful passing and smart play. They scored a further 3 goals and had one ruled offside and finished the game with dynamism while Shinfield heads dropped and they offered little resistance to this final onslaught. The match finished 5-2, it was a hard fought, compelling encounter. South Reading will always compete and give everything to the cause and we wish them luck for the rest of the season.
The lads seemed a touch deflated by the result but should recognise that they showed great character to get themselves back into the match after making it so hard for themselves..maybe there will be some Christmas magic in their stockings this year to ensure that the team start to play from the first whistle in 2015 …….
Thanks to Will for all his hard work for the team over the year and for the selection box for each boy. It certainly lightened the spirits!
Merry Christmas everyone and best wishes for a joyous and victorious 2015 together.
Reported by Helen Davies