Keen to give the boys a real challenge in our first friendly back from
a break and they certainly got that. South reading are a team we've
been evenly matched with previously but with the addition of 3 strong
forward players to the Royals they had the edge on the Phantoms.
The game was fairly even for first few minutes, but once the Royals
scored from the penalty spot we looked very vulnerable defensively and
essentially hung on to be 2-0 down at half time.
Score went to 3-0 after ball was switched wide and then a good finish.
Last 15-20 mins was our best spell as we started to maintain
possession. The pressure lead to 1 back for Phantoms after some good
wing play. Final goal was for Royals an outstanding strike from the
left leaving the keeper no chance. Long distances goals likely to be
quite common this year in the league.
Interesting game today. Reading playing a counter attacking game,
relying heavily on getting the ball directly to their exceptional
front three. This caused much panic as we struggled with our defensive
shape during transition. In possession we played in small areas of
pitch where reading keenly pressed/swarmed to win the ball. Some work
required to understand how to compress space out of possession.
We're going through quite a change as we move to 11 aside from 9
aside. Four new players, changes to the keeping situation with JF
and RE sharing the goalkeeping. With players absent today, a few
players were in new positions or not their preferred role. Also, one
or two of our more technical players were not match sharp. However,
the attitude from all the boys was excellent.