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Shrivenham 1 Reading City 5

City give Shrivvy a lesson in finishing.

Shrivenham began life in the Uhlsport Hellenic Premier League with a lesson on how much more professional they need to be in our Blunsdon Mortgages sponsored fixture.

Four goals in the opening half – two from terrible mistakes in open play, was always going to make the second forty-five minutes a hard-fought battle, but for a shocking score-line, the side did come out and play after the break – albeit, with the help of keeper Harrison Ellis who earned his first Man of the Match award for the club after his heroics managed to keep a rampant City side at bay, making a string of superb saves, to preserve a “modest” defeat.

Shrivvy perhaps enjoyed the better of a tight opening five minutes although some lackadaisical play by Josh Gregory as early as the second minute, saw the home side handed a let off after the visitors broke free, but it was a fortuitous opener by Jack Powell at the second attempt that gave the visitors the lead on 6 minutes.

Ten minutes later and some more sloppy play by the hosts saw the ball handed to danger-man Mitch Parker, who smashed his effort home beyond a helpless Harrison Ellis.

Shrivvy continued to give the ball away and were second best in all areas as their visitors harasses and harried their opponents with craft and precision and their efforts continued to pay off when four minutes later, Matt Hancock finished emphatically after a great move down Reading’s left flank.

With the score at 3-0, just 20-minutes on the clock and the visitors looking unlikely to wilt under the hot summer sun, the home side managed to create their first chance of the match with 33-minutes on the clock with some great teamwork saw Dan Drewett through on goal, but his floated effort went agonisingly over the crossbar.

That however, was a rare moment for the home side in the first half of almost full-on bombardment of the Shrivvy defence, and after the hosts lost the ball following another spell of sloppy play, Parker was handed a gift which he skilfully netted - his second of the game, to make it 4-0 at the break.

The start of the second-half began a little cagier by both sides, but with the game all but lost, Shrivvy were to make amends by showing that they can compete at this level against a team who are almost certainly going to be title contenders, and they at least made a fight of things.

Captain, Josh Morse had the ball in the net on 50-minutes, but he was wrongly adjudged to have strayed off side, in a rare error from the three officials who were otherwise brilliant all game.

On 55-minutes, Jack Ellis was adjudged to have been brought down and the resulting spot-kick saw Eddie Cavanagh dive totally the wrong way as Nathan Blackford calmly slotted his effort in at the right post.

Matty Horsell almost got his side a foothold in the game when he produced a great run, but he was denied at the death on 68-minutes, but Reading continued to battle and two minutes later bundled the ball in to the back of the net again after hitting the post, but their effort was ruled out following another offside decision.

Morse fired over from a corner and on 73-minutes before Lewis Petrie came on for Jack Ellis two minutes later.

A minute later, Parker completed his hat-trick after Harrison Ellis had blocked his original effort and with 9-minutes remaining, Luke Cordery made way for Ben Saunders.

With 7-minutes left, Parker almost grabbed his fourth of the game, but Harrison Ellis remained strong in an otherwise porous defensive line and the clock ran down to see Shrivvy lose their second consecutive opening day fixture.

Speaking after the match, Shrivenham manager Gareth Davies said:  “I think to be fair, the first 20-25 minutes has killed us.

“We grew in to it in the last quarter of an hour in the first half and when we got the ball down and did what we’re good at, we created two-three clear cut chances that we didn’t take.

“I think if we took those chances then we get a goal in the first half, and there’s a window.  Like I said, we didn’t take them and we came in at four-nil - with two mistakes costing us two goals.

“Second half we did what we were good at for twenty-five minutes.  We pressed high, stopped them playing, scored and created some decent chances and I thought we were much, much better second half.

“Reading are one of the favourites for the league and we made them look very ordinary in spells, but what we can’t do is make silly mistakes like we did today.  These mistakes have cost us and we can’t afford that.

“The good thing is, we can go again Tuesday [the side travel to Windsor] and it gives us an opportunity to put things right.”

SHRIVENHAM:  Harrison Ellis, Luke Cordery (Ben Saunders – 81min), Matty Horsell, Sam Ockwell, Aaron Dainton, Josh Gregory, Ryan Stanners, Dan Drewett, Jack Ellis (Lewis Petrie – 75min), Josh Morse © & Nathan Blackford 1 (p).   Unused substitute:  Chris Jackson.

READING CITY:  Eddie Cavanagh, Matt Hancock 1, Rob Gerrard, Jamie Connor, Alfie Grant, Gareth Brown, Muctaru Conte, Harry Grant ©, Adam Cashin-Murray, Mitch Parker 3 & Jack Powell 1.  Unused substitutes:  TBC:  Danny Smith, Joe Grant, Owen Davies, Eddy Lazarczuk & Austin Best. 

Referee:  Darren Hill 

Assistants:  Nick Stanley & Paul Herbert.

Attendance: 47

Goals:

0-1:  Jack Powell (6min)

0-2:  Mitch Parker (16min)

0-3:  Matt Hancock (20min)

0-4:  Mitch Parker (43min)

1-4:  Nathan Blackford – penalty (57min)

1-5:  Mitch Parker (76min)

Man of the Match:  Harrison Ellis

Our media partners over at Your Sport Swindon have the game highlights HERE.

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