History beckons again for Reading City in FA Youth Cup Second Round

Reading City u18s Ollie Garcia. Photo: Andrew Batt.
Reading City u18s Ollie Garcia. Photo: Andrew Batt.

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Whether it’s the off the pitch food offerings, or on the pitch heroics, Reading City are making headlines for the right reasons at the moment and the latest chapter in the club’s terrific FA Youth Cup run is almost here.

The Cityzens under 18s face Oxford United in a repeat of the 2019/20 tie that saw the U’s win 1-0 in the First Round at The Rivermoor.

This time it’s an FA Youth Cup Second Round tie for Michael Butcher’s young side who beat Gosport Borough in the previous round via a solitary Jenyo Balogun penalty kick.

Here’s what Butch had to say ahead of the game:

Reading City u18s vs Oxford United u18s in the FA Youth Cup

Date: Wednesday 3rd November at 7:30 pm at The Rivermoor. Ticket info: Adults £7, Concessions £3, Under 16s free.

Reading City under 18 manager Michael Butcher.

“We’re excited. The boys are in school at the moment but they’re looking forward to it. There’s a buzz about the place.

“I was quite open last time with you about us missing a couple of players and us having to adapt our style. I was really pleased with our discipline in adapting to a different way of playing, those boys are still out tonight [Connor Richardson and Sam Tanner], we tried to get them back but they aren’t going to be there so we’ll go out and we’ll be different again, we’re going to make it difficult for Oxford United that is for sure.

“Being realistic, we go into this as major underdogs. We need Oxford to underperform and for us to play our absolute best and get a little bit of luck.

“We’re enjoying what we’ve achieved so far and we go into tonight with plenty to look back on. They’ll be nice memories in the future whatever the result tonight. If it goes against us the boys will be disappointed but they’ve achieved so much this year.”

On Jenyo Balogun’s penalty heroics

Jenyo Balogun celebrates scoring for Reading City in the FA Youth Cup. Photo: Andrew Batt.
Jenyo Balogun celebrates scoring for Reading City in the FA Youth Cup. Photo: Andrew Batt.

“I had no fear when Jenyo took the penalty in the last game. He’s one of the most relaxed players. We practice penalties almost daily and we won a final last season in a shootout. I’d have not qualms about a shootout tonight.”

On Simon Johnson making the squad

“He made his first-team debut in the Southern Combination Cup on Tuesday but he’s not in the squad. He’s been brilliant with us as the clubs first team manager. He’s trusted me and he’s given players opportunities from this team to play first-team football.

“Kian Abery was the latest in the same game, that’s what our partnership, JMA through Reading City is all about, it’s why we started it to see players like Kian go through the system.

Football in Berkshire’s Neil Maskell will be at the Rivermoor providing live text coverage of the game over on Twitter. Make sure you are following @fiberkshire for updates.

Reading City’s 2021/22 FA Youth Cup run so far

  • First Round: Reading City 1 – 0 Gosport Borough
  • Third Qualifying Round: Gloucester City FC 1 – 5 Reading City FC
  • Second Qualifying Round: Banbury United FC 0 – 5 Reading City FC
  • First Qualifying Round: Reading City FC 2 – 0 Abingdon United FC
  • Preliminary Round: Risborough Rangers FC 0 – 5 Reading City FC

More Reading City content? Listen to Jemel Johnson on the latest Berkshire Football Stories podcast here:

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