Windsor & Eton opened their first ever Thames Valley Premier League campaign with a point at Reading City u23s, but for one family it was a case of divided loyalties.
Jemel, a previous guest on the Berkshire Football Stories podcast (scroll down for the episode), said on playing his younger brother: “It felt very strange to be in a competitive game against Shaq. We’ve always been cheering each other on in football and for the first time we found ourselves trying to out do each other. Our family didn’t know who to cheer for! I thought Shaq had a really good game, excellent on the ball throughout. He’ll do well this season in a great environment Matty Angell has created down at Windsor.”
Shaquille played several times with his older brother for Reading City u23s last season – making 13 appearances in total for the Cityzens.
Jemel added: “He only turned 18 in July. So last season was his first in senior football and he played with Reading City u23’s. He was Young Player of the Year. I played a few games alongside him last year and he’s been with Procision Reading for the past couple of years (a football and education academy linked to Swindon Town).
On the day, and perhaps the best outcome for the Johnson family, the game finished 2-2 with George Day opening the scoring for Reading before Alex Merryfield levelled in first half-injury time – becoming the player to score Windsor’s first competitive goal.
After the break, Windsor took the lead when Ben Anderson stepped up to score from the penalty spot but Day cut celebrations short for the travelling supporters with a 75th minute equaliser.
Listen to Jemel Johnson on the Berkshire Football Stories Podcast from November 2021
Read a full report on the Reading City website here.