‘Out of luck’ Reading City face daunting run-in

Eddie Lee. Photo: Hazel Worthy.
Eddie Lee. Photo: Hazel Worthy.

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Combined Counties League Reading City’s Rivermoor Ground on Scours Lane has been extremely badly affected by the persistent rain in the first months of the year, with the water table being particularly high due to its close proximity to the fast-flowing River Thames.

Part of the lane was closed for a time due to flooding, so Reading City had to wait until March before playing their first home game in 2024.

With the Combined Counties League not able to extend the season after hearing from the FA, Simon Johnson’s men will play three games a week for the rest of the season, and two recent incidents have not helped their backlog of fixtures.

Having agreed to concede ground advantage, they visited Abbey Rangers in the quarter-finals of the Southern Combination Cup. The tie was switched to a 4G pitch after the kick-off had been put back to 8.15pm due to a power cut at the ground. City cruised into a three-goal lead, but after 65 minutes, the floodlights went out again, and the referee was forced to abandon the match.

Reading City manager Simon Johnson. Photo: Neil Graham.
Reading City manager Simon Johnson. Photo: Neil Graham.

They hoped the result would be allowed to stand, but the competition organisers thought differently and rearranged it for Tuesday, April 30th, with the tie back at Rivermoor.

City were out of luck again when their league fixture at Chalfont St Peter was called off due to ‘the loss of the water supply’ at the Mill Meadow venue. A new date has yet to be announced.

City still has 11 league fixtures remaining, so they are still hunting for a top-four finish. They moved to 12th place in Premier Division North this week by defeating Wallingford & Crowmarsh 4-2. Jack Thompson-Wheeler got them off the mark before Dan Warre netted a hat-trick.

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