Reading City face Friday night Cup Final on home turf

Dan Warre. Photo: Peter Toft.
Dan Warre. Photo: Peter Toft.

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Reading City will have home advantage when they meet Horley in the Southern Combination Cup final at Rivermoor Stadium this Friday (7.45pm ko). But manager Simon Johnson is expecting a very tough

“It is going to be a difficult game for us as Horley are coming here in good form,” he said.

Johnson is also aware that their Combined Counties League Premier Division South opponents have impressive form when on their travels. They won seven and drew four of their away league games, while managing only four wins and three draws at Court Lodge Road.

The Cityzens, however, will start favourites as they bid to end the most successful season by lifting the cup.

“It would be fantastic to win a trophy, as the lads deserve it after a record-breaking season,” said Johnson.

“This is the club’s first senior final in 18 years, and it would be great to see a big crowd at the Rivermoor on Friday. The players appreciate plenty of support as it gives them a lift on the field.

“Winning a trophy in Saturday football is not easy and we face a difficult task against Horley.”

Semi-Final success

The Cityzens booked their final ticket with an emphatic 4-0 win over Camberley at Krooner Park last Thursday. Their goals came from Tyler Robinson, Ollie Bourne (2), and Dan Warre.

Reflecting on the semi-final, Johnson commented: “We started slowly and were lucky not to go behind as Camberley struck our bar, but we grew into the game. A wonder strike from Tyler and two quick goals from Ollie before half-time left us with one foot in the final.

“We controlled the second half and Dan got a deserved goal to complete the win.”

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

In the previous rounds, they defeated Cobham 1-0 and Abbey Rangers 5-2.

Horley reached the final by defeating Sutton Common Rovers 3-2, Virginia Water 2-1 and Molesey 1-0.

While City finished fourth in Premier Division North with 63 points, the Clarets were 14th in Division South with 40 points.

The Surrey side are describing the final as “our biggest game in recent history.”

It will be the second time the Southern Combination Cup has been lifted at the Scours Lane venue as the old Reading Town side beat Hanworth Villa 4-1 in the 2010 final.

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