Royals progress to Reading Challenge Cup semi final
By Mark Rozzier
A match of drama with penalty saves and goals by ex-youth team players.
What a match!
Four penalties, one of which was retaken. Two penalty saves by Woodley’s Pete Davis and a third placed over the cross bar before United’s Ben Anderson converted a penalty in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time after Newbury had come from two goals behind to level in the ninetieth minute.
Woodley opened the scoring in the tenth minute when Ross Blakemore scored from thirty five yards, Nine minutes later Davis made his first penalty save to give the hosts a half time lead.
The second half saw Newbury dominate possession with the hosts struggling to get into the visitors half. A second penalty was awarded in the seventy second minute which Davis again saved only for the referee to order it be retaken for encroachment. The retake was put over the cross bar to leave Woodley still leading 1-0.
With ten minutes remaining Woodley doubled their lead when Anderson crossed from the right to be met by substitute Jake Pearce to drive into the bottom corner of the Newbury net.
Four minutes later Newbury were awarded another penalty which they converted to set up a grandstand finish and the visitors’ equaliser as the game entered stoppage time.
Not to be deflated by letting in two goals in quick succession Woodley rallied and where awarded a penalty following a foul on Anderson which the same player converted to send Royals into the semi-finals.
An outstanding performance by the team that should also see a special mention to Leo Richardson playing as a stand in right back.