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Match Reports

📝Match Report: City 2 Reading 1

City secure all three points at home

26 August 2023

Match Reports

📝Match Report: City 2 Reading 1

City secure all three points at home

26 August 2023

Reece Cole stunning 93rd minute winner secured a third league win of the season as the Grecians beat Reading 2-1 at St James Park.

Will Aimson's first half header - his second goal of the season - was cancelled out before the break by Harvey Knibbs, before Cole's wonderstrike saw off the Royals. 


Gary Caldwell made two changes to the side that travelled to Carlisle with Finnish wing back Ilmari Niskanen - making his debut after successful international clearance - and Tom Carroll coming into the starting line-up, in place of Cole and Sam Nombe. 

It was a bright start to the game for City, with new signing Niskanen seeing a lot of the ball down the right-hand side, in doing so, connecting well with both Dion Rankine and Jack Aitchison in and around the Reading penalty area.

With the game fully flowing, the away side were starting to make themselves known with Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan starting to cause trouble for the City centre halves. However, it was Charlie Savage who had the best attempt of the game, stinging the palms of Sinisalo from range.

City fired straight back with a few chances of their own, a free kick from Carroll found the head of Aimson, who then found Zak Jules, but the towering wing-backs header went narrowly wide of the far post. Next up to the firing range was Demetri Mitchell but his outside of the boot strike was not powerful enough to cause David Button too many issues, as the veteran keeper was able to gather and clear away.

City were playing some wonderful football as the first half drew on, with almost everything coming by way of Niskanen. After running half the pitch, he played the ball across the area to Aitchison, who on the spin was able to find the post, but the bounce was kind to Button who was able to gather, clutching the ball off the toes of Mitchell.

The resulting corner, led to another huge chance for City as it was quickly taken and found Ryan Trevitt, who after scoring his first career goal last week was looking to double tally, after opening up his body, he sent a curling effort to the far post, but Button was able to again make a fantastic save and tipped the ball behind the post.

All the pressure eventually came to fruition as the Grecians found the back of the net in the 34th minute, with City captain Aimson doubling his tally for the season with a his deft header, after a peach of a cross from Carroll found the centre halves head.


Deep into first half added time and against the run of play, the Royals found the equaliser. City were unable to clear the ball from the edge of their own area and Harvey Knibbs was able to capitalise on a Pierce Sweeney slip, slotting the ball past Sinisalo in the City net.

There was a double change at the break for the away side as Amadou Mbengue and Caylon Vickers were replaced by Andy Yiadom and Ben Elliott.

City made their first change of the game just after the 60th minute mark as Zak Jules who was on a yellow was replaced by Cole.

It was another City change in the 70th minute with new signing Niskanen replaced by Nombe resulting in a switch around in positions, with Mitchell going to left wing back and Cole to the right-hand side.

Nombe made an instant impact, almost finding the back of the net a few minutes after entering the field of play. With the ball at the edge of his area, Button became too relaxed and Nombe pounced on the keeper falling asleep, but his effort flashed across the face of goal with no-one in the six yard box to tap home.

With City needing a goal, Gary made a double change with Vincent Harper and Kyle Taylor coming on to the field to replace Mitchell and Aitchison.

There were shouts all around the Big Bank as City approached the 90th minute, Cole found plenty of space behind the Reading back line but his pass which flashed across the face of goal could not find anyone in red and white.

Moments later and the screams and shouts came from all around SJP as Cole had the ball on the edge of the area and let loose with an absolute cannon of a strike to give City the lead and take them to second in the Sky Bet League One table.

City: Sinisalo, Niskanen (Nombe), Sweeney, Aimson ©, Hartridge, Jules (Cole), Carroll, Trevitt, Rankine, Mitchell (Harper), Aitchison (Taylor)

Subs not used: Woods, Diabate, Borges

Reading: Button, Dean, Knibbs (Mukairu (Tuma)), Savage, Azeez, Ehibhationham, Hutchinson, Mbengue (Yiadom), Abbey ©, Vickers (Elliott), Carson (McIntyre)

Subs not used: Boyce-Clarke, Craig

Referee: Will Finnie

Attendance: 7,956 (1,291 away)

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