|East Berkshire Football Alliance
RAIDERS ESCAPE WITH DRAW AT BARTON ROVERS AFTER LAST MINUTE EQUALISER
On a windy but dry day, Raiders travelled to Tilehurst this morning to play Barton Rovers for the first time this season and welcomed James Barclay back to the squad after a lengthy lay off with a hip problem.
Raiders played with the wind at their backs from the kick off and fashioned the first chance with a Morgan turn and shot that the keeper saved well. Barton came into the game and appealed for a penalty when Jack appeared to bring the player down but the referee waved play on. With Cory and Freddie combining well down the right and Finlay shooting just wide Raiders appeared to be on top. Then on 8 mins, against the run of play, Barton scored, the ball reached the striker in acres of space just outside the 6-yard box and he slotted home with the Raiders defence appealing for an offside flag that never came. Both sides continued to create half chances, Keeyan had a volley blocked while Barton shot over, but neither side were able to stamp their authority on the game. This all changed on 29 mins when a Cory corner curled into the far corner of the net, 1-1. Shortly afterwards Jack had a free kick fumbled by the keeper but Raiders were too static to pounce on the rebound with no one apart from Harry following up, but the ball eluded him. HT 1-1
The second half promised to be the reverse of the first with Barton having the wind advantage. The game became scrappy but a few chances came and went, Jack shot over after a goalmouth scramble from a Jimbo corner, Finlay shot wide when put through by Hari. At the other end the Raiders wall stood firm from a Barton free kick and Barton couldn’t supply a quality final ball from other attacks. The best two chances were a Raiders header cleared off the line and Morgan curling the ball just over the bar from the corner of the area. Then with 3 mins left and the game looking like a 1-1 draw, Barton scored with a left foot screamer from the edge of the area. To their credit Raiders heads didn’t drop and applied extra pressure which got its reward when Finlay took advantage of a defensive slip up and slotted the ball underneath the keeper, 2-2
This proved to be the final action of the match, so after two matches Raiders are still winless in the second half of the season after a brilliant first half before Xmas. The two teams we’ve played so far seem to be set up to defend and hit opponents on the break, the boys need to learn how to combat this.
MOM: Finlay, worked tirelessly while on the pitch and took his goal well.