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Old 03-23-2014, 09:55 PM   #298
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Tue. September 20, 2022

League Cup - 3rd Round
Dover vs. Reading
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK

Betting Odds: Dover: 4-6 (Favourites) Draw: N/A Reading: 7-2
Past Meetings: 5W 2D 2L

Reading are the two-time defending FA Cup champions and they are once again taking part in the Europa League so I expect a tough game despite the odds that are significantly in our favour. They made a bunch of smaller moves in the transfer market, with the biggest signing being 32 year old Magaye Gueye, an attacking midfielder for 3.2 million from Benfica. He's already proven to be a good addition, with 3 goals in the early goings. Striker Hani Megahed is still their most dangerous player and he already has 5 goals in his first four games this year.

The board expect us to reach the quarterfinals of this competition but I couldn't care less about the League Cup. We have much more important matches in league play and of course, Champions League play. Therefore, I'm starting a full lineup of backups, albeit with many starting level players or guys coming off injury. At home, we'll play a control mentality. Kostas Zagos will be captain for today's match, his first official start with our club.

Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - M. Perez
D - C. Guzman, D. Traore, M. Yilmaz, K. Zagos
M - S. Henni, Mancini, S. Spall, G. Allan
S - P. Moses, Z. Bardi
Bench - S. Reed, R. Hamon, A. Rocca, G. Fanfoni, G. Bolis, A. Bamba, W. Rooney

Reading is in a 4-4-2 DM (4-2-3-1) with Megahed alone up front. Gueye is at AML, James Hunter is at AMC, Adam Lallana is at MC and Antonio is in goal. They are starting a full strength side so it looks like they are taking this game much more seriously than we are. This could be a shock result coming…I tell the team to go out there and do it for the fans.

2' - Megahed gets a step on Daniel Traore early and our new central defender takes him down just outside the area. Yellow card for Traore.

4' - We work a counter attack off a failed Reading corner and Bardi has it at midfield. He lays the ball off to Mancini and the Brazilian makes a great feed through the defence to Paul Moses. The lethal youngster bears in on goal and shoots low into the corner of the goal for the dream start! DOVER GOAL 1-0

14' - We win a corner and it's Graham Allan taking it on the right side. His cross is headed out by Reading but Kostas Zagos comes running in from all the way back near the midfield stripe to grab it. From at least ten yards outside the penalty area, Zagos strikes the ball WITH FURY and I'm in SHOCK as it rockets into the top corner past a sprawling Antonio and INTO THE NET!?!! Holy smokes what a SHOT from Zagos and the right fullback scores on his debut with our club. WOW!!! DOVER GOAL 2-0

16' - On the ensuing kick off, James Hunter makes his way toward our goal, eludes a poor tackle from Traore and walks in on Perez but the Mexican international makes the great save.

23' - We have possession again at midfield and Henni moves it into the middle to Mancini. He uses his weaker right foot and sends a lob up field to Bardi. Reading's defence is slow to get there and Bardi gets to the top of the penalty area and shoots low past the beleaguered Antonio and we are up three. What a shocker this is!!! DOVER GOAL 3-0

32' - We continue to dominate, as Shaun Spall sends a great ball up to Bardi and Antonio finally makes a save but the juicy rebound is on the foot of Graham Allan. Luckily for Reading, his shot is deflected and Antonio can recover in time to make the second save.

34' - Reading work a counter and Carlos Guzman takes down Megahed from behind and now he has a yellow too. On the free kick, James Hunter crosses into our area and midfielder Besart Abdurahimi leaps up and heads it past Perez and into the net. Reading are still alive. READING GOAL 3-1

43' - We work a counter and have numbers, with Allan leading the charge down the right flank. The cross is a good one but Said Henni dives and is called for it. Yet another yellow card.

45'+2 - We're supposed to have one minute of injury time but here we are and it's Hunter with possession for Reading. He sends a great ball through our defence and against claims of offsides, it's Abdurahimi again getting in and shooting low past Perez and it's in. Oh my god. Reading have pulled two back and this game is getting interesting. The replay looked offsides but not by much. READING GOAL 3-2

HALFTIME - Reading really took over in the last twenty minutes and they have a 53% possession edge but we outshoot them 8-7 (6-4 on target). I tell the team I'm pleased despite the two late goals. Mancini was superb in that half, with two assists.

51' - Reading work a counter now and it's the dangerous James Hunter again getting loose and shooting left footed from inside the area but Perez makes the great save. We're having trouble with this formation of theirs right now and will likely need to move to a counter mentality soon.

52' - It's Hunter AGAIN getting through our defence and again Perez makes the brilliant save. Traore and young 19 year old Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz are no match for these guys.

60' - We need a bit of influence in there right now so I bring in Andrea Rocca for Shaun Spall and also move to a counter attacking mentality.

73' - We have a corner and Rocca's cross is headed toward goal by Yilmaz but it's off the crossbar and out!

75' - It's Abdurahimi again with a header but Perez is brilliant in pushing it behind the goal.

83' - Reading change to a 4-2-4 formation.

84' - We cause a turnover and Moses is sent in on a partial break but his high shot is pushed over the net by Antonio.

85' - Time to start milking the clock. Zoltan Bardi is out and Wayne Rooney is in.

90'+2 - Steve Reed comes on for Carlos Guzman.

A nail-biter when we thought it might be a rout but we'll take the win.

Dover 3 - 2 Reading
Goals - Paul Moses (7.3), Kostas Zagos (7.6), Zoltan Bardi (7.3)
Assists - Mancini 2 (7.8)
Man of the Match - James Hunter (Reading AMC - 9.0)
Other Dover Notables - Manuel Perez (7.9)
Attendance - 14,942

Reading won 53% of overall possession and outshot us 17-13 (8-7 on target). Still, we win with a second string team against a Premier League team so not too bad. Zagos and GK Manuel Perez were very impressive, as were Abdurahimi and Hunter for Reading, with Hunter deservedly winning man of match honours in the loss.

-- Man City lost to League 1 Colchester 2-1 in extra time. Funny stuff. United also lose 2-1 to Aston Villa in the other major upset.

League Cup - 4th Round Draw

-- As usual, we get another terrible draw, as we will play Everton away in the next round. There are three League 1 teams and a Championship team but we get another Premier League club. Oh well...

Next Up

-- We host newly promoted Burnley at Crabble Athletic Ground in Premier League action.

Last edited by NoSkillz : 03-23-2014 at 10:13 PM.
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