Halford at the treble
Lewis comes off the bench to secure the game
Lydney faced a long away day as they traveled to a Reading City team sat just below them in the Hellenic Premier League table. Top scorer Lewis Thompson and influential midfielder Jack Rutter both missed out through suspension. Recently signed goalkeeper Ollie Hall was ruled out injured. Richard Thomas, Sam Elliott and Ross Gabriel all came into the team.
Facing a heavily changed Reading from the team faced earlier in the season, it was Lydney who started brightest although the game lacked much quality owing mainly to the pitch which, despite the best efforts of the home side ground staff, who had clearly spent time on it, felt every bobble and bump.
The first chance of note fell to Liam Sheppard, pushed forward into midfield for the game who found himself through on goal but was tackled by the covering defender. The game moved from end to end, with Lydney seemingly happy to concede possession in the oppositions half, forcing the home side into long balls whilst trying to penetrate an organised unit, balls that were swept up by Handley and the returning Elliott.
It was the on-loan defender Handley who came closest to opening the scoring as he hit the post from a corner before having his rebound cleared off the line. The game saw controversy in the 30th minute. A long kick from Thomas was flicked on by the returning Gabriel, sending Morley-Lyne through on goal, before being cynically tripped by home defender Cowe, who otherwise had a superb game. The suspiciously lenient referee waved play on with the young defender later admitting he was lucky to get away scott free.
As it was the best two chances of the first half fell to the home side. A lydney corner was cleared and a clever counter attacking move put number 9 York though on goal, with the striker fluffing his lines 1vs1 against Thomas. On the stroke of half time there was nearly a sense of deja vu as another counter attack from a Lydney corner saw captain Cashin-Murray shoot wide with just the keeper to beat.
As the day darkened and the floodlights came on the second half began. Again Lydney started brightest and this time capitalized on their dominance. A terrific run from on loan midfielder Camden Duncan ended with a layoff for skipper Jordi Sheen, who whipped in an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box. Undeterred Reading pressed forward and were nearly rewarding when a soft free kick was whipped into the box, taking an awkward bounce on the rough surface and hit visiting goalkeeper Thomas in the throat before being cleared. The game changed on 70 minutes.
Ross Lindsay who had a great game at right back against the host's outlet, tricky winger Darboe, was taken off injured and was replaced by winger Lewis Halford, returning from a hamstring strain himself. Within 8 minutes Halford had a hatrick and at 4-0 the points were back on the visiting team bus. His first came from a Morley-Lyne throw, which was mis-headed by a home defender and tucked away from inside the 6 yard box. His second, and Lydney's third came courtesy of a great run and finish.
Picking the ball up from the right, Halford cut inside and lashed an unstoppable shot past Carr in the home goal. His third and final goal came on 78 minutes. Duncan found Morley-Lyne's head from a deep free kick, pre-emting the flick Halford raced beyond the defence and tucked under the advancing Carr.
There was still time for Reading to attack and their efforts were nearly rewarded when Darboe's cross was headed back across goal but York's point blank heading produced a one handed save from the visiting keeper to preserve a welcome clean sheet.
Report by Rich Thomas