Flackwell Heath put in a phenomenal display as they agonisingly lost 2-1 to Reading FC U23s in their Berks and Bucks Senior Cup quarter-final clash at Wilks Park on Tuesday.

The early stages of the game saw Reading’s youngsters retain possession of the ball moving it from side to side trying to break Flackwell down. However, the home side kept their shape and were very patient and beginning to frustrate Reading. The first real chance of the game came on 14 minutes as Josh Baines rifled a free kick from 20 yards out just over the Reading bar.

Reading continued to move the ball at a tempo and Flackwell began to force mistakes from the young Royals. Then on 44 minutes, Flackwell’s patience and press was rewarded as the Reading goalkeeper, Myles Roberts, misplaced a pass which found itself at the feet of Leuis Sinclair who took a touch and bent it around the advancing keeper.

The second half began and it was clear that Reading U23’s manager Scott Marshall had asked his players to step up the tempo, and that they did. Shifting the ball around the pitch trying to break the Flackwell defensive line of Butler, Bailey, Edwards and Gray. They stood firm.

On 63 minutes, Reading’s full back Cameron Green whizzed down the flank and drilled a superb cross across the Flackwell penalty area which seemed to bypass everyone except a blue and white shirt who struck it past Watkins with power. At this point, it was a hold what we have situation for Flackwell who threatened through Adam Thomas and Mo Ceesay at times.

The pressure from the Royals was relentless and on 74 minutes a corner came in from the left-hand side and was met by Khalid Simmo who finished from five yards at the near post. Flackwell now had to throw the kitchen sink at the game to get anything out of it. Reading continued to move the ball at a tempo and were difficult to breakdown when Flackwell had possession. On 88 minutes, Flackwell got a corner from their hard work down the right flank and seemed to get everyone in close on the Reading ‘keeper who produced a very good punch to relieve the pressure.

The game looked all but won from Reading’s perspective until Flackwell got a free-kick just inside the Reading half. With 94 minutes on the clock, it was the Heathens last chance to force an equaliser and take the Royals to extra time. The Flackwell ‘keeper, Aaron Watkins drove the free kick into the the Reading area. The reds were queuing up at the far post but Flackwell top scorer Ceesay leapt the highest with a free header that whistled just past the post. On another day that may well find it’s way into the net.

On another day Flackwell could’ve got something out of the game. In total 330 supporters came down to Wilks Park which will no doubt boost the clubs morale in their quest for promotion this season.

Flackwell now face Fairford Town at home in the Hellenic League Premier Division on Saturday (3pm).