High Wycombe lost 12-7 to Reading at home in their Southern Counties North encounter on Saturday.

The first half took on a familiar theme as Wycombe enjoyed most of the territory but squandered several golden opportunities to score.

The first of those chances came when some strong work over the ball by Osian Lewis gave Wycombe a penalty in front of the post on the twenty two, unfortunately the kick went wide. A great take above his head from the twenty-two by Tom Boardman put Wycombe on the attack and another penalty was tapped quickly by Joff Forber. With the defence backing off he got metres from the line but his pass to the supporting Craig Murray didn’t go to hand and Reading cleared.

Wycombe’s next attack was stopped when another penalty was awarded against the away team. Wycombe looked to go quickly but this was cynically stopped by a Reading player, but the penalty was reversed when Wycombe reacted and some pushing and shoving ensued. Although Wycombe stole the lineout they were stripped in contact and Reading broke deep into the twenty-two. A knock on halted the attack and Wycombe had a scrum on their five metre line. A good scrum allowed Murray to carry the ball up to the twenty-two, but his offload didn’t go to hand and Reading scooped up the ball and carried it up to close to the line, eventually using their forwards to score 0-5. Reading were reduced to 14 men for an illegal tackle and Wycombe finished the half as they started it on the attack. Two successive penalties were tapped by Wycombe and strong carries by Alex Corrigall and Craig Murray took play up to the Reading line but another offload that didn’t go to hand brought the half to a close.

The second half was a much more even affair with Wycombe struggling to find the fluency of the first half. Matt Wardle spotted a gap in the defence and he carried the ball into the twenty two where he offloaded to Mike Fradgley.

He looked like he would score under the posts, but a last ditch tackle hauled him down just short of the line and Reading again held out. It was Wycombe’s turn to be reduced to 14 men when a high tackle from James Shuck was yellow carded and Reading took advantage. After a sustained period of pressure Wycombe defended well and the away team knocked on close to the try line. Reading put huge pressure on the Wycombe scrum and Murray was forced to pick up the ball with the scrum going backwards. He was immediately enveloped and tried to offload the ball. This offload didn’t go to hand and Reading dived on the ball to score 0-12. Wycombe eventually did score when some good hands in the backs put James Shuck in space, he carried close to the line and offloaded to Josh Hall who went over to score, with Wardle making the kick 7-12 but Wycombe were well marshalled by Reading, who took the points.

High Wycombe are away to Reading Abbey next on April 6 (2.30pm).