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Reading United, Nor’easters win PDL season openers

Aaron Molloy scores from 25 yards out, an own goal completes Ocean City comeback

Aaron Molloy
Matt Ralph

After advancing on Wednesday night in U.S. Open Cup play, both Reading United and Ocean City Nor’easters started their Premier Development League campaigns with road wins over the weekend.

Reading United made the short trip to Allentown to battle local rival Lehigh Valley United on Saturday night. Gilbert Waso and Aaron Molloy scored in the second half and Will Smith, who plays at Lehigh University, picked up the clean sheet for United.

Philadelphia Union Academy grads Zach Zandi and Lamine Conte both started the match and Mo Conde came off the bench in the 56th minute for Reading while defender Garrett Keys started for LVU.

Waso, who plays at Elizabethtown College, opened the scoring in the 47th minute when he was able to steer a Sebastien Hauret cross over the goal line. Twenty-one minutes later, Molloy hit a rocketed shot from 25 yards out to beat Lehigh Valley goalkeeper Brian Hochstuhl and seal the victory, new head coach Alan McCann’s first at the helm.

The Nor’easters overcame an early deficit to win their season opener 2-1 at FA Euro New York on Sunday.

FA Euro opened the scoring 10 minutes into the match when Zhurabek Khusanboev converted a free kick. The lead was erased 11 minutes later when Fredlin Mompremier sent a long pass to a streaking Matteo Bennati who found Deri Corfi for an easy tap-in at the far post. Corfi and Mompremier were both involved again in the own goal seven minutes later that ended up holding up as the game winner.

“It was a brilliant comeback from the lads tonight, especially playing away from home,” said Ocean City head coach John Thompson. “We went behind from a dead ball but once again looked solid in open play. We have to do a better job on possession when in the lead, and to keep pressing the opponent back and put their defense under pressure, but it was a great win for the club to start the season.”

The Nor’easters travel to North Carolina Wednesday for to take on Charlotte Independence in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup while Reading United will host the Richmond Kickers at Alvernia University.

Ocean City visits Long Island Rough Riders in league play next Saturday while Lehigh Valley United visits New York Red Bulls U23 and Reading United travels to Virginia to play Evergreen FC.