Reading United moved back into first place in the Mid Atlantic Division of the PDL with a 2-1 win at home against Jersey Express. The win marked a special night in Reading as the team welcomed 5 year old Brayden Zackon as their special guest on Cancer Awareness Night. He has been battling leukemia now for the past two years, and as of now he only has 17 months of treatment left, the prognosis is good we are told. Before the match Brayden warmed up on the field with the team and they went back to the locker room where the players presented him with his own locker and Reading United shirt.
Reading’s Jelani Pieters opened the scoring in the after a tightly contested opening 45 minutes. As the match referee was close to blowing his whistle to stop play, Peters used an amazing display of foot skills to move through the Express defense inside the box and easily shot the ball low and away from the visiting keeper.
Early in the second half, Reading struck again after a penalty was called against the Express inside the box during the 50th minute. Hugo Delhommelle calmly stepped up and drove the ball into the net as the goalie chose the wrong direction to dive. Jersey made it tight a few minutes later on a free kick by Juan Correa that found its way through the defensive wall.
Reading’s keeper Ben Beaury took over the match in the final five minutes, making three clutch saves that sealed the win for Reading. The win put them back into first place.
After the match the annual jersey auction took place, and fans were able to bid on the special game worn jerseys with the proceeds all going to the fight against cancer. In all, eighteen jerseys were literally taken off the players backs for the winning bidders.
PDL Eastern Conference Power Ranking Week 7
Once again Reading United finds itself atop the Eastern Conference power rankings after a tight loss at Red Bulls U23 and a 2-1 win over Jersey Express at home. Also moving into the rankings this week are Eastern Conference foes Baltimore Bohemians (5) and New York Red Bulls U23 (6). Should be an interesting second half of the season as Reading will face both teams again.
Reading returns to action Wednesday June 22 at Don Thomas Stadium (Exeter High School) to face Lehigh Valley United Sonic at 7:00 PM. Reading opened their PDL season with a 1-0 win back in May against Lehigh Valley.
David Musante serves as the team photographer for Reading United A.C. and is owner of Penn Images. He also covers Reading United for The Brotherly Game. Additional match photos can be found at www.PennImages.com/ReadingUnited.