Sorry Students hit for six as Reading inflict one final blow
LOUGHBOROUGH coach Jerome Goudie admitted his side were brought back to reality after concluding their season with another thumping league defeat.
Just days after defending their national student title with a hard-fought win over Nottingham in Bath, they were given a lesson in finishing by a Reading team that has often flattered to deceive this season.
The student side have mustered just one point from 18 fixtures – a battling 2–2 draw with Surbiton earlier this month – and they end the campaign with a minus 45 goal difference, with their final defeat the heaviest of the season.
However, Goudie admitted the exertions of a victory in the BUCS finals took their toll against a Reading team who are now actively building for the future.
“Having accomplished our aim of regaining the BUCS title on Wednesday, the guys found it very difficult to get to perform where they know they can,” he said.
“The match against Nottingham took a lot of our focus, which took a lot of time and energy out of the guys.
“It wasn’t just physical energy but mental, too. It’s difficult to then be 100 per cent come the Sunday after that.
“The scoreline was very reflective of the game. They’ve got a Cup semi-final coming up so they had a lot of objectives, whereas for us it was the last game of the season with nothing riding on it.
“It’s been tough. But the second half of the season we’ve improved in each and every game. We’ve had small goals to set ourselves and we made some real strides before focusing on BUCS.”
James Carson put Reading two goals up inside the first seven minutes before further strikes from Kiran Patel and Ben Boon gave them a commanding advantage. Loughborough’s Elliot Smith pulled one back from a penalty corner before Boon scored again and Rhys Doherty completed the rout from another setpiece.
“That intensity is important for us. We got two goals early on which all but killed the game and made it a comfortable victory and one we felt we deserved,” said Reading first team manager Chris Davey.
“We’d lost three in a row before that which were games that summed up our season. We were losing by the odd goal and the margins are so fine in the division. “We gave away too many silly goals across the year. We played well enough to deserve better but let one or two silly goals in at the wrong times and you can’t really afford to do that. “But we’re a young side. We’ve got a couple of old heads in there but we’ve been playing with four or five under-18s who have really made contributions as the season has gone on. It’s a time of rebuilding, but hopefully it sets us up nicely for the next campaign.” As Reading look to a cup semi-final clash with Brooklands this weekend, Goudie is also casting his eye ahead with optimism – despite a sobering season of results. “The majority of our players are still in and around the squad next year which is a big boost. We’ve only got four guys graduating out of 26, so we’ve got a very young squad who will be looking to build,” he added. “The minutes and the experience they’ll have got from this season will be vital, and it’s the same for me. “It’s a different group to ones we have had before, and we’ve definitely taken things forward for the next season as well as the experiences we’re gaining from that.”
KEY PLAYER James Carson Reading