In an evenly contested top of the table clash both Ocean City and Reading United went toe to toe in a back and forth game.
The Nor’easters started slowly and Reading capitalized on this with and took an early lead in the 7th minute. Ocean City conceded a free kick 35 yards out on the left. RU #11 whipped the ball in from the set piece and it broke for RU#8 to poke it home at the back post, 1-0.
OC fought their way back into the game and were rewarded for their effort just 14 minutes later. In the 21st minute Max Hamilton slipped a great ball through for the lively Frank Twenboa to run onto and cooly slot home from 15 yards out to even the score, 1-1. The rest of the first half was back and forth with both teams giving as good as they got.
The second half continued off from where they finished just before the break with both teams doing well going forward but also both defending solidly. The game turned in Reading favor in the 65 minute. A soft free kick was awarded 30 yards from the OC goal. From the resulting free kick Reading got their second with a well worked set piece ending up with RU #12 sneaking in at the back post to slide the ball home, 2-1. As both teams made subs the game started to open up, with OC pushing for the equalizing goal and Reading staying strong in defense. It was a Reading substitution that caused most of the late drama. Reading forward Ryan Finley entered the game in the 66th minute and immediately received a yellow card for the late challenge. Then, just 6 minutes later Finley received his marching orders when he received his second yellow for another late challenge, resulting in a red card.
This inspired the crowd and gave OC the belief they could push on the get the tying goal. OC pushed hard and came close when a Max Hamilton bicycle kick flew just over the bar. In the end Reading held strong for all three points to see them secure1st place in the division.
The Nor'easters head to the field again on Sunday when they face Baltimore Bohemians, kick-off 7pm.