READING, Pa. –
Reading United used two goals around the halftime break to pull away from the Central Jersey Spartans in a 3-0 victory at Albright College’s Shirk Stadium on Friday evening. Goals in the 44th and 46th minutes turned an early one-goal lead into a comfortable margin of victory for United.
Leading the charge with two goals was former Central Jersey Spartan Ryan Finley, who scored more goals in this game (2) against his former team than he did in seven outings (1) with the Spartans in 2011. Finley struck first in the 18th minute, as he found himself in the right place at the right time. Ben Newnam’s weak shot in the box found the Notre Dame product right in front of the net, as Finley backheeled the initial offering past Central Jersey’s keeper Alex Blackburn for a 1-0 lead.
Reading put an exclamation point on the end of the first half, as a well-placed corner by Steve Neumann found the towering Pedro Ribeiro by the far post. Ribeiro’s thunderous header in the 44th snuck the United into the intermission with a 2-0 lead.
Finley finished off his former side just after the half in the 46th minute, as Deshorn Brown led the forward with a through ball into the right side of the box, which he finished easily past a helpless Blackburn.
"Ryan is a player that we have been trying to bring to Reading for a few years now, and I think his impact on our program was shown tonight,” said head coach Brendan Burke. “Finley, and especially Pedro [Ribeiro] showed how their finishing skills can change the complexion of a game in a hurry.”
Spartans Head Coach John Newman said "We found ourselves up against a very organized, strong and talented Reading team tonight. We knew coming into the game that it would be a big ask to come and get a result here and that is how it turned out. We are still learning as a team so we will dust ourselves down and get ready for Ocean City".