Reading United AC returned to the friendly confines of Exeter high school’s Don Thomas Stadium. For its home opener against the visiting NOVA FC. Despite Ryan Becher’s early goal, NOVA FC rallied with two goals in the second half to earn a 2-1 road victory against the hosts. It was Reading’s third straight loss to open the 2021 USL League 2 regular season.
United started the match brightly, scoring in the game’s opening 10 minutes. Berks County native son Seth Kuhn took a corner kick from the far sideline. His looping strike found the head of Reading midfielder Ryan Becher who headed the ball into the back of the NOVA goal to give Reading a 1-0 lead delighting the home fans.
The visitors roared back in the game in the second half. In the 59th minute, NOVA’s Ahmed Sheta collected a rebounded save off of Reading goalkeeper Carson Williams and volleyed the ball into the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.
NOVA FC doubled their advantage 14 minutes later. Midfielder Brandon Bartel worked the ball down the right flank and fired a hard cross into the box. Ryan Levay got on the end of the cross and tapped home to give the visitors a 2-1 lead in the 73rd minute.
Reading United tried to mount a late comeback but were unable to find a way around NOVA’s bunkered-in defense. The 2-1 loss marked the first time Reading has ever suffered defeat to its division rivals NOVA FC.
Reading United will try to get into the win column when it returns home on Friday May 28th when it faces division newbies Philadelphia Lone Star at Don Thomas Stadium. Kickoff is 7:00 pm. It will be 610 Night where Reading United will salute all things Berks County.