Replay of postponed game from last week could make or break Ocean City's season
The next few league games are extremely important for the Ocean City Nor’easters, and it starts on Thursday night when they visit long-time rival Reading United AC in the final regular season road game of the season. The game will be played at Gurski High School's Wilson Stadium in Fair Lawn, Pa., with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
For those unable to attend the game in person, there will be a live video stream available through Reading United's YouTube page.
It will be the 44th all-time meeting between the clubs as they add another chapter to one of the oldest rivalries in modern American soccer.
The Mid-Atlantic Division has turned into a three-horse race for two PDL playoff spots. Ocean City (7-3-0) and Reading (7-1-0) are tied in second place with United having played two fewer games. The New York Red Bulls U-23s sit on top of the table with an 9-1-0 record, six points clear of second place. With the top two teams making the postseason, this is a massive game for both Reading and Ocean City.
In their last league game, the Nor'easters defeated FA Euro New York at home this past Saturday with a goal from Max Hemmings (Georgia State / Wokingham, England). That was Hemmings' first goal of the season. With the win, Ocean City improved to 6-0-0 vs FA Euro all-time. While the past three matches between the two clubs have ended 1-0, Ocean City has outscored New York 15-4 across six meetings.
Reading enters Thursday's game riding a six-game winning streak after Tuesday's 4-1 road win over FA Euro New York.
The last time the Nor'easters faced Reading was back on June 2 at Don Thomas Stadium with United coming away with a narrow 1-0 win. It was featured as the PDL Game of the Week and both teams didn't disappoint, as both played an excellent defensive game with the only goal coming on a deflected goal in the 82nd minute by Aaron Molloy.
“We are getting the lads ready for a big second half of the season,” said Thompson. “We are in playoff football mode already, we need to be sharp physically and mentally.”
The clubs first met back in 1997 as professional teams, and since then, Ocean City leads the all-time series against Reading United 19-17-7.
After Thursday's game, the two teams will meet again on Sunday, July 2 at the Beach House. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, but had to be moved to give the players a full two days of rest in between games.