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Reading 'Old Boys' defeated in Heapy Testimonial
Didcot Town Select XI 2, Reading FC Legends XI 1
A team of Reading FC Legends turned out in sunny Oxfordshire to honour Didcot Town stalwart Jamie Heapy.
After starting his career at 16, Jamie is close to racking up his 850th appearance for The Railwaymen in a career which spans three divisions and many trophies including Didcot’s famous FA Vase win 10 years ago.
Managed by Kevin Dillon, Reading named an impressive line-up which included former Didcot Manager Ady Williams, striker Neville Roach and TV personality Ralf Little.
Jamie selected three sides for the three 30 minute periods and it was Didcot’s 2005 FA Vase winning side which took the lead when a clearance by Reading keeper Phil Brown fell at the feet of Burton Albion striker Stuart Beavon who fired into the bottom corner past the diving Brown.
The early stages of the game saw Danny Campbell run out in a Didcot shirt for the first time since he was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2006.
The Railwaymen thought they had scored a second but Ian Concannon’s strike was disallowed for offside.
Didcot, during the second period used mostly players who had played with Jamie in the Hellenic League years. However neither side could get onto the score sheet. Reading’s front line pairing of Martyn Williams and Neville Roach looked strong and looked most likely to grab an equaliser but neither did.
Both sides had had chances to score and Reading did put the ball in the back of the net when Michael Gilkes tapped home from close range. However he was ruled offside.
Jamie’s third side was mixed and had a collection of players who won the Southern Division 1 South & West Play Offs in 2010 and during that third period Reading levelled the score.
A goal that was reminiscent of Reading’s second goal against Luton Town at Wembley in the 1988 Simod Cup Final, saw Michael Gilkes, with only the ‘keeper to beat, brought down in the box. Stuart Beavon Senior stepped up to convert the penalty as he had 27 years previously. Beavon’s goal ensured that both he and his son, ended up on the score sheet.
With just under 10 minutes remaining, Didcot regained the lead when Richard Witt, a member of the Reading FC Community Scheme, crossed into the path of Kevin Cox who tapped in from close range.
Former Reading favourite Glen Little had a chance to level the scores late on, but his lob went just over the Didcot goal to give Heapy’s side the victory in front of a 600 plus crowd.
Everyone concerned with the Reading FC Former Players’ Association would like to wish Martyn Williams a speedy recovery after he was forced to leave the pitch with a ruptured Achilles.
Reading FC Legends XI – Phil Brown, Tom Jones, Ralf Little, Mick Gooding, Barry Hunter, Ady Williams, Kevin Watson, Glen Little, Simon Osborn, Martyn Williams, Neville Roach, Michael Gilkes, Andy Gray, Mark Rivers, Tim Dellor, Jordan Norris, Darren Brett, Stuart Beavon (Snr)
19 May 2015
01 September 2017