LANGLEY have reached the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy quarter-finals this season after an incredible 19-18 win on penalties at Reading YMCA on Saturday.

The East Berkshire Premier Division champions had a clear lead at the break thanks to goals from Gary Ashton and Dean Papali, but Reading fought back to take the third round tie into a shoot-out.

Daylight was fading as the deciding spot-kick was taken and Langley boss John Thirkell admits he felt like having a heart attack, but his side held their nerve to progress.

Thirkell told the Observer: “It was a bit stressful and I thought I was going to have a heart attack a couple of times during penalties, but it was a magnificent game and end-to-end in the second-half.

“We kept the ball and our shape really well in the first half. It was well-worked football from us because Reading never had a chance and we dominated.

“They wanted to keep the ball but we kept our shape and deserved the lead at half-time, but I told the boys it was not over.

“Reading changed their tactics in the second half to a percentage game, playing a lot of long ball football. They tried to keep the ball in the first half but bombed it forward after the break.

“It took me by surprise because I was not expecting it, but we defended really well until we gave away a penalty and let them back in.

“Then it went 2-2 but we changed our system and took over in the last 10-15 minutes. Tackles really started to fly in and everyone had their sleeves rolled up.

“Reading didn’t want to play any football at all in the second half but it’s very hard to defend the long ball all the time.”

Commenting on the penalty shoot-out, Thirkell said: “Penalties was like a rollercoaster and seemed to go on forever but the lads celebrated for a long time after. We deserved to go through but it was not that one-sided.

“The last round went to penalties and our keeper made four saves against the favourites. Penalties went on forever on Saturday but he took us through really.

“He has been outstanding this season and only conceded twice in the league.”

Langley have been drawn away to Winslow United in the quarter-finals in the New Year.

Thirkell said: "Reading got a little bit of a shock and to be fair we will go into the quarter-finals and enjoy it.

"The coaching here is first class and we're working really well as a team "Our motto as a club and as a team is never to give up and the lads have adopted that.

"No matter what happens it's a game we will enjoy. There's no pressure in my changing room."

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