READING City ended Binfield’s 100 per cent start to the season when they held the Hellenic League pacesetters to a 1-1 draw at Hill Farm Lane on Monday, writes Dave Wright.

It was the first point the Moles had dropped and the first league goal conceded in five Premier Division games.

On a scorching day, the hosts took a first-half lead through Josh Howell with Fergus Burton equalising for the Citizens early in the second half.

Binfield manager Roger Herridge was satisfied with the draw, but his counterpart, Simon Johnson, reckoned his side should have returned home with all three points.

Herridge praised City, describing them as a “good side with a lot of pace,” adding: “Based on what we have seen, they look capable of taking points off all the top sides.”

His side created the better chances in the opening 45 minutes with Sean Moore and Asa Povey testing the City defence. Moore had appeals for a penalty turned down when he went over the area under a challenge and Idris Kamara came within the width of the goalpost from scoring following a Howell corner.

Binfield, who were missing ex-Bracknell duo Carl Davies and Jamie McClurg among others, then saw Jemel Johnson join the casualty list when he pulled up with a hamstring problem midway through the opening half.

City, seeking their third successive league win, thought they taken the lead on the half-hour mark when Aaron De Rama bustled the ball away from keeper Joe Williams as he tried to clear and fired into an empty net, but referee Adam Parry indicated the City man had fouled the goalie.

In front of a crowd of 147, the hosts broke the deadlock after 38 minutes when Howell created space for himself down the left and found the target from a tight angle, with the ball spinning into the net via the inside of the far post for his third goal in two games.

Johnson’s men were quicker into the stride in the second half with Burton and De Rama going close, and their pressure paid off in the 51st minute.

A well-placed through pass from Dan Davies split the home defence to put Burton in the clear, and he smashed the ball past the advancing keeper for the equaliser.

City’s electrifying pace continued to cause problems for Binfield and they looked the likelier of the two sides to score again with Charlie York rarely troubled in the visitors’ goal.

Johnson commented: “Before the game, we would have taken a point, but on the balance of play I’m gutted we didn’t get all three.

“We were the better side in the second half and had enough chances to have won the game.

“Once we had marked Sean Moore out of the game, they didn’t really come at us with anything in the second half.”

After the game, the City manager revealed that pacy winger Khalid Simmo, who has made a big impression in the opening weeks of the season, was about to join league rivals Flackwell Heath.

If the transfer does go through, it is possible he could make his league debut next Tuesday when Marcus Richardson’s side host – Reading City.