Wokingham HC 1st win puts pressure on league leadersBy Natalie Slater
November 11, 2009
Wokingham Mens 1st 3 Sunbury Mens 1st 2
Despite having to host their visitors at another pitch due to the council’s firework event at Cantley, Wokingham maintained their form and moved up to sixth in MBBO Regional 2, just three points behind the leaders.
Sunbury were quick out of the blocks and it took Wokingham a good 10 minutes before they found their shape and form.
But it wasn’t fast enough to prevent the first goal as Wokingham committed too many players forward and Sunbury scored on the counter attack.
Wokingham were forced to up their game and from some steady pressure a string of short corners were awarded, and up stepped the well-oiled short corner team.
The keeper made a great save on a strike from man-of-the-match Michael Bowyer, however, switching to another routine the ball was slipped to Michael Baylis who struck a sweet strike into the bottom corner.
With the score at 1-1, Wokingham were in the ascendancy.
Some ill-discipline following a rare Sunbury attack resulted in a penalty flick, but goalkeeper Scott Gripps made a fantastic diving saving to keep the scores level.
Continued pressure and some lovely hockey saw Wokingham grab a second with a fluid passing routine between Barry Thomas and Pete Tailby ending with a beautifully-weighted cross for Harry Weald to strike first time into the back of the net.
With Wokingham seemingly cruising, just before half time another Sunbury break caused some confusion in defence and even with the valiant efforts of Gripps in goal Sunbury managed to level the match.
The second half saw Wokingham come out strong and maintain the pressure, and following a string of missed chances, Tailby made a brilliant run to pick up a cross and slot in a drag flick past the keeper for 3-2.
Things were a bit tense at the end as Wokingham had a man sent off and Sunbury applied a lot of pressure and won a number of short corners, but the hosts managed to hang on to win the game, owing some great defending from Dave Badger as he saved a short corner strike on the line at waist height.
South Bucks Mens 2nd 1 Wokingham Mens 2nd 4
Wokingham 2nd maintained their 100-per-cent away record as they won their third on the spin on the road in MBBO Division 3.
Despite starting with only 10 men, Wokingham started brightly and closed down the play well, limiting South Bucks to only a couple of chances.
As they were restored to full strength, Wokingham began to find plenty of space down the flanks with Neil Bennett and Jack Baveystock causing problems.
Unlike previous weeks Wokingham were clinical in front of goal with James Gibbs scoring two belters, one from an extremely acute angle.
Mark Peel added the third with a tidy flick over the keeper and at the other end of the pitch Matt Turner made some outstanding saves, most notably an excellent double save with the ball ballooning onto the crossbar.
However, South Bucks did get a goal following a powerful short corner strike that went straight through Turner and made it 3-1 at half-time to Wokingham.
The second half was very open as the game went from end to end, but it was Wokingham who grabbed the next goal with another powerful effort from man-of-the-match Gibbs as he sealed his hat-trick.
There was still time in the game for South Bucks to hit a post and for Matt Taylor to clear off the line as the match ended 4-1.
Next week they take on Leighton Buzzard who are one place ahead of them in the table.
Banbury Ladies 2nd 1 Wokingham Ladies 1st 1
The ladies first team kept up their good form by taking home another point from Banbury in the Trysports Three Counties League Premier 2.
Wokingham started in high spirits ready to maintain their top-of-the-league position, but the game did not go to plan with Banbury scoring the first goal and causing problems for the Wokingham defence on a number of occasions.
It was only the defending of Victoria Sauven, who stepped in at centre-back for the first time this season, that kept Wokingham within reach of Banbury in the second half.
It felt like a goal would never come yet the team never gave up hope and put in 100-per-cent until the end.
With only one minute on the clock, Kelly Blemings crossed a perfect ball in from the right with Libby Whittle tipping it in for the equaliser.
The crowd went wild as the draw kept Wokingham top of the league and unbeaten so far this season.
Wokingham Ladies 2nd 1 Reading Ladies 3rd 2
Despite a fantastic performance from the Ladies 2nd, the team are still struggling for points in Trysports Three Counties League Division 2, something not helped as they faced the top-of-the-table team.
Their play was much stronger and more consistent than any game this season as Wokingham put Reading under pressure throughout the game and held them well with some smart moves from Charlotte Duffy and strong defending from Helena Badger.
At half-time there was everything to play for as the hosts were only down by one goal and after the break a superb goal was slotted in by Jess Dunn
Wokingham worked hard and produced some fantastic play as well as solid goalkeeping by man-of-the-match Nicola Baines and they will hope to take the form on to their next game.
Wychwood Ladies 2nd 0 Wokingham Ladies 3rd 1
The newly-formed ladies 3rd team had a fantastic result this weekend as they picked up their first three points of the season in Trysports Three Counties League Division 5.
With confidence building among the team, it was a great result and an enjoyable game with man-of-the-match Kath Nicholls offering a consistently solid defence allowing Francesca Newman to give the team their lead.
Goalkeeper Helen Gan had another stormer as she kept a clean sheet and helped win the team the game in style.