Wanklyn: ‘We’ve started to believe in ourselves'By John Ansell
October 16, 2008
Wokingham & Emmbrook manager Wayne Wanklyn says that his team, after weeks spent in the top two of Hellenic Division 1 East, are now starting to believe they can achieve promotion.
On paper the visit of Holyport looked to be one of Wokingham & Emmbrooks sternest tests of the season so far.
But after a completely dominant second-half display at Cantley Park, Wanklyn finally believes his side have the self belief to believe they are worthy contenders.
“It was good win against a good side,” said Wanklyn.
“We fully deserved it and I think we played some great football at times.
“We passed well and finished well and that was probably our strongest performance this season.
“We look like we’re starting to believe in ourselves now.
“The passing was really good and David Bellis in midfield was really really strong and made us tick.”
With the news that leading scorer Richard Bland is on his way to Camberley Town, Wanklyn decided to play with just one striker, James Wise, up front.
The opening exchanges were a bit cat and mouse, but it was Sam Whiting, looking sharp out on the left with his pace and skill troubling the visitors defence, who had Wokingham’s best early chance.
However, just a seconds hesitation saw the chance go begging.
At the other end keeper Kane Roberts was forced to make a save low down from Aaron Lennon.
All too often Wokingham were trying to force play and gave the ball away, however, when they showed patience and knocked the ball around they certainly looked a top-of-the-table side.
As the half progressed, Wokingham began to get a grip in the midfield area, Bellis and Bateman started to do the simple things well with Billy Elgar also doing a good job in the middle of the park.
Wokingham eventually took the lead in the 34th minute when Sam Whiting’s corner fell perfectly to Nicky Bateman who powered his header high into the net.
From the restart the visitors almost struck back when Lennon broke free, but a good save from Roberts denied him, while at the other end, Elgar’s shot went narrowly over the bar.
The second half began with the visitors threatening, as Emlyn Hill and Chris Woods both forced Roberts into smart saves.
Wokingham, though, finally slipped into gear and began to play neat and controlled football.
The hard-working James Wise was the focal point of Wokingham’s precise attacking play, holding the ball up brilliantly and finding a teammate almost every time with his passing.
This was evident in the 56th minute when Bellis played the ball into Wise, whose first-time touch was exquisite as he flicked the ball first time into the path of Luke Lee.
The wide player’s pace took him to the byline where he played the ball in low towards the near post, and Sam Whiting was on hand to side foot home.
With a two-goal cushion, Wokingham started to knock the ball round with the utmost confidence.
A Bateman free kick picked out Lee but he failed to get the vital touch.
Lee, however, made amends in the 63rd minute when after another excellent move he found himself in the clear, and keeping his composure slotted past Holyport keeper Aaron O’Brien low to his right.
With the game now won Manager Wanklyn made a series of changes, one forced when Nicky Bateman limped off and was replaced by Sean Watson and then Shaun Wanklyn, who starts a three match ban after this game, and the hard-working Elgar were replaced by Ben Rice and Alex Walton.
Still the chances came with O’Brien denying Whiting a second, before Wise and Lee combined to set up Whiting again, but he shot wide.
The three points, combined with Ascot’s loss to Kintbury, sees Wokingham climb back into first place, and they face perhaps their most difficult game of the season when they host third-placed Newbury at Canltey Park on Saturday (kick off 3pm).
Wokingham & Emmbrook: Roberts, Lewin, Duffelen, Bateman (Watson), Wanklyn (Walton), Hanson, Lee, Bellis, Wise, Elgar (Rice), Whiting.