Wokingham & Emmbrook 3 Sandhurst Devels 1By John Ansell
April 16, 2009
A Richard Bland hat-trick secured Wokingham & Emmbrook’s place in the Reading Evening Post Senior Cup final at the Madejski Stadium at the end of the season.
After a nervy start, the pace of Bland was always going to be a problem for the visitors.
On several occasions he had the Devels’ defence at full stretch.
However, it was the Reading Senior Division side who threatened early on and their enterprise was rewarded in only the 10th minute when a clinical move opened up the Wokingham defence.
The ball was played out wide right to Adam Steel and his cross picked out the incoming Mark Farrell who fired high into the net from close in.
Sloppy defending almost allowed Sandhurst to extend their lead, with Farrell going close with a lob and then a header from a Nick Phillips free kick.
Gradually Wokingham settled down and started to look dangerous themselves.
A mistake by Sandhurst’s Chris Basher let Wokingham back into it when Richard Bland latched on to the loose ball to race clear before firing past the advancing keeper Craig Wilkins.
Wilkins then became his sides’ saviour, twice saving with Bland one against one.
The last chance of the half fell to Devels when Farrell’s cross picked out Adam Steel who headed wide.
The second half started with Billy Elgar crossing for Nicky Bateman on the edge of the area, but the midfielder’s effort went just wide.
Sandhurst keeper Wilkins again denied Bland after Bateman had released him with a great ball out of defence.
Sandhurst then enjoyed a good spell of pressure but without really threatening, and Wokingham hit them on the break in the 70th minute when Luke Lee’s inch-perfect through ball saw Bland race away from his marker, and then, keeping his composure, he coolly slotted home.
Needing another goal to be safe, Wokingham sealed the tie in the 76th minute when a fine header from Bellis midway in the Sandhurst half fell to Bland who broke clear before brilliantly drilling his shot low across Wilkins.
Sandhurst kept going until the end but couldn’t break down the Wokingham defence.
All roads now lead to the Madejeski Stadium for Wokingham – just rewards for an excellent season so far.
Wokingham & Emmbrook: Roberts, Lewin, Elgar (Luis), Rice, Hanson, Broome, Lee, Bateman (Chapman), Wise, Bland (Thorne), Bellis.