Wokingham & Emmbrook FC 1 Flackwell Heath FC 1 (Flackwell win 3-1 on penalties)By John Ansell
May 06, 2010
Even extra-time couldn’t separate Wokingham & Emmbrook and Flackwell Heath in their Reading Senior Cup semi-final at Larges Lane on Tuesday evening.
Flackwell, who finished the season in great style with 22 points out of a possible 24 in the Hellenic Premier Division, were made to fight all of the way against an excellent Wokingham side.
The visitors dominated the early exchanges and took the lead in the 10th minute through Adam Pagett’s looping shot.
Slowly Wokingham played their way back into the game and only a great save from Warren Carter denied Luke Lee when he was through one on one.
As the half progressed it was Wokingham who were looking the better side and, driven on by the majority of the 143-strong crowd deservedly equalised in the 55th minute.
Richard Bland’s pace caused problems in the visitors’ defence and the Hellenic Division 1 East golden boot winner kept his composure to slot past the rooted Carter.
It was Carter who as the busier of the two keepers, saving well from Ben Rice on two occasions.
With extra time looming Stuart Harris produced an excellent save to deny Mitchell Woodward and then moments later Wokingham almost snatched it when Bland fired inches wide of the post.
Extra time still failed to separate the sides in an entertaining encounter and the teams were forced into a dreaded penalty shoot-out to decide who would take the place in the final at Madejski Stadium.
All three of Wokingham’s opener penalty takers missed with sub Shane Cooper-Clark and Shaun Wanklyn both seeing their spot kicks saved by Carter, while Grant Lewin fired high and wide.
Flackwell’s Durrant, Pagett and Woodward scored and although Harris saved from McClelland, the Premier Division side progressed to the final to face Westwood United next Wednesday.
Wokingham, though, can be proud of an excellent performance and certainly didn’t deserve to go out in such fashion.
They matched their opponents all the way and at times looked the better side.
With manager Wayne Wanklyn in the United States for his son’s graduation, assistant Roger Herridge was certainly proud of his young side.
“I thought we were magnificent all evening and I couldn’t have been more proud, for a young side we performed outstandingly,” he said.
“Every player worked his socks off and certainly didn’t deserve this result but you don’t always get what you deserve in this game.
“However we have had a great season with promotion to the Hellenic Premier and two semi-finals.
“Most of all we proved tonight that we don’t have to fear anybody next season because Flackwell are a very good side on their day.”
The club still have plenty to look forward to before the season is officially over.
The Allied Counties Under-18 team still have a chance of lifting their league title against Wealdstone at Henley Town on Tuesday evening and Wokingham & Emmbrook A have a final at Madejski Stadium on Friday May 14 (7pm kick-off), so there is still much to enjoy for this flourishing club.
Wokingham & Emmbrook: Harris, Walton, Luis, Lewin, Wanklyn, Thorne, Bellis, Rice, Bland, Lee ( Cooper - Clark ), Bateman. Subs not used Broome, Byrne, Elgar, Hanson.