Witney United FC 1 Wokingham & Emmbrook FC 1By John Ansell
February 07, 2011
Manager Roger Herridge summed up this Hellenic Premier Division match well.
“Over the 90 minutes it was a fair result, it was never going to be a classic in the windy conditions,” he said.
“We all know how hard it is to win away in this division and I am reasonably happy with our performance.
“It was always going to be difficult against the strong wind in the second half, but I thought we defended well and it took an outstanding strike to deny us all three points.”
It was obvious from the start that good football was an impossibility and this proved to be the case, with neither side carrying any real attacking threat in the opening stages.
The first strike on goal didn’t come until the 14th minute when Joe Tustain fired straight at Stuart Harris from a free-kick.
But it was Wokingham who broke the deadlock in the 16th minute when home keeper Paul Tassell and Luke Lee raced to the ball, it broke loose and Lee recovered quickest to pick out the unmarked Sam Whiting who kept his composure to score his first goal after returning to the club.
Wokingham then enjoyed a good spell of pressure, but could not increase their lead before the break.
Alex Luis and Nick Bateman both had efforts cleared off the line, a Broome shot from 25 yards went over, Danny Horscroft’s free-kick was well saved by Tassell and only a timely challenge by Tom Smith denied Whiting a second.
The second half was always going to be a test for the visitors, but the defence, well marshalled by Tom Hopper and the outstanding Alex Walton, did well.
Sam McNally almost levelled soon after the break as the home side pressed forward, but the Wokingham defence mopped everything up.
However, the pressure finally told in the 69th minute with an excellent first-time strike from the edge of the area by Joe Tustain.
The goal lifted the home side and Wokingham had to defend solidly, although they had one more scare late on when Harris did well to save from Tustain.
With the spoils deservedly shared, Wokingham’s 41 points has effectively secured Premier Division football next season.
Wokingham take a break from league action this coming Saturday when they turn their attention to the Reading Senior Cup, with a quarter-final tie away to REME Aborfield (2pm kick-off).
Wokingham & Emmbrook: Harris, Lewin, Luis, Hopper, Walton, Duffelen, Horscroft, Bateman, Lee, Broome, Whiting. Subs not used: Rimmer, Dearlove, Merry.