Wokingham & Emmbrook FC 4 Holyport FC 1By John Ansell
August 22, 2011
The last time Wokingham featured in the FA Cup, back in 2003/04, they went out 1-0 at home Deal Town.
So Saturday’s extra preliminary round game was a welcome return to the cup and a step forward as they strive to reach their former status.
After their defeat at Thame United in midweek, the management team were looking for a positive response and they certainly got it.
From kick-off Wokingham were on the front foot, taking a second-minute lead as Sam Whiting powered a free-kick over the wall and into the top corner of the net.
Wokingham were then forced to make an early change when Tom Williams limped off injured to be replaced by Dean Thomas.
Holyport had a valid shout for a penalty turned down in the 18th minute and Wokingham rubbed salt into the wound in the 23rd minute when Sam Duffelen’s free-kick on the right sailed over keeper Ben Murphy to nestle in the top corner.
Wokingham continued to push forward and should have killed the game off.
Sam Wyatt saw a diving header saved before Thomas’ header was handled on the line by Ryan Britnell, earning the defender a red card.
However, Garry Sargeant’s spot kick was well saved by Murphy.
Although down to 10 men the visitors started the second half well with plenty of possession in midfield.
Slowly Wokingham regained their composure, with Sargeant and Thomas going agonisingly close.
Holyport, though, pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute when substitute Jamie Wright squeezed home a header at the near post, but the Wokingham back four kept their composure to thwart any chance of a Holyport equaliser.
And the game was finally put out of Holyport’s reach when a long Stuart Harris clearance produced a race between keeper Murphy and Thomas which the Wokingham winger won to fire into an empty net.
With four minutes remaining Wokingham were reduced to 10 men when a groggy Horscroft had to be carried off after a clash of heads.
The final goal came in the 90th minute after impressive build-up play ended with Luke Lee setting up Thomas for his second of the game.
Wokingham have another home tie against fellow Hellenic Premier Division side Kidlington in the next round.
And manager Herridge was delighted with the overall performance.
“This is just what I was looking for after the disappointment of midweek,” he said.
“We looked sharp again and worked hard against a decent side.
“I thought Sam Whiting had a good game and the whole side side showed total commitment throughout.
“Hopefully we can kick on from here.”
Wokingham & Emmbrook: Harris, Walton, Wyatt, Hopper, Mitchell, Bellis, Whiting, Duffelen (Horscroft), Sargeant (Dearlove), Lee, Williams (Thomas). Subs not used: Rusby, Luis, Ryan, Broome.