Wokingham & Emmbrook FC 1 North Greenford United FC 2By Adam Lee
September 19, 2011
Wokingham & Emmbrook's FA Cup dream came to an end at the first qualifying round stage as they went down at home to Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 Central side North Greenford United.
Wokingham made a bright start and took a surprise lead after just three minutes.
Sam Duffelen collected the ball on the edge of the area, side stepped his marker and drilled a low shot which took a wicked bounce before beating Baboucar Gary Jallow in goal.
Wokingham’s extra man in midfield was giving them the edge as they built on their impressive start.
Alex Luis and Sam Whiting both had chances before North Greenford began to find their feet.
With the impressive Zac Joseph asking plenty of questions on the right wing, he almost pulled his side level only to see James Rusby clear off the line.
But the Middlesex side weren’t so wasteful on 17 minutes when captain Nick Turner was on hand to score from close range after the ball ricocheted around in the box.
Wokingham were now starting to lose their composure on the ball, bypassing the midfield all too often searching for the runs of Luke Lee, who was ploughing a lone furrow up front.
But they still created chances with Whiting just firing over after Lee and Dean Thomas brilliantly worked an opening from the right wing.
Overall, though, it was the visitors asking the questions and they should have taken the lead when Aaron McLeish rounded keeper Stuart Harris, but his finish lacked power allowing Sam Wyatt to get back and clear off the line.
North Greenford continued to apply pressure on a Wokingham defence without it’s first-choice centre-halves.
But it was defensive replacement Rusby who had the last chance of the half when he headed Wyatt’s deep free-kick goalwards, forcing Jallow to punch over the bar.
Wokingham came out strongly after the break, but for all their possession they failed to create any meaningful chances.
It was an issue that would blight the Hellenic League side for the remainder of the game.
Indeed it wasn’t until the hour mark that either team threatened again as Danny Bennel’s back-post header was superbly saved low down by Harris.
Wokingham, though, began to gain the upper hand, forcing the pressure and holding the ball well.
However, they lacked any real creativity in front of goal and a 25-yard effort from the impressive David Bellis, which went agonisingly wide, was the only time they threatened the visitors all half.
And North Greenford took advantage to score the winning goal with 19 minutes remaining as Wokingham failed to clear their lines from a set piece and centre back Turner popped up again to stab home his second of the game.
It was harsh on Wokingham, but after dominating possession and failing to carve out any chances, they were always walking a tightrope.
From then on North Greenford put men behind the ball and snuffed out any Wokingham forrays, and in the end they were relatively comfortable winners.
Although Wokingham’s dreams of a lengthy cup run are over for another year, they can take heart from a battling performance against higher-division opposition.
The Satsumas proved more than a match for them in just about every department, but not, ultimately, in the one department that really counts – goalscoring.
Wokingham & Emmbrook: Harris, Wyatt (Dearlove, 84), Luis, Rusby, Walton, Bellis, Duffelen (Sargeant, 72), Horscroft, Thomas, Whiting (Williams, 61), Lee. Subs not used: Hanson, Bursill, Ryan, Broome.