Wokingham & Emmbrook can mix it with the best, says manager HerridgeBy Lewis Rudd
February 06, 2013
Wokingham & Emmbrook's 1-0 win at high-flying Wantage Town on Saturday proves the side has the quality needed to compete with the best in the Hellenic Premier Division, boss Roger Herridge has said.
A first-half penalty from Nick Bateman was enough to separate the two sides at Alfredian Park and end the Sumas’ four-game losing streak.
A delighted Herridge said the result has given everyone at the club a lift, particularly ahead of the visit of league leaders Marlow this Saturday.
He said: “I’m ecstatic, I really am.
“When you look at the run we have been on, losing four games on the trot, and then look at the next two fixtures (Wantage Town and Marlow), you start having all the wrong thoughts.
“But Saturday goes to prove that on our day we are capable of beating anybody, and that has been proven this year because we have beaten Wantage and we have beaten Ardley United.”
Herridge said he was unable to single out any particular player for praise, but admitted they were indebted to keeper Garry Aulsberry for making “two or three worldy saves”.
Herridge added: “Dave Bellis epitomised our performance. He covered every blade of grass and the back four was immense.
“It was great to have James Rusby back and he was outstanding, as was Sean Wanklyn and Alex Walton, who was up against a really good wide player – but never gave him a kick.
“We gave them an awful lot of possession in their own half, but once they came into our half we worked hard to win the ball back quickly.”
Rusby and Sam Duffelen started after recently returning from lengthy spells on the sidelines.
Herridge admitted it was a risk, but was one he felt paid off.
Another boost for the Sumas was the late substitute appearance from Sam Whiting, who was given a few minutes at the end of the game having recovered from a broken leg.
Herridge, though, insists the winger will not be rushed straight back.
He said: “It was just great to get him in the changing room and in the squad. As soon as I sent him on the pitch the referee pretty much blew his whistle, but it was great to have him back.”
Herridge was also full of praise for opposite number at Marlow, Mark Bartley, whose side top the league having lost just twice all season.
Herridge said: “Mark Bartley has done an excellent job there. It is easy to say Marlow have got the biggest budget in the league and it is no surprise they are top, but just because you have got resources does not mean success will come easily.”
Callum Eagle and Luke Lee are both back in contention this week, so Herridge is treated to the rare luxury of an almost full strength squad.
He said: “This is a real tough game for us and we are not expected to win or get anything from the game, but having won at Wantage there is always a chance of causing a shock.”
n BINFIELD’S defence of the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy is over following a 2-0 quarter-final defeat to Windsor at Hill Farm Lane on Monday night.
A Robert Lazarczuk penalty and George Gould strike secured safe passage to the semi-finals for the Combined Counties side.