Manager's pride as 10-man Sumas crash out of FA VaseBy Lewis Rudd
October 17, 2012
Wokingham & Emmbrook manager Roger Herridge had nothing but praise for his players after a 1-0 defeat to league rivals Marlow at the weekend ended the Sumas’ 11-game unbeaten run.
An extra-time strike from Marcus Mealing was enough to end Wokingham’s involvement in this season’s FA Vase and an impressive run of unbeaten matches which began following the 4-1 home loss to Wantage Town back on Tuesday, August 21.
Prior to Sunday’s exit in the first round proper of the Vase at the hands of the Hellenic Premier Division leaders on Sunday, Herridge’s men had enjoyed a fine run of form consisting of eight wins and three draws, which saw them up to seventh in the Hellenic Premier table.
And following the weekend’s defeat, which saw the Sumas having to play with 10 men for more than 90 minutes after defender Shaun Wanklyn was shown a straight red following a late challenge on Marlow’s Aaron Baker, which left him with a broken leg, the Wokingham boss said: “I could not have asked for any more from my players, to be honest.
“I am proud of them all.
“We were competitive and more than matched Marlow, who are a very good side, and to do that with 10 players for 90 minutes, considering we played for two hours, I thought was an unbelievable effort.
“I thought we were well organised, disciplined and we created a few chances ourselves and we certainly deserved to take them to a replay.
“But as it happens we made a mistake and have lost the game.”
Herridge went on to say he had no qualms with the dismissal of Wanklyn in the 30th minute, admitting the recently signed centre half had caught Baker late.
Such was the severity of the injury, the game had to be held up for more than 20 minutes while the Marlow striker received treatment before being taken to hospital by ambulance.
“It was a shame for the lad who had his leg broken and our best wishes go out to him,” he added.
“But it was not a malicious challenge from Shaun (Wanklyn).
“He was fully committed to the challenge and the lad was just that bit quicker than him.
“Shaun is gutted and feels as though he has let us down, but things like that happen in football. He will learn from it and move on.”
Wokingham & Emmbrook will be looking to return to winning ways this Saturday when they make the short journey to Palmer Park, where they will take on neighbours Highmoor Ibis (3pm kick-off).
And Herridge could be boosted by the return of first teamers such as Jack Gibbs, Tom Hopper and Dean Thomas.
But whatever his starting line-up, Herridge believes every player at his disposal can take great satisfaction from their efforts so far this campaign.
He said: “If anybody said to me where do you want to be in the table in mid-October, I would have been pleasantly surprised to hear where we are.
“We have an awful lot of ability in the squad, but we have been hampered by injuries and a few players who decided not to play at this level anymore.
“Obviously we have had to bring some new players in, but we have also been using our Allied Counties side.
“We had a strong side at the end of last season, but those in the squad now might argue we are stronger than back then.
“We have got good young players who are keen to play and you can see the benefits we are having from our best players being available every week.
“This is a really good squad of young players, who have got a great attitude and are keen to play the game in the right way.
“The people who watched us on Sunday and throughout the season have seen that we have a confident group who are a great team to work with and like to get the ball down and play, which is a way I think the game should be played.”