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Wokingham Wanderers F.C.
Wanderers 0 Bracknell Hammers 2
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21st September 2003 - Division 3 - Langborough Rec. Wokingham

Wanderers faced an injury crisis for the game against Bracknell Hammers, who as Avis Europe finished bottom of the Third Division last season. Phil Soane (knee), Edward Townsend (knee), Jamie Ryall (knee), Chris Orbell (shoulder) and Lewis Trusty (knee) were all ruled out, whilst Andy Kinch, Oliver Bambrough and Darren Wakeley were all absent.


There was a long-awaited debut for Graham Smith, who had commuted from London especially for the match.  17 year old Kieron Sherwood was also looking to make his first start, as Wanderers' only substitute.


The game was made all-the-more difficult with the late withdrawal of referee Mickey Parker.  This meant injured Phil Soane had to take the whistle for the match.


Wanderers started positively and came close through Tom Soane.  Soane latched onto a Mark Devenny pass and his clever lob drifted just wide of the Hammers goal.


Another chance fell to Anthony Prior soon after.  Alan Pearce's corner was headed back by Smith but Prior could only hook his shot over the bar.


Hammers were then given an opportunity to take the lead from the penalty spot, following a push by Chris Hillsdon.  Luckily for Wanderers the kick was poor and sailed wide of Mellor's goal.


The Bracknell side did take the lead ten minutes later following a free kick.  Scott Ford appeared to be pushed away from the ball as a Hammers midfielder stole in to head in beyond Mellor.


In the second-half Wanderers failed to improve.  Two excellent saves from Mellor kept the Blues in the game but they struggled to keep possession.


With twenty five minutes remaining Soane was brought down in the box and a penalty awarded.  Soane's kick was blocked by the 'keeper, who scrambled across his goal to keep out Prior's effort from the rebound. 


Shortly after Bracknell clinched the match with their second.  A free kick from the left was missed by everyone and crept into the far corner of Mellor's goal.


Sherwood replaced Devenny but was unable to bring a very poor Wanderers side back into the game.


TEAM: Alan Mellor, Chris Hillsdon, Clint Falcus, Dan van der Laan O'Donnell, Mark Devenny, Owen Holland, Scott Ford, Graham Smith, Alan Pearce, Tom Soane, Anthony Prior.  

SUB: Kieron Sherwood (for Devenny).