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Wokingham Wanderers F.C.
Wanderers 0 Bracknell Manics 4
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7th December 2003 - League Cup 2nd Round - Langborough Rec.

Wanderers lost and conceded four goals for the third successive game but deserved more after a spirited second-half showing.

 

The Blues started brightly and matched their opponents, who went into the game positioned second in the Second Division.  Wanderers' experimental 4-3-3 formation offered more threat and served the purpose of restricting the movement of the Manics' full-backs.

 

Midway through the first-half Wanderers fell behind to a sloppy goal.  Allan Mellor's goal-kick was not won in the midfield and the Bracknell side advanced towards his goal.  Clint Falcus cleared but the ball was crossed straight back into the box and volleyed past Mellor who did well to get a hand to the effort.

 

Wokingham remained optimistic and had chances to equalise through Chris Orbell's header and lobbed shots from Tom Soane and Matthew Elliott.

 

The Blues found themselves two goals down at the break as they failed to clear again and were punished with a low drive beyond Mellor.

 

In the second-half Wanderers raised their game and had the chances to get back into the game.  Within minutes of the restart Anthony Prior latched onto Jamie Ryall's header and took the ball past the full-back before hitting a low left-footed shot towards the near post.  The Manics' 'keeper stuck out a leg and deflected the ball away for a corner.

 

As Wanderers grew in confidence they were boosted by a solid defensive display, as the resolute Hillsdon, Falcus, van der Laan O'Donnell and Ryall protected Mellor's goal. 

 

Tom Soane was then put through on goal and his shot was well smothered by the Manics' goalkeeper.

 

Further chances fell to Prior, Elliott, Soane and Scott Ford but still Wanderers were unable to beat the 'keeper.

 

With ten minutes remaining the tie was killed off.  A Wanderers' corner was cleared and Mellor found himself exposed and beaten with an angled drive.

 

There was a chance of consolation as Alan Pearce's shot was blocked and Scott Ford's deflected strike from the rebound was cleared off the line.

 

Two minutes from time a shot from the edge of the area deflected off Ryall and crept beyond Mellor to make the score 4-0 to Bracknell Manics.  The result flattered Bracknell and did not reflect a determined performance from the Blues.

 

TEAM: Allan Mellor, Chris Hillsdon, Dan van der Laan O'Donnell, Clint Falcus, Jamie Ryall, Lewis Trusty, Scott Ford, Chris Orbell, Tom Soane, Matthew Elliott, Anthony Prior.

SUBS: Alan Pearce (for Soane), Kieron Sherwood (for Orbell) and Darren Wakeley (for Trusty).