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18th January 2004 - Division 3 - Rides Community Centre, Finchampstead

Wanderers went into the game expecting to win easily and this proved to be their downfall.


Tom Soane was a late withdrawal through illness and so Alan Pearce started on the left wing as Anthony Prior returned to the Wanderers attack.


In the first half Wanderers had chances to take the lead, the best of which fell to Matthew Elliott after Scott Ford's throw-in had been flicked on by Lewis Trusty.


It was Rides who struck first, as a high ball into the box was not dealt with and as Allan Mellor and Dan van der Laan O'Donnell got in each other's way, the ball was fired high into the net.


Within ten minutes Wanderers fell further behind - a break down the left wing ended with the ball being lashed beyond Mellor from an acute angle.


Wokingham had nothing to offer and it was only in the closing minutes of the half that they managed their first shot on target, through Anthony Prior.


The second-half started with Wokingham attempting to force their way back into the game.  The match appeared to be put beyond them within ten minutes of the restart as a slip by Jamie Ryall allowed the Rides' striker sufficient space to shoot past Mellor.


In a disappointing display, Wanderers rarely threatened and only hit the target again when Prior flicked Trusty's wayward shot tamely into the hands of the goalkeeper.  Shortly afterwards Elliott received the ball with his back to goal but under heavy pressure he shot wide of the goal.


The introduction of Edward Townsend and Kieron Sherwood boosted Wanderers slightly, the latter causing some problems down the right-hand side.


A fourth Rides goal arrived with twenty minutes remaining as a shot from the left beat Mellor at the near-post.  Only a fine Mellor save minutes later prevented Wanderers from conceding a fifth goal.  While Dan van der Laan O'Donnell played through injury in the closing minutes but battled to stop suffering further embarrassment.


This rivals the County Cup match against JMT as Wanderers' worst performance of the season and a massive improvement is required.


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

SUBS: Kieron Sherwood (for Pearce) and Edward Townsend (for Ryall).