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Wokingham Wanderers F.C.
Finchampstead Ath B 3 Wanderers 1
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21st March 2004 - Division 3 - Finchampstead Memorial Park, Finchampstead

Wanderers faced league leaders Finchampstead Athletic Sunday B, knowing that they cannot finish any higher or lower in the table.


With a strong wind and a big pitch, Wanderers found themselves defending for the entire first half as Finchampstead passed the ball quickly and accurately.


Despite this, the Blues were only one goal down at the interval.  A quick switch of play saw a fierce shot drive past Mellor from Finch's fast left-winger.


The fact that Wanderers were only a goal down owed much to committed battling and dogged defending.


Wanderers entered the second-half knowing that their opponents would come straight at them.  In the home encounter Wokingham were in the same position going into the second period, only to see Finchampstead hit four goals in quick succession.


Within two minutes of the start of the half, Allan Mellor was forced to make a superb save, as he palmed a powerful shot away from goal.


A second goal followed minutes later as a cross from the left was diverted towards goal.  Mellor made a great block but in the ensuing scramble the ball was headed in off the crossbar.


Wanderers responded well and started to come into the game and enjoy a share of possession.  Midway through the second-half, they pulled a goal back.


A long ball from the back was flicked on and Tom Soane beat the goalkeeper to the ball and steered it wide of him and into the net.


As Wanderers' sought an equaliser Finch hit back almost immediately.  There didn't seem much danger as the Finch midfielder picked the ball up some 25 yards from goal, but Mellor was beaten by a sweetly struck effort into the bottom corner.


Wanderers continued to battle, with substitutes Pearce, Sherwood and Holland all making contributions.  Tom Soane set up Anthony Prior but his low effort was saved, and then Wanderers were denied a reasonable penalty shout as a high foot in the box went unpunished. 


3-1 was a good result against a side who will probably win the division and it was a big improvement on the 6-1 defeat which Wanderers suffered two months ago.


Allan Mellor had a great game in goal, and defenders Hillsdon, van der Laan O'Donnell, Falcus, Orbell and later Matthew Elliott all played their part in keeping the scoreline respectable.


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

SUBS: Alan Pearce (for Ryall), Kieron Sherwood (for Trusty) and Owen Holland (for Falcus).