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Wokingham Wanderers F.C.
Downshire Arms 3 Wanderers 4
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13th October 2002 - Division 4 - Garth Hill School, Bracknell.

Wokingham Wanderers travelled to Garth Hill School for the match against struggling Downshire Arms.


Coach Lewis Trusty made several changes, with Andy Kinch and Trusty himself in the middle of the midfield, and the fit again Anthony Prior partnering Jamie Ryall in attack.


Wanderers made the worst possible start when in the second minute a speculative long range drive hit Clint Falcus and looped over Alan Mellor into the back of the net.


Great inconsistency followed as Wanderers enjoyed spells of controlled passing, but were also found lacking in their defensive duties and were often slow to challenge.  There were good chances for Prior, Ryall and Tom Soane.


With twenty-five minutes gone, Trusty found Prior who took the ball past his man and hammered a shot high into the corner of the net for a deserved equaliser.


The Wokingham side then pressed the self-destruct button again as another deflected effort saw Downshire take the lead, which they extended minutes later as an exposed Mellor was beaten at his near post.


Wanderers came out for the second half determined to try to salvage something from the game.  Five minutes into the half a long Andy Kinch thrown enabled Prior to control the ball and hit a low volley past the Downshire keeper, to bring Wanderers back into the match.


It was a more determined Wokingham who battled for an equaliser, with substitute Scott Ford particularly impressive.


Another Wanderers goal seemed inevitable and it arrived when a superb Mark Devenny corner found Ryall unmarked at the far post.  He calmly guided the ball into the net for a welcome equaliser.


This lifted Wanderers, who were able to attack in force, boosted by a solid defensive half from Chris Orbell, Dan Van der Laan-O'Donnell, Falcus and captain Phil Soane.  Alan Pearce was introduced in place of Kinch.


Wanderers took the lead for the first time in the game with a wonderfully crafted goal.  Orbell won possession and played Prior in down the right-hand side.  He whipped in a dangerous cross to find Tom Soane at the far-post who chested the ball over the line.


It is a rare thing to see Wanderers sit back on a lead and they were keen to extend their advantage in the final stages of the match.  Andrew Trinder replaced Prior in attack and he was able to link up well with Devenny and Pearce.


In the dying seconds Mellor slid out of his box to claim the ball but in difficult conditions he lost possession.  The ball fell to a Downshire player who smashed the ball towards the open goal only for man-of-the match Tom Soane to clear off the line.


Wanderers now travel to Englefield Green to face Tin Hut in the Gowrings Cup next week and they will no doubt gain confidence from this impressive comeback.


TEAM: Alan Mellor, Chris Orbell, Clint Falcus, Dan Van der Laan-O'Donnell, Phil Soane, Mark Devenny, Lewis Trusty, Andy Kinch, Tom Soane, Jamie Ryall, Anthony Prior.

SUBS: Andrew Trinder (for Prior), Scott Ford (for Trusty), Alan Pearce (for Kinch), Oliver Bambrough (Not Used), Craig Colman (Not Used).