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26th January 2003 - Division 4 - Victoria Road, South Ascot.

Wanderers travelled to South Ascot in need of victory to face a Sunninghill side who they defeated 5-1 in their first match of the season.


Clint Falcus was absent and so Orbell moved into the centre of defence with Ryall dropping to left back and Mark Devenny, Tom Soane, Scott Ford and Alan Pearce in midfield.  Anthony Prior partnered Lewis Trusty in attack.


Wokingham battled better than they have done for many weeks.  From the first whistle there was clear determination from every player with Devenny and Pearce enjoying positive spells on their respective wings.


Despite this promising start, Sunninghill took the lead as Wanderers once again failed to deal with a corner and a header looped past Mellor into the net.


Wanderers responded with some exciting attacking play, and came close when Scott Fords fine pass found Prior who beat his man before blasting the ball against the near post from an acute angle.


Alan Pearce, Trusty and Tom Soane also had chances towards the end of the half but Wanderers went into the break a goal down.


Wokingham continued battling in the second half and for a while managed to stop Sunninghill having any chances of their own.


An equaliser seemed inevitable and when it arrived it was very fortuitous.  Anthony Prior collected the ball, sprinted past two defenders and hit a weak shot which bobbled on the boggy pitch and went into the net via the goalkeepers boot.


Wanderers were to concede another goal though when Mellor parried a close range shot and a Sunninghill player reacted quickest.


Minutes later it seemed that Wanderers had equalised when substitute Kinch released Prior who finished cleanly.  However, after a questionable offside decision, Kinch was dismissed for foul and abusive language, directed at power-crazy referee Mr Tubb.


More confidence can be taken from this performance though, as there were signs of the team spirit which was present at the start of the season and maybe a good run is on the horizon.


The game was to end on the sour note as Trusty, already substituted, was also shown the red card for language directed at referee Tubb.   In a professional game, poor referees are often taunted with the chant Sunday League Referee, and when someone officiates in the way Mr Tubb did, you can see why.


TEAM: Alan Mellor, Chris Hillsdon, Chris Orbell, Dan Van der Laan-O'Donnell, Jamie Ryall, Mark Devenny, Scott Ford, Tom Soane, Alan Pearce, Lewis Trusty, Anthony Prior.

SUBS: Andy Kinch (for Pearce), Phil Soane (for Devenny), Oliver Bambrough (for Trusty).