Wanderers took on FC Bracknell Reserves at the Farley Centre without the services of Alan Mellor, out for two weeks
with a back injury.
Mark Devenny volunteered to step in between the
sticks, with Chris Hillsdon, Clint Falcus, Dan Van der Laan-ODonnell and Chris Orbell in defence. Alan Pearce, Scott Ford, Lewis Trusty and Jamie Ryall made up the midfield with Anthony Prior and Tom Soane
started brightly and took the lead following a Ryall corner. The ball fell to
Prior who headed beyond the Bracknell keeper.
Minutes late Prior capitalised on a defensive lapse
to cross for Tom Soane to guide his shot into the net.
The Wanderers defence proved an effective barrier
and served its purpose in protecting rookie goalkeeper Devenny, who made a couple of decent saves. It was however breeched on one occasion when a ball to the far post found the FC Bracknell wing-back unmarked
and he knocked the ball past Devenny to pull a goal back.
Throughout the course of the season Wanderers have
suffered due to heads dropping when goals are conceded. This time it looked as
though that might change as Fords shot from another Ryall corner was cleared off the line only to be volleyed back into the
net by Clint Faclus. They nearly scored a fourth before the break as Prior flicked
on a Ford free-kick to pick out Alan Pearce. Pearce made up some thirty yards
and his shot went narrowly past the post.
The half time team talk saw Wokingham reflect on
an encouraging first half. Minutes into the second half Bracknell reduced the
arrears again as they put the ball in the net following a long range shot which beat Mark Devenny but came back off the crossbar.
Wanderers again showed resilience as they were
quick to regain their two-goal advantage. Scott Ford took a throw-in close to
the corner flag and found Prior who returned the ball to him. Ford hit an accurate
cross to the far post and Tom Soane volleyed superbly into the top corner. 4-2
to the Blues.
A further goal looked likely as Tom Soane had an
effort wrongly disallowed for offside and Prior hit the Bracknell crossbar.
The whole of the Wokingham team were putting all
their effort into holding on for victory and they showed the spirit which has been evident in recent weeks. FC Bracknell did score again as a ball into the box was misread by Devenny and bundled into the net from
Once again Wokingham responded quickly. Clint Faclus cleared the ball from defence to Prior who had his back to goal on the halfway line. He turned sharply past the Bracknell defender and headed towards goal with pace. As the Bracknell goalkeeper came out Prior lashed a low shot into the bottom corner
to put Wanderers 5-3 ahead and bring a superb victory a step closer.
With less than ten minutes remaining an appalling
referee decision almost cost Wanderers dearly. Falcus had clearly been fouled
by the Bracknell forward but no free kick was given. To make matters worse the
same player tripped over the fallen Falcus and the referee awarded a penalty for Bracknell.
The kick was going towards the left hand corner
but Devenny superbly blocked the effort and then claimed the ball at the second attempt.
This clearly was going to be Wokinghams day.
In the final minutes Wanderers went in search of
more goals and were aided by some skilful attacking play from substitute Oliver Bambrough, on for the impressive Trusty. However the final score was 5-3 to the Blues in a game which saw one of their best
performances of the season.
TEAM: Mark Devenny, Chris Hillsdon, Clint Falcus, Dan Van der Laan-O'Donnell, Chris Orbell, Alan Pearce, Scott
Ford, Lewis Trusty, Jamie Ryall, Anthony Prior, Tom Soane.
SUBS: Oliver Bambrough (for Trusty) Phil Soane (Not Used).