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Wokingham Wanderers F.C.
Bracknell Strikers Res. 3 Wanderers 1
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6th April 2003 - Division 4 - Harmanswater Road, Bracknell

Wokingham Wanderers had the odds stacked against them once again as they missed Alan Mellor, Scott Ford, Mark Devenny, and reserve keeper Mark Timms.  This saw injured Phil Soane start in goal with Hillsdon, Van der Laan-ODonnell, Falcus and Orbell in front of him.  Pearce, Kinch, Trusty and Ryall formed the midfield and Prior and Tom Soane continued up front.


Kick-off was delayed by some thirty minutes due to a no-show from referee Mickey Parker.  As it became apparent that he would not arrive, a Bracknell player agreed to step in, a decision that would turn the game into a farce.


For the second successive game, Wanderers battled adversity brilliantly.  Phil Soane was confident in goal and was supported by a magnificent defence.  The midfield worked tirelessly, Pearce and Ryall aided by their attack-hungry full backs caused Bracknell many problems.  In the middle, Kinch and Trusty worked well in tandem and continued to feed the speedy Prior and Soane.


Following chances for Prior, Soane and Pearce, Clint Falcus launched a driven pass some fifty yards to find Prior on the right hand side of the box.  Hearing an early call he pulled the ball back quickly across the six yard box and Wanderers young striker drove the ball into the corner of the net for a deserved lead.


Wokingham enjoyed the break after a superb first half performance, during which their only real concern was the amount of decisions that were going against them.


In the second half and Wanderers came close to extending their lead as Ryalls long range shot was gathered by the Bracknell keeper.  In the defensive zone Wanderers continued to protect the inexperienced Phil Soane, who performed well in goal.


Midway through the second period and the referee failed to blow for a blatant high-footed challenge.  Seconds later he did signal but only for a controversial free-kick to the home side.  The ball was played into the box and to Wanderers dismay it deflected beyond Soane to level the scores.


Ten minutes later and more controversy as a foul throw led to a second for Bracknell, which Soane came very close to stopping.  Bracknell had cheated their way into the lead.


As Wanderers pushed forward there were chances as Tom Soane hit the bar and Prior volleyed the rebound just over the bar.  The introduction of substitutes Bambrough and Holland rejuvenated Wanderers and they should have levelled when Bambrough played Prior through only for his shot to go frustratingly over the Bracknell crossbar.


With minutes remaining and Wanderers looking for an equaliser, Bracknell extended their lead with their first fair goal of the game.  For Wanderers this must stand out as their bitterest defeat of the season and one they will look to avenge when the two sides meet again next week.


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

SUBS: Oliver Bambrough (for Trusty), Owen Holland (for Pearce)