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Dec 19, 2016

Entertainment from Start to Finish!

At a time when the papers are full of the unsavoury side of football, this game was a great advertisement for all that is still good about the game.  Two teams of committed, hard-working lads giving their all in a highly entertaining and good-spirited game with everything to play for – the winner would sit proudly at the top of East Berkshire Football Alliance U14s Division 6 for Christmas!
 
Wokingham & Emmbrook FC U14 “Oranges”, sponsored by Wokingham Decorating Services, started the brighter and were 3-0 up after 20 minutes thanks to a strong attacking display. Josef Lamberton, last week’s hat-trick hero, opened the scoring after just three minutes following a great pass from Oliver Vickers, and the versatile midfielder provided a second assist nine minutes later, this time Nathan Mulvaney benefiting from his passing ability. And the third came in the form of a cheeky “rabona” from Kai Evans, assisted by Stan Hamblin.
 
However, Burghfield aren’t second in the league for nothing, and cheered on by a vociferous crowd of travelling supporters, they fought their way back into the game, scoring on 20 minutes from a free kick, and then again five minutes before the break.
                                                      
The second half was a very even, end-to-end affair, with both sides battling hard, and Wokingham at times looking nervous but still able to produce great team work. Eleven minutes into the second half striker Matt Rogers got on the score sheet for the Oranges, following a trademark Evans cross, but moments later the ball was at the other end, and Burghfield would have pulled one back had it not been for a goal-line clearance from Hamblin. With 15 minutes remaining Oranges looked to have wrapped the game up, with Evans grabbing his second to make the score 5-2. But there was still plenty of excitement to come as both teams tried to add to their score. Burghfield pulled one back with seven minutes remaining, then Rogers almost got his second, denied only by a diving save by the Royals’ ‘keeper. Burghfield scored again to make the score 5-4 with only three minutes left. Wokingham’s James Starkey came desperately close in the last minute with a great long-range shot which went inches over the bar, so 5-4 remained the final score.
 
For pre-Christmas entertainment, this game was as good as you’ll see. Two sides working tirelessly and playing some great football. The result could have gone either way, both sides produced plenty of chances but also defended well, typified by Luke Johnson who had a fantastic game for Wokingham, standing in at right back for the injured Harry Johnson (no relation).
 
Man of the match was awarded to Oliver Vickers (pic), who worked tirelessly at the heart of the Wokingham midfield and provided two great assists, but this was a game when the whole team (pictured) had to dig in and work hard for the entire 70 minutes – a fantastic team performance!