Two goals and an assist from Matty Rogers secured all three points for Wokingham & Emmbrook FC U14 “Oranges” (who are sponsored by Wokingham Decorating Services) in a hard-fought East Berkshire Football Alliance Div 6 match against AFC Reading Woodley Royals on Saturday.
With both Oliver Vickers and Nathan Mulvaney missing from the midfield, Milo van Vliet was rewarded for his recent form with a place in the starting line-up. The Oranges also welcomed back Luke Johnson to the squad for the first time this year following an injury.
The Sumas won the toss and chose to play up hill and into the wind for the first half. They started the game far more positively than in recent weeks and were rewarded in the 2nd minute, with a headed Matt Rogers goal from a pin point accurate cross from Kai Evans. The rest of the first half was frenetic, with opportunities at both ends; Evans and Josef Lamberton both went close for the Wokingham side, but at the other end ‘keeper George Watkins needed to make several acrobatic saves to ensure the Sumas took their 1-0 lead into the break.
Playing downhill in the 2nd half, the Oranges were able to assert more control and find the time and space they needed to play better football. Midfield and defence worked together well to repel the majority of Woodley breaks and feed the Wokingham forwards. A number of early chances, resulting from well-constructed moves and intelligent passes, failed to reach the back of the net, but it was only a matter of time before the Wokingham pressure would pay off. The goals eventually came in the last 10 minutes of the match, when Rogers picked out James Starkey for the second, followed by a second Rogers goal, which resulted from a long range Charlie Williams free kick.
This was a strong team performance from the Wokingham boys, who all worked hard, but deserving special credit this week were:
- George Watkins in goal, who made several critical saves and kept a well-deserved clean sheet
- James Bridges, who came on as a sub and battled hard in midfield to win the majority of the 50/50 balls he went for
- Striker Matty Rogers who finished the day with two goals and an unselfish assist
- The man-of-the-match Stan Hamblin, playing at the heart of the Wokingham back 4 and doing a great job to mark Royals’ striker out of the game