Wokingham & Emmbrook FC “Oranges”, sponsored by Wokingham Decorating Services, slumped to their first defeat of the season against table-topping Goring Robins in their East Berkshire Football Alliance U14s Division 6 match on Saturday.
The teams started the day level on points, with Goring ahead only on goal difference. However, the match itself was a scrappy affair, lacking the quality that could have been expected from two sides at the top of their league. Robins went ahead after 12 minutes when a long range cross/shot from a tight angle somehow evaded everyone and found its way into the Wokingham net. They almost doubled their lead ten minutes later when George Watkins tipped a shot onto the woodwork, and then watched it roll along his line before he was finally able to gather it safely. The introduction of Kai Evans on the right side of midfield gave Oranges some much-needed attacking flair, and it was he who equalised just before half time, when Josef Lamberton’s shot was blocked, and Evans was on hand to fire home the rebound.
The second half continued in the same scrappy vein, with little quality on display from either side. Robins restored their lead 12 minutes into the second half following a goal-mouth scramble. Three minutes later Lamberton again came close to adding his name to the score sheet, when put through one-on-one against the Robins’ ‘keeper, only to see his chip bounce off the top of the cross bar. Oranges created a number of chances as the game went on, with Nathan Mulvaney and Matty Rogers both blazing shots over the bar as they tried desperately to find an equaliser.
This was a disappointing result from an inexplicably below par performance. On the day, neither side looked as strong as their league position would have implied. But the result sees Goring remain top, with Wokingham slipping down to fourth (although with games in hand over the second and third placed teams).
Man of the match was Wokingham centre back Charlie Williams, who was calmness personified at the heart of the defence, always looking to play the ball out with quality, and always available to do the last ditch tackling and headed clearances when needed.