Teddy Thomas injury time winner gives United victory against Wokingham
By Chris Burnett
Woodley beat Sumas for the first time in the ten seasons they have been playing in the Hellenic League
United went into their game with Wokingham & Emmbrook on a fine run of form that has seen them pick up seven points from their last three league games, also picking up a couple of victories in cup competitions. In fact, since the end of September Woodley have won five, drawn one and lost just twice.
In the second meeting between the sides this season, United went ahead in the opening sixty seconds when Chace Jewell got his first goal for the club. After a cross from the right was headed into his path, he smashed back across goal beating Owen Holland into the right corner.
Looking for an immediate response, Wokingham tested Tom Bryant in the home goal. A cental free kick was straight at the Woodley keeper before Jake White forced a comfortable stop following a cross from the right.
The game had started at a great tempo swinging from one end to the other. United’s Pablo Fernandez found Freddie Barron on the right; his cross picked out Max Laschok at the back post who saw his effort kept out. Barron was heavily involved and responsible for the next attack. His initial cross, was cleared back to him; firing in the ball first time Toby Briggs shot over from close range in what was a difficult chance considering the pace on the delivery.
Twenty minutes in saw a marvellous save by Bryant. Capitalising on a mistake in the Woodley defence, a cross from the left was smashed goalwards by Ellis Day, yet somehow Bryant kept it out.
However, the scores were level six minutes later courtesy of a great finish from Day. After a couple of crosses were half cleared, the Wokingham player caught a half volley from the right of the box perfectly, seeing it sail into the top left corner.
United tried to restore their lead. Laschok had a shot from twenty two yards blocked, whilst a nice move ended with Holland keeping out a Fernandez effort from a tight angle with his legs.
The hosts ended the half well. A decent run by Sam Guze saw him fouled just outside the box. Taking the free kick himself, the Woodley skipper’s free kick went into the wall before Guze did get his name on the scoresheet for the fourth consecutive game. A move started deep in the United half, saw the ball worked to Fernadez; running at the away defence, he slid Laschok in on the right, denied keeping his own goal-scoring run going by a very good save the ball broke to Guze who smashed into the roof of the net in the forty fifth minute.
HT Woodley United 2-1 Wokingham & Emmbrook
Wokingham started the half with the next chance. Will Day’s cross from the left was only cleared into the path of Josh Harris whose strike was kept out by Bryant.
Just like the first half, there were chances at both ends. A good spell by United saw Barron miss to the right, Fernadez denied by Holland who tipped round the right post and Jewell go close to getting his second when his half volley went narrowly wide.
Those misses proved costly as Wokingham levelled the scores for a second time on sixty five minutes when Harris’ well-hit strike from twenty five yards beat Bryant.
Woodley made their first change on sixty seven minutes when Teddy Thomas replaced Fernandez. This saw Barron move central and Thomas take over at right wing back.
The home side came agonisingly close to going ahead for the third time as the game entered the final twenty minutes. A mazy run from Guze ended with another decent save from Holland to keep out a strike from the left; however, the shot still had enough on it to go over the line but was kept out by a remarkable clearance from Will Day. The following corner was saved after Thomas had headed goalwards.
United made a further change with sixteen minutes to go when Jewell made way for Pele Hagger. This saw Woodley go to four at the back with Jono Malone moving out to right back, a centre back combination of Hamilton Bowler and debutant Richard Thomas and Hagger playing as an orthodox left back.
Wokingham then had two chances to go ahead for the first time. A hopeful ball into the box saw White head narrowly wide; this was followed up by another header this time from close range just missing to the left.
A final change was made by Woodley on eighty five minutes when Harry Hawkins came on for Briggs who had run himself into the ground.
Immediately into the action, Hawkins missed to the left from twenty yards before a huge let off for the hosts as Harris somehow put over from eight yards after a low cross found him unmarked.
With the game in injury time, Thomas got the winner, signalling wild celebrations. A fantastic crossfield ball from Barron on the left found Thomas; taking a touch that took him slightly away from goal, he caught a half volley beautifully sending it up and over Holland into the far corner. A strike worthy of winning any game. Keeping the ball well for the final few minutes, United got their first home three points of the season.
FT Woodley United 3-2 Wokingham & Emmbrook