Woodley start 2019 with win
By Chris Burnett
2-1 win at Wokingham sees United exit Subsidary Cup on a high
After losing four out of their five group games Woodley went into Tuesday evenings game with Wokingham & Emmbrook knowing that qualification was out of their reach. However a positive result would stop Wokingham going through with AFC Aldermaston advancing alongside Holyport.
The opening stages of the match were cagey with both sides struggling to find any rhythm. United left back Pele Hagger got up well to head clear a Nick Bateman cross whilst Ellis Day was denied by a very good stop by Callum Sangwell in the away goal. In between those chances Woodley striker Leon Mannion had a shot from ten yards blocked.
United took the lead mid way through the half courtesy of a fantastic goal that kick started the game into life. Some excellent defending from right back Freddie Barron who was the deepest Woodley player saw him win possession, drop a shoulder to beat his man and pick out Mannion on the left wing with a pinpoint pass. Running in from the touchline Mannion’s low cross was turned in by Max Laschok from close range.
Knowing that nothing less than a win would do the hosts had a decent spell that saw a shot from twenty yards miss to the left and a goal ruled out for offside.
Half an hour in United produced the move of the match. Adam Barnard found Mannion whose deft touch sent Chace Jewell clear on the left; picking out Laschok with his back to goal he turned quickly before firing off a shot that hit the inside of the left post.
Woodley were having their best spells down the left another good move involving Mannion, Jewell and Laschok ended with the latter being tripped in the box. Laschok took the resultant penalty sending Sean Woodward the wrong way with a confident strike into the right corner.
Moments after the goal Woodward showed excellent agility to tip over a Mannion effort before the striker turned provider when his pass split the home defence sending Jewell one on one with the Wokingham keeper. Making himself big Woodward kept his side in the game with a good save.
With added time being played, Sangwell showed both bravery and a safe pair of hands to dive through a sea of bodies and claim a Chris Robson cross from the right.
HT Wokingham & Emmbrook 0-2 Woodley United
United started the second half with Jewell and captain Ed Thomas swapping wings.
The first chance after the restart fell to the hosts Connor Holland; his shot from just inside the box was kept out by Sangwell.
At the other end a long throw in from Ryan Alexander ended with Thomas’ fierce volley blocked whilst a difficult chance for Mannnion missed to the left.
An hour gone saw Woodley make their first change of the evening. Liam Wilson replaced Jewell on the right wing.
Wokingham pulled one back on sixty three minutes courtesy of a fine goal. Jordan Rowland’s delivery from the left wing was punched clear by Sangwell; falling at the feet of Josh Harris, his well hit strike flew into the top left corner.
Getting back into the game spurred the home side on. Sangwell did well to keep out both a header and a free kick by substitute Jake White.
United made a second change on seventy two minutes when Richard Thomas made way for Ross Blakemore. This saw Barnard join Alexander at centre back and Blakemore play alongside Harrison More in centre midfield.
A final change was made six minutes later when Toby Briggs came on for the hard working Moore.
Seconds after his introduction Briggs tested Woodward from the left side of the box after latching onto a Mannion flick before a fine save kept out a Mannion strike from twenty two yards.
With five minutes to go Wokingham came incredibly close to levelling the tie in a frantic ninety seconds that saw them hit the bar twice and two goal line clearances from Hagger.
The game ended with a Thomas goal ruled out and Sangwell keeping out a free kick from Ben Broardhurst.
A great start to the year for Laugharne and Purbrick productions. Up next is a home double header against Chalvey Sports (Saturday) and Ardley United (Monday) with both games being played in cup competitions.
FT Wokingham & Emmbrook 1-2 Woodley United