Binfield 2 Wokingham & Emmbrook 1 – Monday 18th April, Reading Senior Cup quarter final
Jean Claude Etienne’s introduction 18 minutes from the end of this match sparked the Moles into more threatening goalmouth action, after a dominant performance that just lacked a finishing touch. The Moles striker hit his 86th minute winner that took the Moles through to the semi final of the Reading Senior Cup this Saturday at Highmoor Ibis (at Scours Lane), following his double from the bench just two days earlier.
Binfield started as favourites, with the Sumas ending their first season back in the Premier Division at the bottom of the table and a quick return to Division One East. But with Wokingham seemingly inspired in this competition, after winning it for the last three seasons, the Moles knew they would have a stiff test, with little to choose between these teams most times they meet.
And the pattern of the match was perhaps predictable, with the Moles controlling possession for most of the 90 minutes. But especially in the latter stages of the first half, the visitors had a good spell that ended with their equaliser.
After Liam Ferdinand had given the Moles the lead midway through the first half when he latched onto James Knight’s through ball and rounded Sean Woodward, the Moles had chances to add to their lead. Josh Howell’s shot shortly after Ferdinand’s goal was well saved by Woodward and Ferdinand again found space to shoot but saw his goalbound effort blocked. Although in between those chances, Nathan Silver had to get down quickly to his left to save from former Mole, Josh Pearson.
Wokingham did hit back through Luke Scope shortly before the break, when his shot from the edge found the bottom corner – and it was hard to deny that the Sumas deserved their goal, after forcing a few good chances in their best spell.
Binfield had most of the second half, although struggled to create enough clear chances. But when JC replaced Brad Brown with 18 minutes remaining, his pace and power gave the Moles a new threat up front. Within moments of joining the action, Etienne took a ball inside from Ferdinand, but saw Woodward equal to his volley from the edge.
With most of the half played in the Wokingham half of the pitch, the Sumas almost scored on a break forward, with sub Jake Wheeler within inches of getting on the end of a left wing cross across the face of Silver’s goal. But relieved to survive that scare, the Moles got back on the front foot.
Josh Howell shot just over after a good run and Liam Ferdinand saw a shot charged down and soon afterwards came within a whisker of heading Jack Gibbs in swinging corner in at the near post, with no Binfield player in the 6 yard box to find a finish at the far post.
But with extra time looming, Binfield finally found a way through when Etienne’s pace and power took him past James Charlton and onto the ball ahead of Woodward, before he turned back inside from 8 yards out on the left and beat beat Woodward with a powerful shot into the far corner.
Sumas tried to force an equaliser, but in their best chance of the remaining moments, Lewis Leonetti charged down Wheeler’s shot on an excellent night for the Moles centre half.
So Binfield finally end Wokingham’s dominance of this competition and go on to face Highmoor Ibis this Saturday at Scours Lane (23rd April 3pm), for a place in the Madejski Stadium final.
STAR MAN – Lewis Leonetti – in control at the heart of Moles defence
Binfield: Silver, Broome, Luis (capt), Leonetti, Michael Walton, Withers, Howell, Knight, Ferdinand, Brown (Ettiene 62), Gibbs. Subs not used: Horscroft, Davis, Vaughan, Adams