Sandhurst, only three games into their Hellenic campaign could say the first half was claimed by them with Conor Harlowe causing all sorts of problems for the Wokingham defence, bagging a goal for himself in the process. The visitors appeared in a little disarray as Sandhurst repeatedly attacked the goal of Ashley East.
New to first team management, but an old hat to Hellenic football Clive McNelly would have been the happier of the two bosses at half time being only the one goal down, the home side missing a few chances where they could have punished the Satsuma’s.
All that Luke Turkington’s Sandhurst needed to do in the second half to claim all three points was keep a clean sheet but a rare mistake by a defence that at home has looked solid saw them share the spoils.
The Fizzers back line stopped to claim an offside, but Wokingham’s in form Craig Haylett carried on with the assistant referee showing not a flicker of movement he allowed the number 9 to slot the ball calmly past Matt Watson for the equaliser.
For the next twenty minutes it was the home side that saw their heads drop, the visitors taking charge and looking very much like it could be a three point steal for McNelly’s men. Tensions and frustrations rose in the last quarter of an hour of the game, the referee making a visit to his top pocket a number of times for the yellow card.
The last true attack from the home side saw controversy. A Sandhurst corner swooped in close to the left hand post of Ashley East’s goal with a group of players including the ‘keeper rise up to attack the ball. East appeared to have claimed the ball but lost it in the tussle, the ball landing to the feet of Harlowe who thumped it into the back of the net.
However, the referee’s whistle was already echoing around Bottom Meadow indicating the the man in the middle had spotted an infringement on the Wokingham ‘keeper enough to cancel out the goal and keep the game even.
Speaking to the managers afterwards both had different views on the game. For Sandhurst Luke Turkington was disappointed that his first win in the Hellenic League was not claimed. “I’m disappointed to be honest, we should have claimed the full three points, the guy’s heads are down at the moment and we have only a day to get up, and ready to play away at Didcot on Monday.”
For the away side Clive McNelly said: “I was relived at half time go in with only one goal between us, I mentioned this to the lads, and it seemed when we got the equaliser both teams thought the three points was theirs for the taking. But happy to come away with not all three points lost this afternoon.”
Both teams had difficulties with influential players not being available and it is not easy to judge performances at present due to this. The next half dozen games questions will be asked by both managers as to the team’s standings for the season in front of them.
All images: Mark Pugh. See all the images from this game on our facebook page.