On Saturday the semi-finals of the Bucks & Berks Senior Trophy were played, and one side of the draw threw up and intriguing fixture between promotion hopefuls in the Hellenic Division One East and the Combined Counties League Division One.
Wokingham & Emmbrook were the Hellenic representatives and they welcomed Sandhurst Town of the Combined Counties to Lowther Road.
The Fizzers got off to a flying start when Brad Brown smashed in a free kick from the edge of the box after just 6 minutes. Midway through the half Sandhurst took control of the game with two goals in 5 minutes. First Brown charged down a clearance from Wokingham keeper Sean Woodward and laid the ball off for George Dawson-Clark to tap in, then Dawson-Clark challenged Woodward for a Carl Prestige cross and the ball fell to Brown to tap in for his second and the Fizzers third.
Things went from bad to worse for the Sumas as Nick Bateman was shown a straight red for violent conduct. Wokingham had a mountain to climb in the second half but on the hour mark they pulled a goal back as a Josh Harris free kick was pushed onto the bar and Joe Cummuskey headed in the rebound.
Five minutes later the Sumas were firmly back in the game as Jake White latched onto a Will Day long ball, rounded the keeper and scored. Just as the home side looked to have the momentum, Sandhurst killed off the game when Grant Kemp scored following a goalmouth scramble. Sandhurst held on to win 4-2 and reach the final where they will face Wantage Town Development.
Eversley & California were also in cup action as they faced Kensington & Ealing Borough in the Esoteric Recordings Division One Challenge Cup at the ESA Ground.
The Boars found themselves 2-0 down at the break thanks to some clinical finishing from their visitors and in the second half Kensington wrapped up the game with another goal on the hour mark. The final score was 3-0 so Eversley exit the competition at the second-round stage where a Kensington progress to face Sandhurst.
None of Berkshire’s Hellenic Division One East promotion hopefuls were in league action over the weekend but AFC Aldermaston had the chance to help out their neighbours when they travelled to 5th placed Milton United.
All the goals came early in this game and the Atomics were leading in the 2nd minute through Jamel Forde-Small, but Milton struck back in the 17th minute. The game finished 1-1 a result that keeps Aldermaston in 13th place in the table.
The point moves Milton into fourth and the final promotion place, one point above Holyport and level on points with Wokingham, but the Oxfordshire side have played five more games than either of their Berkshire rivals.
Another side who did a favour for Berkshire’s promotion contenders was Wallingford Town when they recorded a goalless draw at Didcot Town Development. Wally have been in good form in 2020 and this game extended their unbeaten run to seven games and they now sit in 10th in the table.
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Woodley United had the toughest assignment of the weekend as they travelled to league leaders Risborough Rangers. Risborough have only dropped 4 points all season, but it was the Kestrels who struck first when Lamin Ceesay latched onto a Max Laschok ball over the top to give his side a surprise lead.
Despite some great saves from Craig McCreeth, Risborough were back on terms 5 minutes before the break and went in at half time ahead thanks to an injury time goal. In the second half the home side added a further four unanswered goals to make the final score 6-1 to the champions elect.
A full list of the weekends step 6 fixtures are here.
Bucks & Berks County FA Senior Trophy
Wokingham & Emmbrook 2-4 Sandhurst Town
Esoteric Recordings Division One Challenge Cup
Kensington & Ealing Borough 3-0 Eversley & California
Hellenic League Division One East
Didcot Town Development 0-0 Wallingford Town
Milton United 1-1 AFC Aldermaston
Risborough Rangers 6-1 Woodley United