On Saturday Wokingham & Emmbroook travelled to Gloucestershire to face Longlevens in the second qualifying round of the FA Vase. The Berkshire side have started their season well, taking 16 points from their opening 6 league games so the tie against Step 5 opposition had come at an opportune time. Longlevens however are no pushovers and are still undefeated in the Hellenic Premier League after a number of good results including a 1-1 home draw with Binfield two weeks ago.
The Sumas had the best of the possession in the first half but struggled to create a clear-cut opportunity. In the first 30 minutes several corners and crosses were sent into the Longlevens box, but none resulted in anything that troubled the home side’s keeper.
On 30 minutes Joshua Harris had a first time shot from the edge of the area after being found by Jake White but the forward could not get enough power on his effort and it was easily saved. A few minutes later Luke Scope intercepted the ball and sent White through, but the striker’s shot was off target from a tight angle.
The best chance of the first half then fell to Longleven’s Bradley Martin who intercepted a back pass and found himself one on one with Woodward in the Wokingham goal, but his shot was well saved and the follow up from Kieran James went wide. Both forwards would have hoped to do better.
In the second half the home side started with much more purpose and immediately carried more threat, but much like Wokingham in the first half, the clear chances were not quite there. As the half went on the game became more stretched and both sides were finding more space in which to work which lead to an exciting end to end contest.
The deadlock was finally broken on 79 minutes when Longlevens played a long ball over the top of the Sumas defence and under pressure from Brad Martin, Liam Eagle and Woodward got into a mess trying to clear the ball. The Wokingham pair ended up colliding and leaving Martin clean through to tap in the opening goal.
Wokingham piled on the pressure looking for a late equaliser and Dan Collier had a fierce shot go just over the bar, but Longlevens still looked dangerous on the break.
In the last few minutes of normal time the home side were trying to kill time by taking the ball into the corner of the Wokingham half when full back Will Emrey managed to ride a challenge and found himself free on the edge of the box. He cut inside and sent the ball past Woodward to settle the game.
Wokingham will have been disappointed that their possession did not lead to enough chances and goals, especially in the first half, but they can take some pride from holding their own against a good side from the division above them.
A full round up of all the weekend’s men’s results are here. Read another view on the game form our friends at Base of the Pyramid here. You can listen again to the live commentary at Severn Sport here.