Wokingham’s good run of form came to a disappointing end at Championship contenders St Albans.
A game that ebbed and flowed in a competitive first half saw Wokingham come close to taking the lead through Mott, who saw his half volley tipped over the bar from an excellent St Albans Goalkeeper.
20 mins in and disaster struck as Lewen came to claim a high ball and was accidently caught high on the thigh, which ended his morning and possibly Wokingham’s chances of a result. A quick reshuffle of the team and a selfless step up from Athey to go in goal meant that Wokingham were always going to be on the back foot from that moment.
Two very quick St Albans goals followed just before half time, which dampened the boys spirits. But a good chat from Bevan ( The manager ) at the break, seemed to rejuvenate the team and they ran out with all guns blazing. Mott almost sneaking in a whipped in cross from Edmonds, and then Coleman saw a long range effort just curl wide of the right hand post. It was game back on.
St Albans were on the back foot, but from a long clearance the ball fell to one of their players who kicked it speculatively towards the Wokingham goal. Athey, who had performed miracles up to that point had to just watch as it sailed over his head into the back of the net.
Wokingham’s heads didn’t drop and were right back in it when Ballard met another superb cross from Edmonds and rifled it high into the St Albans net. This galvanised the Wokingham boys and were pressing for another when the Ref awarded a penalty to St Albans. Although Athey went the right way, the shot was too powerful to keep out.
Again Wokingham fought back and Ballard, who had been a danger thoughout the match, decided to take the whole St Albans team on himself, and dribbled through 6 players before despatching the ball low into the corner of the net.
A hard fought defeat but, praise to Athey for stepping up to play in goal and the boys for playing right up to the end. With Lewen in goal throughout I feel sure the result would have been so different.