Monday, 18 June 2018

Hosts suffer shock defeat

WOODCOTE/STOKE ROW suffered a surprise home defeat against Reading League Senior Division basement side Bracknell Rovers.

WOODCOTE/STOKE ROW suffered a surprise home defeat against Reading League Senior Division basement side Bracknell Rovers.

Having twice outplayed the East Berkshire outfit in cup and league matches, Woodcote have suffered twice in cup and league matches to the same opponents.

Saturday’s defeat, the fourth in the league this season, has all but ended any hopes Woodcote had of securing the title after four consecutive years as runners-up.

In blustery conditions and against the wind, the home team made a good start and an early cross by Andy Bullett was fired just wide by Ryan Corbett.

Bracknell also had their moments and Kane Roberts had to be at his very best to tip over a deflected shot after 10 minutes. A minute later, debutant centre-forward Jamie Bell hit a shot which forced the Bracknell keeper to pull off a good save.

This was to be the recurring story of the afternoon with an inspired visiting keeper making save after save. He was soon in action again, claiming the ball in a one-on-one with the lively Ryan Corbett. Bracknell had territorial advantage for much of the half and with the strong wind at their backs they missed a good chance to take the lead after 25 minutes with a forward shooting wide of an open goal.

Two minutes later they had their reward, taking the lead after the home defence failed to clear a corner. They almost added to this lead just before half-time, but for some alert keeping by Kane Roberts. With the advantage of the wind in the second half Woodcote were able to exert more pressure but, while the Bracknell keeper continued to pull saves out of the top drawer, the home team’s performance was littered with errors.

On the one occasion they managed to force the ball past the keeper, skipper Jim Hancock was adjudged offside and the one good cross of the half from Frank Dillon was headed over the bar by Corbett.

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