HOSTS Woodcote/Stoke Row, who have appeared in the Berkshire Trophy Centre Senior Cup final for five
HOSTS Woodcote/Stoke Row, who have appeared in the Berkshire Trophy Centre Senior Cup final for five years running, will not be at Madejski Stadium this time around after going down to a 3-1 home defeat against Aldermaston last Saturday.
The visitors progressed to the final against a lacklustre Woodcote/Stoke Row who just could not get their game going.
Aldermaston started strongly and edged the early exchanges without creating any clear-cut chances.
It was against the run of play that Woodcote/Stoke Row opened the scoring after 20 minutes.
The hosts were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Aldermaston box and Frank Dillon cleverly laid the ball sideways to Toby Nowell who was unmarked as he slotted past the advancing keeper.
Having drawn first blood Woodcote could have increased their lead before the break with Nowell spurning a good chance as he latched on to a long kick from keeper, Pearson.
Frank Dillon also went close with a shot and Sam Green had a shot well saved by the impressive Aldermaston keeper.
Aldermaston began the second half in determined mood and a good chance was spurned early on.
After 55 minutes the game’s defining moment arrived when the referee spotted a handball in a crowded Woodcote/Stoke Row area.
Despite protests from the home players that it had been an Aldermaston hand, the referee awarded a penalty against Jim Hancock which was converted for 1-1.
Aldermaston’s confidence increased after the penalty and they could have taken the lead but for a last-ditch tackle by Hancock.
Woodcote/Stoke Row hearts were soon to be broken by a second penalty decision, this time spotted by an assistant referee.
Frank Dillon made a tackle just as an Aldermaston player made to cross the ball. The ball hit Dillon’s hand and the penalty was awarded and converted for 2-1.
Four minutes later, it was all over. Aldermaston attacked down the left and the cross was headed away by Gareth Evans.
The ball fell at the feet of the Aldermaston centre-forward who unleashed a shot into the top corner for 3-1.
It could have been 4-1 on 80 minutes but for a good goal-line clearance by Ryan Corbett. Aldermaston certainly ended the stronger of the two teams and Mark Pearson had to make a couple of fine saves late on.