HAMBLEDEN suffered their heaviest defeat of the season as they crashed out of the Tom Hooker Cup at the quarter-final
HAMBLEDEN suffered their heaviest defeat of the season as they crashed out of the Tom Hooker Cup at the quarter-final stage to Great Missenden on Saturday.
Making enforced changes Hambleden struggled from the start to settle and Missenden forced the issue on the Bisham Abbey playing surface.
After 15 minutes Missenden had the ball in the back of the Hambleden net but the strike was ruled out for offside. Hambleden rallied and Dean Kemp wriggled free to centre but his over-hit cross found no one waiting at the far post.
Missenden’s dominance in the centre of the park allowed Bailey to skip free past the stranded Chris Brunning where Duane Brian blocked, conceding a corner. From the resultant dead ball cross, Brian was found wanting, allowing the ball to squirm past him at his near-post position falling to Andy Bryan who made no mistake from five yards out.
Hambleden’s striking combination of Reading and Brown were denied any good service but combined to see Reading’s turn and shot from inside the area turned away from Kingston in the Missenden defence.
On 27 minutes, and after Hambleden failed to shut down the midfield, Bailey skipped clear to slot calmly home from the edge of the area.
Missenden continued to dominate and Hambleden were fortunate when a cross shot bounced to safety off the top of the bar.
Early in the second half Brunning was replaced by Sanger and positional changes ensued in hope of stirring Hambleden into action.
The returning Sanger brought vigour to Hambleden’s midfield and some progressive play in which Reading almost profited.
Simon Hathaway brought on for Ryan Irving in midfield and his neat play allowed Kemp to cross deep to Missenden’s far post but under pressure and with the goal at his mercy Reading headed over from close range.
Lewis Brown was thwarted after Adam North forced his way through but it was Missenden who struck again to all but seal the tie. Missenden crossed the ball where Lakovic headed off the Hambleden goal line but the ball fell to Bryan six yards out who returned the header into the corner of the net to make it 3-0. Markwell replaced Reading in the Hambleden attack on the 82nd minute but could not halt his side’s slide as direct from a corner Kingston rose highest to put his side 4-0 up.
In the final throws Lakovic played a good ball to Hathaway who scooted clear but his shot went wide.