HAMBLEDEN needed extra time before they could ease a comfortable win over Hazlemere Sports in the first round of the
HAMBLEDEN needed extra time before they could ease a comfortable win over Hazlemere Sports in the first round of the Maidenhead Norfolkian Senior Cup on Saturday.
Kicking against the wind towards the pavilion end Hambleden struggled to progress high up the field and it was the visitors who settled and had the better of the early play.
James Glanville struck from distance forcing Ross Hathaway in the Hambleden goal to turn the ball away in the swirling wind.
Ben Chivers repeatedly found space in Hambleden’s midfield and from one of his switched balls Wilkins delivered a cross for Reading who flashed a shot wide of the Hazlemere goal.
On 22 minutes Irving, struggling down the right, got caught in possession and the visitors put a cross into the six-yard box where Rodrigues’ attempted clearance struck Glanville and ricocheted into the back of the Hambleden net past a surprised Hathaway.
Hambleden struggled to gain composure and it was Hazlemere who continued to look comfortable.
Dixon and Reading, Hambleden’s strike force, worked tirelessly up front and fashioned a chance for Marcus Cook who strode from distance inside the Hazlemere box and grazed the outside of the post with his forceful effort.
With the wind behind them Hambleden proved to be a different team in the second half. Pushing higher up the pitch they forced a series of corners from which an unmarked Brunning went close to scoring in front of goal.
On 58 minutes after a huge Hathaway goal kick, Hambleden clawed their way back into the game. Cook picked up the loose ball and delivered a cross that found Reading on the edge of the box where the Hambleden striker found the bottom corner with aplomb.
Hambleden, after their exertions to get back into the game, lost a little composure and Brunning had to be alert but combined well with Rodrigues to repel a Hazlemere attack.
The visitors were tiring and for the remainder of the game Hathaway had to only turn one more bouncing effort away.
North replaced Irving and from one of his corners Reading thought he had won the tie for Hambleden with a powerful header into the top corner only to see the goal ruled out for offside.
As the game drifted to extra time Reading pulled his shot wide after Wilkins found a defence splitting pass.
Returning to kicking against the wind in the first part of the extra time period Hambleden settled better and whilst not seeming to finish the game retained enough possession to become dominant in the game.
In the final period of extra time, and again with the wind in their favour, it was Hambleden who scored the vital goal. Dawson fed North who found Reading who fired home after dispatching the ball after turning his defender.
Markwell replaced Cook and the tie was made safe when his pressure caused a weak clearance from the Hazlemere keeper whose effort saw Wilkins collect and drive into the area where he was brought down to win a penalty.
Reading stepped up to ram the ball home to complete his hat-trick.
More was to come with Hazlemere resigned to defeat. Clever running from Markwell saw him collect a pass from Dixon before crossing for Reading to get his fourth after again turning his marker and again finding the corner of the net from inside the area.
Hambleden: R Hathaway, O Dawson, J Rodrigues, C Brunning, T Irving, M Wilkins, Marcus Cook, B Chivers, A Dixon, Matt Cook, P Reading. Subs: A Markwell, A North.