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Fred Tripp scored late in the game

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Penn & Tyler Green 2017

Andreas Latta

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Penn & Tylers Green F.C. scored a late winner to secure a good win on Saturday against a very resilient Wokingham & Emmbrook F.C. side and therefore closed the gap on current leaders Bicester Town, who did not play.

With Adam Davies injured and George Weller out with flu, manager John Sepede adhered to the “square pegs in square holes “philosophy, and co-manager James Pritchard stepped into the midfield alongside Danny Jordan to make up a very experienced central midfield partnership, which performed admirably throughout the match. After a two-week Christmas break it took Penn just a minute to get into their stride as Chris Hurst fired an early warning to Wokingham by hitting the crossbar.

Wokingham then nearly caught out the Penn defence with a quick break down the left-hand side but JJ Lofthouse-Smith cleared the danger. For the rest of the half Penn were on top mounting wave after wave of attacks resulting in near misses, corners and to be fair the Wokingham goalkeeper made some fine saves to keep Wokingham in the game. Adam Harman hit the bar with a glancing header, George Gumbs burst through and narrowly missed and James Pritchard almost scored direct from a corner but another good save at the near post from the Wokingham keeper kept the scores level. This pattern continued until half time.

The second half followed a similar pattern with chance after chance going begging for Penn with crosses being fired in and shots going wide or being saved. A glancing header from Hurst went narrowly wide. Wokingham, sensing it may be their lucky day, began to have a spell of counter attacks and had a couple of dangerous free kicks which were well dealt with by the Penn defence.

With the clock ticking away manager John Sepede freshened things up for Penn and the introduction of Fred Tripp up front, Josiah Bridgeman on the right and Nile O’Meally-Newell on the left gave Penn six fresh legs and the bombardment of the Wokingham goal continued.

One searing shot from Fred Tripp was brilliantly tipped over by the Wokingham goalkeeper. Then on 87 minutes with the home support anticipating a disappointing draw two of the three substitutes made their mark. Nile O’Meally-Newell picked up a pass on the left and immediately released Josh Fox for one of his trademark runs down the left wing and his low cross evaded everyone and there was Fred Tripp at the far post to slot home from six yards. The roar of the home support could be heard across Penn pond but the sigh of relief was probably louder! The last three minutes were comfortably played out and very good valuable three points were in the bag for Penn.

This was very competent and forceful display from Penn & Tylers Green FC today and bodes well for another strong test next week when they travel to Sandhurst for a 3pm kick off.

Team: M Cannings, J Gumbs, JJ Lofthouse-Smith, J Fox, D Blatchford, J Pritchard, D Jordan (Captain), C Bocarro, A Harman, Hurst. Substitutes (played): O’Meally-Newell, J Bridgeman, F Tripp (1). Substitutes (did not play): N Miller, A Davis