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Penn & Tylers Green F.C. take the honours in the Clash of the Day

Unbeaten Penn played their first away league fixture of the season and came back with three points.

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Penn & Tyler Green 2017

Andreas Latta

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Penn & Tylers Green F.C. take the honours in the Clash of the Day

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Unbeaten Penn played their first away league fixture of the season and it couldn’t have been a harder task and test for them than away to a full strength and also unbeaten Wokingham & Emmbrook F.C. So, something had to give and thus it was Penn who came out victorious in a healthy competitive and sometimes niggly game which did justice to both team’s commitment and a game which gave value for money to both sets of supporters. Penn had several enforced changes to the line up from the previous week but such is the strength in depth of manager Giovanni Sepede’s squad the difference was virtually unnoticeable. Penn started the stronger and settled straight into the pace of the game and were winning most of the midfield battles and composing some good passing moves and testing the Wokingham defence on a few occasions with the direct running of lone striker Casey Bocarro causing some problems and forcing the two Wokingham central defenders onto the back foot on a number of occasions.

On 12 minutes the breakthrough for Penn came after a period of pressure and, after some tantalising crosses whizzing across the goalmouth crying out for that finishing touch, Penn worked the ball across the pitch via George Weller and captain Danny Jordan from right to left to Alex Sethi who whipped in a perfect low cross and Jordan Gumbs, from the right back position and with great anticipation, came steaming into the penalty area like the preverbal express train and stooped to head in from eight yards into the bottom corner. This was a dream start for Penn and a much-needed early advantage and a great goal befitting the match. To state the obvious, Wokingham were always going to have their fair share of the game and after the Penn goal they began to rise to the occasion and played some excellent football and were looking dangerous with their two forwards Knight and Scope causing some problems and a couple of through balls did cause Penn some concern but excellent last ditch defending from Zak Martin and JJ Lofthouse-Smith quelled the attacks.

On 36 minutes, following Wokingham’s period of ascendancy in the game the equaliser came but it was a little fortunate as a clearance smacked into the face of a Wokingham player and the ball landed conveniently right into the path of the Wokingham forward who was through on goal sprinting into the left side of the Penn penalty area and although Josh Cockerill made a good brave save, the ball, fortunately for Wokingham, fell to the feet of Lawrence who slid the ball into the empty net for the equaliser. On 39 minutes with Wokingham dictating the game a fantastic strike from Wokingham from 25 yards rattled the Penn crossbar. This was a let off and a wakeup call

The last six minutes of the half were played out with Wokingham shading the play, but Penn were defending resolutely, and holding their ground and dealing competently with all that Wokingham could muster against them. The half time whistle came as a relief to Penn but not, I suspect, to the relief of Wokingham. The half time break was obviously used well by Penn to re-group as they started the second half as they did the first half and once again were looking comfortable and not having too many problems from Wokingham. The match was becoming a midfield battle and neither goalkeeper was really being tested. After 51 minutes Brad Holland on the overlap down Wokingham’s right-hand flank whipped in a near post low cross which was well defended and cleared by the Wokingham defence. Penn were now beginning to show signs of dominance and were working some good moves down either flank. On 57 minutes Casey Bocarro from the left wing, also whipped in a clinical low cross which was eventually scrambled away to safety

Wokingham were always, as is the case with good teams, threatening and a couple of very good free kicks and corners did cause Penn some defensive problems but all were overcome with some fantastic last-ditch tackles and interventions. With 75 minutes on the clock Penn won a corner which was expertly delivered by Danny Blanchard low across the six-yard box and there was that man Casey Bocarro to tap the ball over the line from five yards for a well-deserved goal and a fitting reward for all the unselfish hard work he had contributed to the team effort.

Penn were resolute in their desire to hold on to their lead for the rest of the game and if it was not for some fantastic “back to the wall” defending and some timely tackles Wokingham may have found that elusive equaliser. Penn substituted Adam Harman for Jerell Gumbs (another one !!), and the fresh legs were a welcome addition in midfield for Penn

Wokingham were reduced to ten men after a robust challenge on Brad. Ten-man Wokingham showed admirable spirit and desire to get something out of the game and in the last five minutes plus five minutes added on for the sending-off incident, Wokingham mounted a number of attacks but Penn are made of stern stuff at the back and the defensive line comfortably held out and repelled Wokingham’s mini bombardment of crosses and corners. The referee finally concluded proceedings and a happy Penn & Tylers Green management team, players and supporters can be extremely satisfied with a well-deserved three points in the bag gained against a very good Wokingham side.

Man-of-the-match for Penn & Tylers Green FC today was Jordan Gumbs, but every player can take credit for a very workmanlike team effort.

Team: Josh Cockerill, Jordan Gumbs (1), Alex Sethi, Zak Martin, JJ Lofthouse-Smith, Danny Jordan (C), Anton Bradley, Danny Blatchford, Adam Harman, George Weller, Casey Bocarro (1)

Substitutes: Bradley Holland (Zak Martin) Jerell Gumbs (Adam Harman)