What proved to be Eliot Whitehouse’s last game in charge at Lowther Road ended in defeat for Wokingham & Emmbrook on Tuesday night, with quality finishing the difference between the hosts and visitors Flackwell Heath.
The game was an even affair throughout but it was the away side who took the points thanks to a quick-fire first half brace. The Sumas had teenage goalkeeper Will Carpenter from their Allied Counties side making his debut and experienced former Tadley Calleva boss Gareth Thomas making his home debut and the home team were well in the game throughout.
Carpenter made an early intervention, blocking out an opportunity for The Heathens Jamie Ayres and the young custodian was also tested by Charlie Lossaso before a free-kick from Charley Tuttle – son of former Spurs and Palace man Dave – resulted in Nathan Mindomba blazing over for the Berkshire side. Mindomba was then denied by Isaac Hay in the Flackwell goal before a cutback from Matty Ayres for the visitors resulted in Callum Bunting failing to divert the ball into the net with his back to goal.
Bunting’s moment wasn’t long in coming however as he latched on to Duarte Surpanu’s smart through ball to fire home at the near post just after the half hour mark, Jake White then fired over for the frustrated Sumas before Flackwell skipper Jamie Essex sidefooted a clear opening over the top following a set-piece. Wokingham however did not take advantage of this let off as a minute or two later Essex got a glancing header to a left side free-kick to double the lead and complete the scoring.
The Sumas huffed and puffed in the second half but it was Flackwell who came closest to a further goal when Lassoso’s curling effort hit the crossbar and young Carpenter made further saves from substitute Lucas Surpanu and Losasso in the closing stages to prevent further damage.
The next incumbent of the Lowther Road home dug out clearly has much work to do but another very good home attendance of 130 shows the potential of Wokingham & Emmbrook FC.