The Wokingham Paper

Michael Herbert eyes derby victory after helping Woodley United to cup history

Herbert
Michael Herbert has guided Woodley into their first Berks and Bucks cup semi final (Pics by Steve Smyth)

MICHAEL HERBERT says he is relishing the challenge of the “toughest draw” his side could have been given in their first ever Berks and Bucks Intermediate Cup semi-final.

A Danny Horscroft brace plus goals from Charlie Oakley and Toby Briggs as well as an own goal saw Woodley United book their place in the last four with a 5-0 thrashing of North Bucks Premier Division outfit Great Horwood on Saturday.

But their reward is a trip to fellow step six side Risborough Rangers next month, a team who

Danny Horscroft bagged a brace against Great Horwood

toppled Woodley’s Hellenic One East title rivals Penn and Tylers Green in the quarters.

The other semi-final will see Thames Valley Premier side Marlow United hosting either Wendover or Kintbury Rangers.

“It’s probably the toughest draw we could’ve got,” Herbert told The Wokingham Paper.

“But if you want to win the cup, you’ve got to beat the best teams so we’re looking forward to that challenge.

“In terms of standing it’s the toughest draw as the other three are a step below us.

“We know Marlow are a very good side but Risborough being at our level is the toughest one.

“They beat Penn on penalties on Saturday so obviously they’re going to be a very good side. We’re going to try and go and have a look at them over the next few weeks to see how they set up and go from there.

“It’s at Risborough which is kind of good. The players are looking forward to it, going down there and playing on a nice pitch.”

But right now focus switches back to the promotion charge this weekend with a game against local rivals Finchampstead.

The pair have met twice already this season with the Kestrels coming out on top on both occasions. But after two league defeats over the Christmas period as well last week’s game against AFC Aldermaston being abandoned, Woodley have slipped nine points off the top.

Jon Laugharne’s Finches beat AFC Aldermaston at the weekend

And Herbert is expecting a tricky battle against Jon Laugharne’s Finches.

“At the beginning of the season we weren’t expected to be anywhere near where we are,” he said.

“Finchampstead is a big game this week.

“They’re probably one of the toughest sides we’ve played, especially at their place when we beat them 1-0.

“They were definitely the better side in that game and we were probably a bit fortunate to nick the three points.

Michael Herbert is keen to take it one game at a time

“Maybe a draw would have been a fair result but they did really well.

“The second game (a 4-1 cup win for Woodley), I don’t know if they were at full strength but we took our chances well.

He continued: “It’s interesting, they set up a couple of different ways, a 4-4-2 diamond and also a 4-3-3 so we’ll make sure we’re prepared for both and we’ll go from there and hopefully Saturday will bring us the three points.”

“We’re just going to take every week as it comes.

“I don’t take too much of a look at the league table. The players tend to have a look but for me, Saturday is the only thing that matters really at the moment.”

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