WOKINGHAM & EMMBROOK manager Dan Bateman dedicated the Sumas’ 3-0 home victory over Penn & Tylers Green to lifelong fan Richard Croyden after his passing.
“It was perfect timing to get a win after Richard Croyden’s passing, we said afterwards that the win is dedicated to him,” said Bateman.
“Richard has been involved at the club for such a long time and he’s someone that was always there and travelled home and away.
“He always had a kind word to say and had time to stop and chat with everyone. It’s great that his family were there on Saturday, they came down and we had a minute’s applause before the game.
“We said before the game, lets go and win this one for Richard and that’s what we did.”
After an impeccably observed minute’s applause for Richard, the Sumas showed their quality on the pitch as they stormed into a two goal lead in the opening three minutes of their clash against Penn & Tylers Green.
“I said to the lads before the game that they had a bit of upheaval with their manager leaving the week before so I thought it was important for us to start quickly and not let them settle,” continued Bateman.
“We did that and were two goals up within three minutes. You then have the danger that you’ll run away with it, but to be fair to them they reacted really well and Woody made a few really good saves to keep our two goal lead.
“I was happier with the second half, I thought we controlled it from start to finish and it was a much more professional performance after an end to end first half.
“We’ve had a couple of cancelled fixtures and a couple of defeats before that so it had seemed like forever since we last won a game.
“The first half was too hectic for me with both keepers making good saves, it could have been 4-4 at half time in all honesty.
The Sumas have put themselves in a fortuitous position heading into the last 11 league games of the season, and Bateman reiterated his determination to achieve promotion.
“We’re in a really good position regarding promotion, it is definitely in our hands.
“The most important thing for us is to get promoted and finish as high as we can in the league. The fact that four teams get promoted from this league this year means that it is completely in our hands. We’re more than capable of beating anybody but we’ve lost some silly games.
“We’ve got 11 games left but we’re not resting on our laurels and want to finish as high as we can, whether that be runners up and put a bit of pressure on Risborough then that would be good.
“I’m not happy with just getting top four, I want to be second and put pressure on them. Although they are a long way clear, if we beat them twice then we can put some pressure on them.
A tough test awaits Wokingham & Emmbrook this Saturday as they host runaway league leaders Risborough Rangers, who currently have a 13 point lead at the top after a run of 21 games unbeaten in the Hellenic League Division One East.
“We’ve still got to play Risborough twice, who have run away at the top of the league, so that will be tough.
“We played them in the cup and we were unlucky to draw and then unfortunately lost on penalties. We know what we can do on our day so I’m sure they will be two good games.
“I felt that we were the better side on the day when we played them in the cup but they did what good teams do, hung on in there, nicked a goal and took it to penalties.
We’ll go up against them with a strong squad. They are top of the league for a reason but we want to upset that.
“You always want to be the team that breaks the run, we’ve love to get a result on Saturday for that but mainly to help our own fight for promotion.”