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dan batemen wokingham manager hellenic leagueNo Excuses - 30 November

Dan Batmen offered no excuses after Wokingham & Emmbrook had lost 1-0 to Wallingford Town in their Uhlsport Hellenic League Division 1 East encounter at Lowther Road on Saturday.

"We let ourselves down. We were disappointing all over the pitch, we were just not really at the races today," admitted the Sumas manager to Dave Wright. His side went into the game having won 2-0 at Wallingford two weeks earlier before hammering Henley 4-0 in the Reading Senior Cup.

Batemen, pictured, added: "I have told the players several times that when we turn up and play well we are capable of beating anybody. But if we don't turn up and give everything, then we are liable to get beat and that is what happened today."

Wallingford were much the better side throughout and created enough chances to have added to their 21st-minute winner from Ben Matthews after the Town had failed to cut out crosses from Wallingford's left and then the right. The fact they conceded just the solitary goal was largely due to a string of fine saves by keeper Sean Woodard. He was beaten late in the second half by James Spruyt, but the crossbar came to his rescue.

"Woody was the best player on the park by a mile, without him we would have lost by more," Bateman commented."We have had three good performances in a row, but today we let ourselves down a bit, that was disappointing. We need to get some consistency. We play well for three weeks and then throw in a bad performance like this one."

The Sumas were missing seven players, however, the manager didn't offer that as an excuse as he felt "the players we had out there should have been good enough to get a result, but we were poor. If you play like that you deserve to get beat." Like most sides, Wokingham are suffering from players unable to play for a variety of reasons, but as Bateman points out: "this is a problem for all managers at this level, even the level above, especially at this time of the year.

"If we can get availability right, so players are there week in, week out then we should be capable of putting together a run of performances," said the manager. "I still think we can get involved in the top-end of the table."

Wokingham came close to snatching a point when James Charlton rattled the crossbar in stoppage time, but Bateman stated: "I would have taken it, but we wouldn't have deserved it. It was a poor performance all-round from us." Their fifth defeat in 11 games, leaves Sumas seventh in the table with 16 points, but they have at least a match in hand on all the sides above them, including fifth-placed Holyport, their opponents at Summerleaze next Saturday (3pm ko). "That will be another tough game for us as Holyport battle hard and will be strong."

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