MANAGER Dan Bateman is now more confident than ever that Wokingham & Emmbrook can look forward to a successful second half to the season, writes Dave Wright.

His Sumas followed up their midweek Hellenic Floodlit Cup 2-1 win over Premier Division side Abingdon United by pushing runaway Division One East leaders Burnham all the way before losing 2-1.

"We didn't deserve to lose," he said after Saturday's entertaining game at Larges Lane.

"A draw would have been a fairer result, as it was a great performance from us."

He added: "Burnham have got huge resources and this team today would be in the top half of the Premier Division. They are the best team in our league by a mile, but we went toe-to-toe with them and lost narrowly unluckily so.

"The way they celebrated their second goal you would have thought they had won the league. They knew they had been in a very tough game.

"We matched them and I was proud of the way the lads performed."

Bateman said: "Our main problem has been a lack of consistency. It has affected us this year, along with discipline, availability and injuries. We have lost key players at difficult times and we have had a lot of bad luck.

"We are better than our league position suggests and that has again been shown today.

"Obviously I am disappointed we lost, however when you perform like that I am proud of the lads. We have a good side here."

Speaking to the News after the game, the Sumas manager commented: "I have told my players that after Christmas we need to go out there and really make a run up the table and get ourselves into a position where we feel we should be.

"We are good enough to do that, but we need to show consistency.

"We have all the assets needed to have a good second half of the season and we will do that if we can produce performances like we have today. If we do, we will win nine times out of 10 in this league and move up the table and get ourselves into a position where we feel we deserve to be."