BINFIELD manager Roger Herridge admitted it was an “ugly win” after his side’s 1-0 extra-time victory over Woodley United in the Bluefin Sport Hellenic League Cup, writes Dave Wright.

“I certainly could not get excited about our performance,” he said following last Friday’s first-round tie at Hill Farm Lane.

“We started well and after 15 or 20 minutes I thought we would go on to win the game comfortably. But from then on they (Woodley) looked the more likely side to win.

“They passed the ball better, but they still didn’t create many chances, even half chances, in 120 minutes, so our defence deserves some credit for keeping a clean sheet.

“They made it hard for us and we were also not too sharp in front of goal ourselves.

“But goals win matches and just the one was enough for us on the night.”

The winner came from Gary Smith in stoppage time in the first half of extra time.

Until then, neither side had created very much with both defences on top.

In the final third, Woodley lacked a cutting edge, while the Moles’ shooting was generally way off target, with two shots even clearing the clubhouse roof behind the goal.

Skipper James Knight was a bit more accurate with his shooting, hitting the post low down, but his side had a let-off themselves when Danny Horscroft sent Greg Beckett clear, but he shot wildly over the bar.

Later, Will Shaw squandered a golden opportunity for Binfield and he then produced a good cross which Ian Davies headed over.

At the other end, Gary Prestidge forced keeper Henry Craven into making his best save of the match.

Woodley, with Idris Kamara outstanding at the heart of their defence, improved in the second half, but generally there was a lack of creativity from both sides and from midway through the second half extra time was always looking likely, although young Charlie Tuttle was forced to make a last-ditch block to deny substitute Owen Davies a goal.

Had it been a league game, United would have earned a deserved point, but, instead, they made another cup exit when they gave Binfield defender Smith too much time and he turned in a left-wing cross from Tuttle.

“We didn’t put many good balls into the box, but one was enough for Gary to score,” stated Herridge.

“Our delivery from set-pieces was poor, but when we did get a good one into their box we scored from it.

“If you continue to work hard without playing well you sometimes get your rewards “We were not at our best, it was an ugly win and I think there might be games where we will play better than this and not win them.”

He added: “We are not on a bad run in the league – we haven’t lost for five games – but as for the cups, we are finding it hard work.

“We still need to get the right balance on the pitch and we’re not being helped by having a few players missing through injury.”

Herridge will be looking for an improvement this Saturday when his side returns to league action at Thatcham, who are third in the table, five places higher than Binfield (3pm).

In the second round of the League Cup, the Moles will be away to Holyport or Chinnor.