SCHOOLBOY Josh Harris celebrated his first-team debut with a goal as Wokingham & Emmbrook defeated Didcot Town Reserves 4-2 at Lowther Road on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

The 16-year-old Reading Blue Coat pupil (pictured right) has been with the club since he was 12 and was part of the club’s highly-successful Under 16 squad.

More recently, he’s turned out for the reserves, scoring four goals in one game.

“I have been receiving rave reviews about young Josh and this was a perfect opportunity to play him as I knew Didcot would also come with a load of young lads,” said Sumas manager Dan Bateman (pictured left).

“We need to protect him a bit, but he has bags of talent, his energy levels were good and he got a goal, so it was a very pleasing debut for him.”

He was joined on the scoresheet by Sam Lawrence-Whiting, with two, and Chris Robson.

Sumas, who dominated the first half, netted three times in the opening 20 minutes and added a fourth before the break with recent signing Jake White helping to set up three of the goals.

“Jake has come in and done well. He looked sharp and is a big addition to our squad,” commented Bateman.

But Didcot, who had lost the home fixture 4-1 in December, improved in the second half and pulled two goals back through Kieran Collins on 61 minutes and Taylor Janes 15 minutes later.

Sumas keeper Sean Woodward also pulled off a couple of excellent saves before his side had a great chance to score a fifth when White was brought down in the area. But Lawrence-Whiting missed his opportunity to complete a hat-trick as his spot-kick was comfortably saved by Joe Parish, who was playing in goal rather than in the back four.

On Tuesday last week, the Sumas lost 5-1 at Hellenic League Division One East rivals Holyport in the second round of the Bluefin Sports Subsidiary Cup.

But they fielded a much-changed side with Bateman explaining: “I felt this was an opportunity to give pitch time to reserves and a few who needed to step up.

“I wasn’t at the game myself due to work commitments, but from what I was told for 60 or 65 minutes we were the better side before we ran out of legs.

“Some players were not used to playing at that level, and there were others who haven’t been playing much recently. I was told 5-1 was a harsh scoreline.”

Sumas travel to Chinnor this Saturday (3pm) looking to complete a double, having beaten them 3-1 at Lowther Road last month.

“They are a good side, so we will have to be on our best there. We will need to play like we did in the first half against Didcot,” commented Bateman.

His team remain fourth in the table, but he says: “We haven’t given up hope of getting into third place.”