The Wokingham Paper - - WOKINGHAM SPORT - By TOM CROCKER [email protected]­ing­ham­pa­per.co.uk

ROGER HER­RIDGE be­lieves young­ster Ed­die Lee has the qual­ity to fill the va­cant striker berth at Bin­field.

The Moles suf­fered a big blow last month when top scorer Sean Moore de­parted the club to join neigh­bours Brack­nell Town, leav­ing Her­ridge short of at­tack­ing op­tions.

Bin­field were also with­out for­ward Ian Davies for Mon­day evening’s trip to Read­ing City due to sus­pen­sion with winger Jemel John­son in­stead used as the num­ber nine.

How­ever, Her­ridge turned to teenager Lee off the bench in the sec­ond half and he helped the

Moles re­cover from 2-1 down to win 3-2 at the River­moor, win­ning a late penalty which was con­verted by Josh How­ell.

That was Lee’s 11th se­nior ap­pear­ance of the sea­son for Bin­field, most of which have come from the bench, and he has notched two goals in the process.

And the Bin­field boss is ex­cited by the pro­gres­sion of his striker, who also scored for the Berks and Bucks County FA Un­der-18s against Devon last month.

“In terms of at­tack­ing op­tions, JJ (John­son) started as a num­ber nine on Mon­day night and had a re­ally, re­ally good game,” Her­ridge told The Wok­ing­ham Pa­per.

“He’s a real threat when he plays there.

“I don’t think he scores the amount of goals that he prob­a­bly de­serves or prob­a­bly should, but the fact is his work-rate and move­ment tends to cre­ate the chances for other play­ers around him.

“Then you’ve got Ed­die Lee. “Ed­die’s had a few in­juries over the last sea­son-and-a-half and he’s in our Al­lied Coun­ties team. He’s only young and he’s got an aw­ful lot to learn.

“Po­ten­tially he’s the best one of the lot.

“If he pro­gresses the way he’s pro­gress­ing, he’s the one that’s go­ing to go on and play at a re­ally high level of foot­ball.

“Don’t be sur­prised if you see Ed­die Lee, if he stays fit, start­ing an aw­ful lot of games be­tween now and the end of the sea­son.”

Mon­day’s clash with Read­ing

City was just Bin­field’s fourth game since the be­gin­ning of Novem­ber in what has been a frus­trat­ing few weeks.

Satur­day’s cup trip to Brim­scombe and Thrupp was called off due to wet weather and the Moles sit 12th in the Hel­lenic Premier ta­ble, but have played fewer games than ev­ery other side in the divi­sion.

That is set to change be­tween now and Christ­mas, with five matches sched­uled in just 15 days as the Moles look to fi­nally try and build some mo­men­tum to their stop-start cam­paign.

The first of those fix­tures comes on the road at Tuf­fley Rovers on Satur­day (3pm) be­fore wel­com­ing ti­tle-chas­ing Wan­tage Town to Hill Farm Lane on Mon­day night (7.45pm).

“Look at the league ta­ble, it’s mad,” said Her­ridge.

“Some of the teams we’ve got eight games in hand on. If we win 75% of our games in hand then all of a sud­den we’re prob­a­bly in the top six.

“It’s an in­ter­est­ing league. We’ve got Wan­tage on Mon­day night and we re­ally, re­ally need to win that game.

“There’s a lit­tle bit of pres­sure on us to win that in terms of where we want to be. We’ve just got to win the games we play.

“We’ll get bet­ter the more we’re play­ing I feel, a lit­tle bit of mo­men­tum, that lit­tle bit of ex­tra sharp­ness that you need when you’re play­ing a cou­ple of times a week.

“If we do play all these games this month, we’ll have a bet­ter in­di­ca­tion of where we sit in terms of as­pi­ra­tions.” He added: “There’s cer­tainly no side in the league that we fear.

“We’ve played Brack­ley and beat them. They’ve got the points in the bag up there at the minute. Wan­tage and Bishop’s Cleeve have had a few strange re­sults.

“Peo­ple can moan and say it’s not got the qual­ity in it this year be­cause Brack­nell, High­worth and Thatcham are out of it and a lot of real qual­ity play­ers have stepped up a level, but it’s as com­pet­i­tive a step five league as you’re go­ing to get. “I think the side that wins it could end up los­ing seven or eight games.

“If you can put a run to­gether like we did last year, it could be very in­ter­est­ing in­deed.”

 For more from Her­ridge see The Sports Pa­per in­side.

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