Football in Bracknell
In Depth

Cheltenham Saracens – a day in the life at Bracknell Town

Saturday was a brilliant occasion at Larges Lane.

We were expecting a reasonable crowd following our public relations efforts during the week, and thanks to our local papers and social media, we managed to pull in the highest crowd in the league on the day.

I’m convinced though there were a lot more than the 133 officially listed!

The day started bright and early for groundsman Tony Hardy, who as usual had already mowed, flattened and lined the pitch ahead of the game when Ian & Alison Nugent and Darrell Freeland rolled up at midday – I’m reliably informed the pre-session McDonald’s breakfast was consumed.

I arrived, to Alison’s great suprise at about quarter past (she’s always suprised when I get there before 1, and even more so when it is minus a hangover), having been requested by first team captain Chris Adams to sort out some pre-match music.

The usual stuff – Eye of the Tiger, Fatboy Slim, that sort of thing.

I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that ‘The Great Escape’ was his idea as well..

The thing is though, the PA system is remarkably unreliable, as anyone who has heard me try to rattle the team’s off pre-game before.

Still after a little fiddling, I managed to get it all sorted and the tunes were ready.

Back in the bar, Allie was preparing the half time snacks – and Ian had opened up the bar. Whilst preparing for half-time, Allie also has half an eye on the player’s full-time food, so she really is on here toes from the moment she arrives.

We had the Thames Valley blood service heading down for a half-time penalty shoot-out competition with the children from St. Joseph’s Primary School across the road.

TC gets a burger in..

TC gets a burger in..

I know a few families came along to watch the proceedings at the break, the shoot-out was won just as the players returned from their half-time break by Thomas Johnson.

Big thanks to both Jake White and Adam McNamara who volunteered for goalkeeping duties!

I managed to get hold of Duds and Hardy for a quick pre-match video. Unfortunately I couldn’t get them on facebook or YouTube during the day, but you can watch both here.

Tony Hardy

Darrell ‘Dudley’ Freeland

On the day, we had both Lewis O’Connor (a Robins star of the future) and Bill Canning on the gate, they did a fantastic job and I know managed to keep up well with a higher than usual crowd.

The game kicked off and it really was against the run of play that we scored. Ben Knight had the chance to score early on but ran out of pitch. He got on the end of Adam’s kick and lobbed the ‘keeper before coming to celebrate with us behind the goal.

We’ve had a few regulars there all year, Mike and Michael Godfrey, Barry Todd and the like, and it was great that the players were able to join us.

They scored a fantastic goal to equalise, Chris really had no chance and the worry then was that they’d take the game to us.

Ben Knight heads in against Cheltenham Saracens

Ben Knight heads in against Cheltenham Saracens

That didn’t happen fortunatley. Ben pulled off a fantastic headed goal and then, just as we were screaming for the referee to blow the whistle after what seemed like an age of injury time, he broke free again and unselfishly setup Martin Bradshaw to score.

Speaking to the players after the game, it was a tough one. Cheltenham are no mugs and from what I saw a decent side. Which piles credit onto the Robins who, even in the 90+ minute, were still able to race up half the pitch and score.

The mood in the bar after the game was excellent. Duds missed most of this as he was cleaning the changing rooms, but it was great to see so many kids as well, particularly walking round getting autographs!

I hope that anyone who came to the game on Saturday enjoyed themselves. It was a big day for the club and the team, and it all came together rather nicely.

One more game to go!

 

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Tom Canning

<p>Tom is the co-editor of FootballinBracknell. He has played at the lowest possible level of football. In real life Tom works for Trinity Mirror.</p><br />

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