On the eve of our trip to Alfredian Park to face Brimscombe & Thrupp in the Supplementary Cup Final, I thought I’d take a quick look back at the last time our senior team reached a final.
It has to be said, I am nervous. At various points the Supplementary Cup is derided throughout the year, but you try telling that to me tomorrow when we’re in the stand watching Bracknell in a final. Try telling that to the 22 players, the management teams and the supporters of both sides who are making the trip up Wantage way.
Quite aside from the joy that winning the Reserve League Cup brought the Robins players and supporters last night, and the Allied Counties South Division title delivered by Steve Jenner’s side in 2012, you can see here how much it means to the lads, and everyone at the club. A cup is a cup. You’ve worked your way through rounds beating all those drawn out of a felt bag and put in front of you. You deserve to be there and you want more than anything to lift that trophy at the end of the game.
Whether it is the FA Cup, or the County Cup. Granted the crowds roar will vary depending on your level, but the feeling of elation should be the same. You’ve earned it.
Since around 1992 (Diadora League Division 3 championship), and fair play awards aside, I’ve never seen the senior Bracknell side win anything. The closest we got was in 2003/04 when we made the Berks & Bucks Senior County Cup at Wycombe Wanderers Adams Park under manager Alan Taylor.
We’d beaten Slough Town 1-0 in a tense semi-final courtesy of Jason Williams, and were paired with Ryman Division 1 North Chesham United in the final.
We’d hired a mini-bus for supporters, painted our faces in quarters, had a drum, trumpet and anything else that made noise and settled in for the game. I’m pretty sure the County representatives hadn’t seen anything like it, but here we were at a football league ground with hopes sky high.
Sadly, we lost 4-1, lost Jon Underwood to an injury that would eventually curtail his career and never looked in touch with United who romped home.
I remember feeling sick at the end of the game. I might be doing Chesham a huge injustice, but they hardly looked bothered and I remember thinking there would have been a pitch invasion (well as much as their can be with 40 supporters in an empty ground) had we lifted the trophy.
It was a tough day, and one I’ll remember all the more tomorrow when our lads step out for the game. I’ll have my fingers crossed, but will probably steer clear of the face paint this time.
Good luck to all the Robins players.