Tuesday 11th November 2008 was the last time Bracknell Town welcomed Football League opposition to Larges Lane for a competitive game.
That is until Reading FC make the journey on Tuesday night in the Berks & Bucks County Cup, but who remembers the night MK Dons visited the Lane better than the man who scored the only goal on the night?
Michael Buck was a talented young centre back at the club and netted a rare goal on a night when Bracknell won 1-0 with Roberto Di Matteo in the opposition dugout, a rare high point in an otherwise tough season on the pitch.
The team for the night according to a Get Reading report was: Max Aneke, Luke Dexter, Leon Woodruffe (Adam Kennedy), Brad Edmunds, Michael Buck, Keith Newby, Errol Telemaque, Ben Edwards, Chris Geary, Nathan Jack, Ian Harvey. Subs not used: Grant, Joel Havermans, Ryan McIntosh.
The media report on the match says: “With Dons first-team manager Roberto Di Matteo in the dugout, the Dons put in a good performance, but they could not find a way past the resilient Robins side who were fortunate to have goalkeeper Max Aneke in superlative form.
“The only goal came in the sixth minute following panic in the Dons penalty area.
“Errol Telemaque’s corner was met by Chris Geary but with his header going wide, defender Tom Flanagan sliced the ball into the path of Michael Buck who found a way through the bodies to score.”
Football in Bracknell spoke to Michael about the game and what was going on around him at the time of the fixture.
You had quite the starring role last time Bracknell played a football league club in a competitive fixture. Talk us through what happened?
I remember it being a typical November evening at the Lane. The pitch was heavy with the weeks rain and the fog was starting to slowly move in. Like most teams visiting the Lane back then you could hear the grumbles from the opposition on the state of the pitch. it was probably the best it had ever been prior to kick off.
The goal came in the fourth minute. I remember the corner being whipped in and from a failed clearance attempt I found myself 6 yards from goal with the ball dropping to my feet, a side foot finish to the bottom right was enough to win us the game in the end. To be honest, I don’t remember much else of the game other than defending for our lives for 86 minutes!
I think it’s fair to say you weren’t exactly prolific in front of goal but what goes through your mind when a chance like that drops?
I was just never given the chance. When the ball falls to you that close to the goal no matter how big the game is that ball has to hit the back of the net. Thankfully it was a Robins player who was there to slot it home.
It was a bit of a difficult time for you and the family wasn’t it?
It was. The game fell just a day after my late Grandads funeral. We had been in Essex the day before for his send off and as you can imagine that was an emotional day for the family. The goal was certainly the best send off for him and what was nice was my family were there watching the game too. This would explain my celebration that night.
The club itself were struggling a bit at the time weren’t they? How much of a boost was the MK win?
Sadly, we were struggling. The team was young. I was only 20 at the time and in the top five appearance makers for the club during this stage. There were a lot of changes to the sqaud during this time and I fully believe this didn’t help matters at all. The win against MK Dons was huge for the growing squad but again, with the disruption during this time it made things almost impossible to build momentum.
There were some big non league names in the team that season but it just didn’t seem to click. Is that fair?
There were. I was very lucky with my education from the age of 16 to 22 with the club. Alan Taylor was a big part of this education with the likes of Neil Baker, Jon Underwood (although sadly his knee failed him as I was breaking through) Andrew Poyser, Danny Hayward, Jon Palmer, Gavin Smith, Johnny Dyer… the list goes on!
How we found ourselves at the wrong end of the table i do not know. Such a shame but its great to see the club really pushing forward to fulfil its massive potential!
Bracknell went on to play Maidenhead in the next round if I remember correctly (fact check: Maidenhead was a pre season friendly)?
I believe we went on to play Windsor & Eton in the next round at home with more grumbles about the pitch. Sadly we lost that one though.
All the best to the lads in their game against Reading. Another great night for the club!