Bracknell Town striker John Smith on the back pages of the Wokingham Times.

Bracknell Town’s FA Cup trip to Ashford United has some significant parallels

Could history repeat itself?
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Bracknell Town striker John Smith on the back pages of the Wokingham Times.

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It’s 20 years since Bracknell Town’s remarkable and most famous of FA Cup runs, the First Round Proper away day to Lincoln City during the 2000/01 season.

Five years after a Fourth Qualifying Round defeat to Burton Albion, the Robins reached the promised land of the proper rounds for the first, and so far only time, thanks to an incredible 1-0 win at Aylesbury United.

Most people will remember, or be aware of ‘that’ Lincoln City day out, and I’m sure more than a few Bracknell fans of long-standing will have told of the Aylesbury fixture where the then Isthmian League Division One Ducks couldn’t breach the goal of the 10-man, Division Three Robins guarded by youngster Lee Cobby.

But what of the run to those two momentous occasions? After chatting with Mark Tallentire at the weekend (the man in charge on the day with his brother Clive) I was reminded of it, and the similarities with Tuesday night’s present-day opponents.

Bracknell Town FC manager Mark Tallentire. Photo: Richard Claypole.
Bracknell Town FC manager Mark Tallentire. Photo: Richard Claypole.

Back in 2000/01, the Robins began in the Preliminary Round with a 3-1 win away at Hillingdon Borough and were then drawn away to Ashford Town (Kent) in the First Qualifying Round – a game they won 2-1.

Sound familiar? On Tuesday night Bracknell play Ashford United, the club that was formed from the ashes of Town’s administration and uses a similar badge to its predecessor.

So there’s a little tinge of nostalgia and maybe, if you go in for such things some precedence as Bobby Wilkinson’s men take the three and half hour round trip to Kent.

For the record, courtesy of Rob Scully’s programme archive, the details of the 2000/01 Ashford away day were: The Robins beat Ashford Town away in the first qualifying round on their way to Lincoln by two goals to one with goals from John Smith and a Gary Holzman penalty. The date was Saturday the 16th of September 2000.

Here’s the full, brilliant, 2000/01 Bracknell Town FA Cup run courtesy of the brilliant fchd.info

Preliminary Round: Hillingdon Borough (A) 3-1
First Qualifying Round: Ashford Town (Kent) (A) 2-1
Second Qualifying Round: Merstham (H) 3-1
Third Qualifying Round: Banstead Athletic (H) 1-0
Fourth Qualifying Round: Aylesbury United (A) 1-0
First Round Proper: Lincoln City (A) 0-4

During the summer, Mark Tallentire chatted with us specifically about the Lincoln City away day, and the cup run at the time. Listen again here on your phone or in the player below.

Anyone for a 2-1 Bracknell win then? There’s plenty more written about, and pictures of that famous FA Cup day out here.

What do you think? 

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